KC and Excelsior retain titles at Corporate Area Championships
Kingston College's Ra’John Gray powers home to a meet record victory in the Boys' Class 3 100m hurdles final at the Digicel/Anthrick Corporate Area Championships at the National Stadium on Saturday, February 15, 2020. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid).
Kingston College (KC) and Excelsior High retained the boys and girls' titles at the 2020 Digicel/Anthrick Corporate Area Championships at the National Stadium on Saturday night.
The two-day championship produced 13 meet records, of which seven came on the final day, and KC featured heavily in those moments with five records.
KC piled up 488 points from the 44 finals for an easy victory in the boys’ championship, 180 points clear of second-place Jamaica College (JC), which finished with 308 points. Calabar High (289), Wolmer’s Boys (178) and Excelsior High (141) round off the top five in the male team scores.
But while KC scored a very easy victory in the boys’ section, Excelsior High had to survive a very strong attack from Wolmer’s to defend their girls’ title. In the end, Excelsior High tallied 280.5 points from 43 finals, just 18 ahead of second-place Wolmer’s, which ended with 262.5 points. The Queen’s School (243), Immaculate Conception High (169.5) and St Andrew High (125) round off the top five in the female team scores.
On their way to championship honours, KC won 20 of the 44 boys’ finals during which they took down four meet records and equalled one.
Two of KC’s five records came on Friday’s first day through outstanding jumper Aaron McKenzie and Akeel Hanchard.
2020 Corporate Area Championships
McKenzie produced a meet-record leap of 1.85m to win the Boys’ Class 3 high jump. The previous meet record (1.80m) was held jointly by McKenzie’s teammates Anthony Ellis and Christopher Seaton. Seaton set the mark in 2018 and Ellis equalled it the following year.
It was a one-two finish for KC as Aaron Thomas finished second with 1.75m, and Edward Sterling of Wolmer’s Boys ended third with 1.60m.
Hanchard took the Boys’ javelin open with a throw of 60.49m, which surpassed the previous meet record of 57.10m, set by his teammate Aval Denton in 2017.
The remaining three records were produced on the track and the outstanding Class 3 hurdler Ra’John Gray featured among those moments.
Gray won the Boys’ Class 3 100m hurdles in 13.20 seconds to surpass the previous meet record of 13.44 seconds set by JC’s Jordan Roberts six years ago.
KC scored big in the event as Jordan Campbell finished second in 13.34 to also better the previous meet record. Calabar’s Zacre Braham finished third in 13.73 seconds.
Gray’s meet record came two weeks after he clocked a faster time, 13.12 seconds, to break the record at the Youngster Goldsmith Athletic Classics, also at the National Stadium.
KC went on to sweep the sprint hurdles. Yourie Lawrence clocked 14.05 seconds for a comfortable victory in the Class 2 110m hurdles, while Tajean Houston took the Class 1 event in 13.80 seconds.
Sprinter Adrian Kerr was responsible for KC’s other meet record. Kerr took the Boys’ Class 2 100m in 10.63 to surpass the previous meet record of 10.79 set by his schoolmate Yashawn Hamilton in 2016. Calabar’s David Lynch finished second in 10.77 to also dip below the previous record, while JC’s Dwight Downer clocked 10.89 for third place.
KC’s Roshaun Rowe turned in the record-equalling performance. He captured the Boys’ Class 1 100m in 10.45 to equal the meet record set by Calabar’s Edward Clarke in 2015. Meadowrook’s Shakur Williams (10.56) and Calabar Rosean Young (10.74) finished second and third, respectively.
Clan Carthy’s Jason Bullens denied KC a clean sweep of the 100 metres, winning the Class 3 sprint in 11.28. KC’s Marvin Patterson (11.40) and Excelsior’s Ryeem Walker (11.53) finished second and third, respectively.
Calabar's Kevroy Venson celebrates after a record run in the Boys' 5000m open.
Calabar High School long-distance runner runners Kevroy Venson produced an awesome performance to turn back the KC pair of Aron Tanui and Aryamanya Rodgers in the Boys' 5000m open.
Venson won very easily in 14:55.67 to shatter KC's Shane Buchanan meet record of 15:11.71 which was achieved in 2017.
Tanui, who accounted for Venson’s meet record in the 1500m at the Youngster Goldsmith Athletic Classics two weeks ago, finished a clear second in 15:44.90, while Rodgers came home third in 15:56.24.
In the girls’ section, Excelsior High won 12 of the 43 finals with Niesha Burgher starring by taking the Class 1 sprint double.
Burgher completed her double victory by easily taking the 200m in 24.21. Campion College’s Krystal Sloley (24.76) and Papine’s Dominique Clarke (25.23) finished second and third, respectively.
Burgher (11.68) had also turned back Sloley (11.78) and Clarke (11.89), who again finished second and third, respectively, in the 100m final.
Amoi Kentish of Convent of Mercy Academy also completed a sprint double, this in Class 4.
Kentish achieved the double by taking the 200m in 25.85. Wolmer’s Aleyah Malcolm (26.23) and Immaculate’s Shevi Anne Shim (26.48) finished second and third, respectively.
In a close finish, Kentish clocked 12.36 to beat Shim (12.38) in the 100m.
Sprinter Mickayla Graham of Wolmer’s had an outstanding meet with two record performances on her way to the Class 3 sprint double.
Graham achieved her second meet record in the 200m final. She won the event in 24.46 seconds to surpass the previous record of 24.64 set by Excelsior’s Ackera Nugent in 2016. Excelsior’s Mikela Coombs (24.92) and Immaculate’s Mickaila Haisley (25.33) finished second and third, respectively.
Graham had won the 100m in a meet record 11.75 to dip below the previous mark of 11.89 set in 2015 by Kiara Grant of Convent of Mercy Academy.
The Corporate Area Championships is one four qualifying meets to the March 14 Digicel Grand Prix finale - the G C Foster Classics with over $5 million in prizes.
The other qualifying meets are Western Championships, which also took place on Saturday, Central Championships February 18-19 at GC Foster College and Eastern Championships on February 24-25 at the National Stadium.
The Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship comprises 10 events. The events are the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, long jump, high jump, discus, 4x400m, medley relay and 400m hurdles.
One again, school teams (boys and girls) will vie for the title of Digicel Grand Prix champion and $1 million each towards gym equipment or development of their school’s training facilities.
There will also be an overall second and third place cash prizes of $500,000 and $200,000 respectively.
KC and Hydel High are the reigning boys and girls' champions of the Digicel Grand Prix Championships, which is now in its sixth year.