Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Champs clash ... Who will take home the trophy today?

Published:Saturday | April 1, 2017 | 4:00 AMAndre Lowe

We couldn't have written a better script!

The latest chapter of the greatest high-school athletics competition on the planet will take us to the final page with all the major players - champions and challengers; queens and Cinderellas still looking to write their own stories and secure their own.

The ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships is down to its final day of competition, with the National Stadium expected to shake at its foundation over the next few hours as the island's top junior athletes clash in front of a packed ground and millions across the globe.

Swagger intact, Kingston College started the championships as favourites in many a book; depth, confidence and a hunger bred from seven years in the wilderness. Only once have they waited longer to taste Mortimer Geddes success since their first title in 1937.

The dark days were supposed to be coming to an end. It was supposed to be a canter - a light jog at best.

But Calabar are called the Lions for a reason, and the ringmaster, Michael Clarke, the experienced coach at the Red Hill Road-based school is known as a master strategist.

Whether it's grit or greatness, the five-time defending champions are roaring again. The scent of victory is fresh and they are moving in for the kill, and if KC does, in fact, make it across the line in front, what is clear is that the RABALAC army will ensure they will have to bring water from stone to do so.

A 38-point lead at the end of Thursday's third day of action sent an air of anticipation in the KC camp, but the Lions came roaring back on yesterday's penultimate day with a rabid attack that sent an injection of doubt among the purple clan.

But purple hearts never stop beating, they say, and the 31-time champions will not sit back and let this slip.

And so, here we are, Champs Day 5 - the final lap. Twenty-four finals; 24 stories left to be told. And there are others such as Jamaica College, Wolmer's, St Jago and less-fancied names such as Petersfield, STETHS and Excelsior, who are also on the hunt, prowling for their time in the Saturday spotlight.

... No one can doubt Edwin Allen's strength

Edwin Allen are having their way among the girls, but they have not delivered on the Hollywood 'do-not-miss-at-any-cost' performance we were promised by their smooth-talking coach Michael Dyke.

But no one can doubt their strength - good in every area, if not excellent in any.

Their dynasty is set to continue into a fourth year, which would also secure a fifth girls' title in the last six years.

The others are threatening - Hydel and Holmwood, in particular, have shown enough to suggest that the defending champions will have to work a little harder in the coming years.

But that is for another day.

Today's spoils are there to be won, and Edwin Allen should be enjoying a feast in a few hours.

andre.lowe@gleanerjm.com