Tue | Dec 6, 2016

Wata/JC meet to set stage for exciting season

Published:Sunday | January 4, 2015 | 12:00 AMRaymond Graham

ONE of the most exciting and intense track and field seasons among high-school athletes will start this coming Saturday, with the very popular JC/Wata Invitational Track and Field meet at Jamaica College (JC).

The upcoming season is expected to be one of the most competitive, as due to migration and recruitment, it will be very close among the top teams. In fact, there could be several surprises when the ISSA GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Championships is held in late March.

After winning the titles in fine style last season, Calabar High and Edwin Allen High will be hoping to send out early warnings to their rivals. But in one year, a lot has happened, and come this season, strange things could happen.

powerful Class One unit

According to whispers, four-time champions St Jago High's girls will be firing on all cylinders and will be gunning to dethrone defending champions Edwin Allen. The Spanish Town-based institution has a powerful Class One unit, led by top runner Natalliah Whyte. She will be joined by another top Class Two athlete from last year, Shanice Reid, and both, along with Peta Gaye Williams, Genekee Leith and former Vere Technical hurdler Andrenette Knight, who transferred to sixth form, are expected to carry the fight for the Monk Street school.

With the massive migration of some of their top athletes, including Marleena Eubanks, Christania Williams, Monique Spencer, Claudette Allen, and Camira Haughton, the Michael Dyke-coached Edwin Allen will be under severe pressure, and all eyes will be on the Frankfield-based team when their athletes start competition on Saturday.

hydel to make big moves

With many-time champions Holmwood Technical and Vere Technical in a rebuilding phase, new kid on the block Hydel High are set to make a big move this season. Many fans think the Corey Bennett-coached team from Ferry could be the biggest threat to Edwin Allen and not St Jago.

Hydel have shown over the past two seasons that they have the capacity to challenge for the top spot, and with a quality Class One for the first time, they could go all the way.

After winning the boys' title by nearly 100 points last season, not many will bet against Calabar retaining their title in March; but stranger things have happened in the past.

The likes of Kingston College, JC and St Jago High all have championship ambitions, and with skilful recruiting during the off-season, all three are expected to make a major dent into the Red Hills Road-based school's armoury.