'Purples' aiming to break title drought at Champs
Calabar High are highly fancied to retain the Mortimer Geddes Trophy for Boys' Champs this year. But you can expect the 'Purples' of North Street, Kingston College (KC), to push them all the way from the opening to the final day of the championships.
Neil Harrison, the KC coach in his first year at the school, stated that if they are allowed to take the lead on Thursday going into Friday, it will be difficult to stop them from claiming their 32nd crown and first since 2009.
"Calabar is a quality team; they also have an excellent coach. They know what it is like to win, they have been winning it for the last three years, and they are in high spirits, as they have been competing quite well throughout the season," Harrison commented.
"We have nothing to lose. They have what we want, and it will take a lot of guts, determination and will power. But I think we have the necessary prerequisite; it won't be easy, but we are ready to rise to the occasion, and I hope that our best will be good enough," he said.
Class Three appears to be KC's strongest area. Athletes like Akeem Smith, Garrique Jarrett (100m, 200m), Kamanie Williams (400m), Wayne Pinnock (100m hurdles), and long jumper Shaquille Lowe, are expected to provide the bulk of the points.
Last season's Class Two 200m gold medallist and 100m silver medallist, Jhevaughn Matherson, and shot put and discus thrower Rasheeda Bowner are expected to lead their Class Two charges, while Twayne Crooks, Akeem Bloomfield (200m, 400m), Errol Ennis (triple jump), and Christopher Bryan (pole vault) will be expected to produce the majority of the points for Class One.
Before the start of the championships, they received a setback with injury to outstanding Class Two runner, Nathaniel Bann, who has not been entered for his pet event, the 400m.
Harrison, though, insists that every point will count, and it will take a complete team effort to win this 'Champs'.
"When you assess the situation, the team that makes the less mistakes will come out champions. Because things will happen, accidents will occur, people will make mistakes, some will buckle under pressure. So the team that holds its composure will come through, and I am hoping that come Champs, they will rise to the occasion and live up to expectations," he reasoned.
"You always look up to your athletes who are stars, but for this championship, even the athlete who is not a star will have to rise to the occasion, too. So even the least amongst us will be very important," he continued.
Team captain Shaquille Shaw has no doubt they can reclaim the title.
"Calabar will be a threat, but KC is coming to claim that title, and I am confident my team will win Champs. Every victory takes a total team effort, and the KC team is balanced right across the board.
"But it has been six years since our last victory, and I've been on the team for those six years. So, right now, I have a fire in my soul, my heart and vengeance coming after that trophy," he said.