C'bar, Edwin again
With an inspired Michael O'Hara as the engine, the Calabar Lions revved their way to a fourth consecutive hold on the Inter Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships as the National Stadium, as Edwin Allen made light work of their female rivals to also retain their title on a day when five records were broken.
O'Hara, determined to make up for a disappointing outing last year, completed a hat-trick of individual gold medals, adding the Class One boys 110m hurdles and 200m titles to the 100m crown he won on Friday evening.
It was always going to be a close race to the end and Kingston College (KC), still hunting their first title since 2009, pushed the defending champions late into the evening but in the end, the boys from Red Hills Road marched away with 280.5 points as KC took second with 265. Jamaica College were third on 200 and they were followed by St Jago 183 and St Elizabeth Technical 132.
They were made to sweat but this 2015 Calabar squad joins their 1930-1933 predecessors, the 1962 to 1975 KC team that won 14 straight and the 2002 to 2006 unit, as the only teams to win four or more titles on the trot. This is Calabar's 25th hold on the Mortimer Geddes trophy.
The girls' race stopped being a contest as the sun began to set, with Edwin Allen, 321 points, outlasting St Jago High 221.33, Hydel 221, Holmwood 206 and Vere 137.
The much-hyped O'Hara vs Jaheel Hyde Class One boys 110m hurdles final lived up to expectations. Hyde looked set for his first win over O'Hara but was overpowered by the Calabar man, who stopped the clock at 13.49 in a -3.8 seconds wind, with Wolmer's Hyde finishing second in 13.52 and Seanie Selvin (Calabar), 13.66 taking third.
O'Hara again showed his late race kick, dragging back the field and crashing the line in 20.59 in the 200m, ahead of St Jago's Chad Walker, 20.99 and KC's Twayne Crooks, 21.21.
Still, it was never all about Calabar here.
44.93 seconds. Remember that time. They call him 'Zoom' and for good reasons. KC's Akeem Bloomfield went out like a bat from hell and held off a late challenge from St Jago's Nathon Allen, 45.30, to lower the Championships and national record with an amazing show of power and determination. Martin Manley (St Jago), held on for third in 46.41, but for years to come, people will be talking about Bloomfield's mark, the second fastest in the world this season.
Bloomfield's time betters Davian Clarke's national junior record 45.21 (set in 1995) as well as Javon Francis' 45.00 Champs record set last year. He also became the first Jamaican junior to dip below 45 seconds.
For a second it looked like Calabar's Christopher Taylor - the fastest 15 year-old in history (45.69) was going to get beaten by his teammate Anthony Carpenter, 47.87. But the starlet showed his amazing endurance to get past Carpenter with 80m to go, winning in 47.04 with STETHS' Leonardo Ledgister, 48.35, in second.
Taylor returned to secure his double, winning the 200m in 21.04 ahead of Tyreke Wilson, 12.26, also from Calabar and St Jago's Michael Bentley, 21.68.
In the first event on the track, defending champion Anna-Kay Allen (St Catherine),53.47 showed that last year's win over Vere's Sanique Walker, 53.56, was no fluke, taking the gold in the Class Three girls 400m with Hydel's Jada Martin, 55.82, running third.
Calabar's lone competitor in the Class Three 400m final Tajai Jackson, 50.52 took an unlikely gold medal with Petersfield's Antonio Watson, 51.47 and KC's Shanthamoi Bron, 51.77 taking second and third.
St Jago's Peta-Gay Williams was clearly bothered at the line after her team-mate Andrenette Knight false-started and was ejected in the Class One girls 100m hurdles, but she gathered herself to duly win the event in 13.88, ahead of Telecia Briscoe (Edwin Allen), 14.24, and Jeanine Williams (Immaculate), 14.88.
Dejour Russell obliged in the Class Two boys 110m hurdles final with a 13.78 seconds win ahead of JC's Jordan Roberts, 13.96
There was a mighty battle between defending champion and former record holder Rochelle Frazer of Edwin Allen and St Andrew Technical's Ayesha Champagnie, who threw 14.27m, shortly after Frazer broke her own mark (13.70m) with a 14.01m effort. Edwin Allen's Janell Fullerton was third with 13.50m.
Joanne Reid (St Jago), 24.21, and Kevona Davis (Edwin Allen), 24.23, both bettered the old Class Four girls 200m record (24.28), as Shakeira Bowra (St Catherine), 25.23 took third.
Lushane Wilson (St Jago) also got himself in the record book, equalling the Class Two boys high jump record mark after clearing 2.10m to win ahead of Cornwall's Kobe-Jordan Rhooms, 2.00m, and KC's Tavar Slowley, 1.90m.
Shiann Salmon (Hydel), 1.73m is the Class Two girls high jump champion with Alpha's Gabriel Foster, 1.70m and St Jago's Tissanna Hickling 1.70m taking the other top spots.
O'Hara and his 4x100m team put the exclamation mark on their win, with a blistering 39.08 record run to leave Jamaica College, 39.79, and St George's, 40.43 looking at their heels. Calabar were also in record breaking mood in the final event of the night, the 4x400 metres open, clocking 3:06.76 to go under the 3:08.31 set by St Jago last year. KC were second in 3:08.40 and St Jago, third in 3:10.10.