Isaac-Henry Invitational an avenue for lifting STATHS
Homegrown talent Ayesha Champaigne, who stood out at the inaugural SW Isaac-Henry Track and Field Invitational last year and went on to win a heptathlon gold medal at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Championships, is St Andrew Technical High School's (STATHS) reference point for attaining track and field excellence at both events this year.
Champaigne has moved on to scholarship overseas, but STATHS' current female team captain, Ophelia Hales, believes her charges will do well at their meet, while eyeing herself as a "girls long jump finalist and at least two boys medallists at Champs".
The SW Isaac-Henry Invitational, named after former STATHS Principal Stafford Wycliffe Isaac-Henry, has been approved as an ISSA Boys and Girls' Championships qualifier.
It will get under way on Saturday February 20 inside the National Stadium and will cost spectators $300 to enter.
The event was launched at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston yesterday where Ed Barnes was the chairman and STATHS' current principal, Phillip Wilson, and other members of the school's committee and sponsors spoke.
PRESERVING A LEGACY
"Our journey commences with the primary objective being the innovation and preservation of the legacy of our beloved SW Isaac-Henry," said chairman of the SW Isaac-Henry Track and Field Invitational, Barrington Johnson.
He added: "Our secondary objectives include enhanced visibility and prestige of STATHS... energising the track team and our track and field programme and definitely a platform to galvanise our alumni base."
Johnson stressed: "One special to me is to unearth the newest standout track personalities. Last year, our own Ayesha Champaigne was one such standout at our meet and she went on to become Champs' top girl, so for this year we are on a similar mission."
New events added this year, in collaboration with the JAAA, include pole vault, in an attempt to enhance non-traditional events, plus the 200m for girls and boys in classes three and four.
The event will have professional timing courtesy of Old Boy Leroy Cooke, who is employed to Western Union, one of the meet's sponsors.
Participants can register at swisaachentrytrackmeet.com and click on ENTRY FORM. The costs are Co-ed $11,000 (boys team), $7,000 (girls team) and $500 for unattached individuals.
At the event, STATHS will honour former Olympian Michael Davis, who represented the country in Moscow in 1984.