Thu | Oct 19, 2017

All eyes on Calabar's Taylor

Published:Thursday | February 11, 2016 | 12:00 AMRaymond Graham
Calabar High School's Christopher Taylor.

ATHLETES from the Corporate Area will be hoping to cement their spots for the finals of the Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship later this month, when they compete in the Digicel/Anthrick Corporate Area Development Meet at the Usain Bolt/UWI Stadium today, starting at 10 a.m.

There will be seven Grand Prix finals. These are the boys' Class Two discus, boys' classes One and Two long jump, girls' classes One and Two high jump, and the boys' and girls' Open 4x400 metres. The other Grand Prix events are Class One boys' discus final, classes One and Two boys' high jump finals, boys' 800 metres, girls' discus, girls' long jump, girls' 800 metres, girls' discus, along with the 200 and 400 metres.

Today's meet will be the penultimate one for athletes in the Corporate Area to book their individual spots for the grand final, which will culminate next Saturday with the G.C. Foster Classics.

They will get their final opportunity on Saturday at the Digicel Camperdown Classics inside the National Stadium.

Beside seeking top spot in the Grand Prix events, athletes will be hoping to help their schools gain valuable points, as the top teams overall in the male and female categories will walk away with a cash prize of $250,000, and the top two individuals will carry points towards the finals.

BATTLE ROYAL

The top-three boys' teams at last year's ISSA Boys and Girls' Championships - defending champions Calabar High, Kingston College (KC) and Jamaica College (JC) - are expected to have another battle royal, while it should also be close among the females, as Corporate Area champions for the past eight years, Wolmer's Girls, will be severely tested by the likes of a vastly improved Excelsior High, Camperdown High, St Andrew High, Immaculate Conception High, and Convent of Mercy Academy 'Alpha', which have all been in terrific form this season.

Again, all eyes will be on Calabar High's Christopher Taylor, who is the leader in the boys' Under-18 400 metres Grand Prix event. Taylor, despite just going through the motions last Saturday at the Youngster Goldsmith Meet, was still able to clock 47.18 seconds. His teammate, Brandon Heath, who was second overall with 49.66 seconds, will be hoping to maintain that position. Jamaica College's Romario Mickel and Excelsior High's Mikel Clarke will also be looking to make an impact.

Calabar are also ahead in the Grand Prix Class Two 100 metres, where the outstanding Dejour Russell is the leader in the Under-18 category after winning the event last Saturday in 10.89 seconds. His teammate, Tyreke Wilson, was also under 11 seconds on the day, after finishing second in 10.97. Wolmer's Boys' Malik Shepard, who was third in 11.05, and his teammate, Xavier Nairne, who was fourth in 11.07, are also seeking spots among the top two.

KC'S JHEVAUGHN MATHERSON

Kingston College's Jhevaughn Matherson, who won his heat in 10.69 seconds in Class One, will be hoping for a faster time today to move ahead of Calabar High's Xavier Angus, who was first overall with 10.66.

Among the females, Alpha's Kiara Grant was the fastest Class Three athlete in the 100 metres among Corporate Area athletes last Saturday, winning in 11.74 seconds to lead the Under-17 section. Wolmer's Girls' Kellian Kelly is second overall, after finishing fourth overall in Class Two in 12.05 seconds.