Edwin Allen keen to dominate Central Champs
THE 2016 track and field season will hit another high gear today as the two-day Digicel Grand Prix Central Championships will take place at G.C. Foster College, starting at 9:30 a.m., with the preliminary round of the girls' 400 metres, starting with Class Two. Today, there will be 15 field events finals, along with eight on the track.
A prelude to next month's GraceKennedy ISSA Boys and Girls' Championships, this event will definitely give some clue about who will win the girls' section as the top five teams at the national championships last year, headed by defending champions Edwin Allen High, will be on show with Hydel High, St Jago High, Holmwood Technical, and Vere Technical being the leading teams, along with the much-improved Manchester High and its new coaching staff, led by technical director Jerry Holness and Dwayne Jarrett.
A year ago when the meet was held at Kirkvine Sports Club due to the unavailability of G.C. Foster College Edwin Allen won the championships quite easily and went on to win the national title, also quite easily.
Head coach Michael Dyke is very confident of dominating once again and is taking this meet seriously as there is also a cash prize of $250,000 from Digicel for the overall winning team. Additionally, the top two finishers in the individual Grand Prix events in the Under-18 and Under-20 categories will advance to Saturday's Grand final, the G.C. Foster Classics at the same venue, where the top male and female schools will each get $1 million in gym equipment.
There is also a Grace Most Improved School Award for each of the Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship meets, which sees the respective male and female high-school winners each receiving $125,000.
"We want to continue our winning ways this season and we are hoping to be well represented in all events as we want to keep this momentum going into Champs, and we will not be dropping our guard," said Dyke.
St Jago High were absent last year and after a dominant performance at the Camperdown Classics at the National Stadium last Saturday - where Edwin Allen, Hydel and Holmwood were absent - they will want to prove that their performances were no fluke.
Last year, they were touted to unseat Edwin Allen at Champs, but placed third behind an improved Hydel and will want to prove that they have the ammunition to go all the way this time.
Since their introduction to these Championships, St Jago's boys have dominated and the Danny Hawthorne-coached team, who were absent last year, are favourites for a massive win.
Defending champions Manchester High will have their hands full in containing the former champions.
It has been an excellent season so far for St Jago boys, especially in the middle-distance events where they are led by the outstanding Lerone Clarke, Keenon Lawrence and Joel Jean Pierre.
Field Events Finals
- 9:30 a.m.: Triple Jump Class 11 Boys
Discus - Class 1 Girls
- 10:30 a.m.: Long jump - Class 3 Girls
Discus - Class 1 Boys
- 11 a.m.: High jump- Class 2 Boys
- 11:30 a.m.: Long jump - Class 3 Boys
Shot Put - Class 2 Boys
- 2 p.m.: Triple jump - Open Girls
High jump - Class 1 Boys
Shot put - Class 2 Boys
- 3:15 p.m.: Long Jump - Class 4 Girls
High jump - Class 2 Girls
- 4:30 p.m.: Long jump - Class 1 Boys
Discus - Class 2 Girls
- 3:10 p.m.: 400m Hurdles Girls - Timed Finals
- 3:25 p.m.: 400m Hurdles Boys - Timed Finals
- 3:40 p.m.: 1500m Girls- Timed Finals - Class 3, 2,
- 4:10 p.m.: 1500m Boys - Timed Finals - Class 3,2,1