Coaches happy as Edwin Allen, St Jago win Digicel Grand Prix Championship
Edwin Allen High School's girls and St Jago High School's boys were the big winners, taking the champion school titles at the 2016 Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship, which came to an end at the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport on Saturday.
Edwin Allen retained the girls title they won in 2015, finishing with 215 points, well ahead of Holmwood Technical on 153, while St Jago's boys tallied 234 points to finish ahead of Calabar, with 164.
Michael Dyke, head coach of Edwin Allen's girls team, credited retaining the title with proper planning.
"Based on our experience with the Grand Prix after winning last year, we were able to properly distribute our athletes across the events and the meets. I must also say that I'm very happy we won as this victory will help us to continue to enhance the track and field programme at Edwin Allen."
Gary Walsh, coach of the St Jago boys' team, is happy with the boost that the school's track and field team will get courtesy of their outstanding performance.
"Winning the Digicel Grand Prix is a big boost to our confidence, especially for the athletes who will be performing at the Championships in another two weeks. But more important, the money that we've won is going to go a far way in helping us to prepare ourselves, get additional equipment for our gym, and so on," said Walsh.
"The St Jago team really came out and performed at the highest levels and they certainly deserve this win. I'm very proud of them," he added.
Five records were established at the Grand Prix final, which was staged during the G.C. Foster Classics.
Sanique Walker of Vere Technical clocked 55.17 seconds to win the girls Under-17 400m, lowering the previous best of 55.77.
Edwin Allen's Shannon Kalawan set a new meet record, 53.19 seconds, in the Under-20 girls 400m, lowering the previous record held by Sashene Gayle.
Excelsior High's Shanice Love continued her march through the girls Under-20 discus, throwing 50.39m to win the event and improving the old mark, 45.16m, thrown by Shadae Lawrence of Hydel High last year.
Fiona Richards, who was second, also improved on the record, with a distance of 45.36m.
Kimone Reid of Edwin Allen High threw a new record, 38.08 metres to win the girls Under-17 discus, bettering the previous distance of 34.59m set by Vere's Avery Pryce last year.
Shevan Parks of Bellefield High clocked a record in the boys' Under-20 800m, coming in at 1:52.73, lowering the previous mark of 1:55.89 held by Kingston College's Chad Miller.
Basilia Haughton of Rusea's jumped a junior record 5.03m to finish fifth in the girls Under-20 long jump, which was won by Telecia Briscoe of Edwin Allen, with a leap of 5.72m.
Damar Marshall of St Jago also cleared a junior record 1.85m to finish second in the boys' Under-17 high jump, as the winner, Andrew Betton of Calabar High, registered a similar height.
Meanwhile, Xavior Angus of Calabar High and Patrice Moody of Edwin Allen claimed the blue riband Under-20 boys and girls' 100m titles, respectively.
Angus was in superb form, outclassing his teammate Fabian Hewitt to win in 10.79 seconds. Hewitt ran 11 seconds flat.
Moody was smooth as she claimed the girls' equivalent in 12.17 seconds ahead of Camperdown High's Rushelle Burton in 12.38.
Kimone Shaw of St Jago continued her sprint dominance, taking the Under-17 girls 100m in a time of 12.33 seconds ahead of Sashieka Steele of Holmwood Technical in 12.55.
The Under-17 boys 100m was won by Calabar's Tyreke Wilson in 11.34, with Malik Shepherd of Wolmer's Boys' second in 11.71 seconds.
Nigel Ellis of St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) showed his class over the short sprints. Having claimed the Under-20 boys' 100m title in 2015, he went on to win the boys' Under-20 200m this year in a time of 21.37 ahead of his teammate Hujaye Cornwall, 21.75.
Kevona Davis of Edwin Allen was a winner in the Under-17 girls 200m, posting 24.63 seconds ahead of Dazsay Freeman of Manchester in 24.88.
Anthony Cox of St Jago won the boys' equivalent in 23.00 ahead of Excelsior's Craig Campbell in 23.01 seconds.
Ashley Williams of Holmwood Technical secured the Under-20 girls 200m ahead of Kimone Hinds of Green Island in times of 24.43 and 24.54.
Calabar High School's 16-year-old sensation Christopher Taylor was at his sparkling best, clocking an astounding 45.87 seconds to blow away the field in the Under-17 boys 400m. Javed Black of St Jago was well behind in 49.08 seconds.
Collin Sewell of St Jago won the Under-20 boys' 400m in 47.88, followed by Leonardo Ledgister of STETHS in 48.05 seconds.
Junelle Bromfield of STETHS could not be stopped in the Under-20 girls 800m, comfortable enough to look behind at the rest of the field as she blew through the line in 2:09.95 ahead of Holmwood Technical's Chrissani May in 2:14.25.
BOYS' AND GIRLS' 800M
Camone Donald of Edwin Allen clocked 2:10.63 to win the Under-17 girls 800m, ahead of Britney Campbell of Holmwood in a time of 2:15.60, while Keenan Lawrence of St Jago won the boys' equivalent in 1:56.66, with Rhodes Hall High's Rovane Williams almost a full second behind in 1:57.65.
Annia Ashley of Edwin Allen won the Under-17 girls long jump with 5.95m, finishing ahead of Holmwood's Susan Francis, 5.70m.
In the final events of the night, STETHS, with Bromfield on anchor, came from behind to win the girls 4x400m in 3:39.26 ahead of St Jago, 3:40.70.
In the boys' event, St Jago won an exciting race, as St George's College (STGC) led for the first three legs before St Jago stormed through on the final leg to win in 3:13.72. Holmwood Technical ended second in 3:14.59, with STGC fifth in 3:17.52.