All set for hot Gibson/McCook Relays
ALL IS set for today's 40th staging of the Gibson/McCook Relays, which will take place inside the National Stadium at 9:00 a.m.
Things will get started with the heats of the high-school boys' 4x400m relays, with the final set to bring down the curtains on the event.
A bumper crowd is expected as usual, with action set to feature competition among primary, prep, junior high, high schools and clubs and institutions, as they all prepare for their upcoming championships.
Chairman of the Organising Committee, Professor Rainford Wilks, is very optimistic about today's staging despite earlier concerns about the possible impact of the general election, which were held on Thursday.
"Plans have gone on well. We have been affected by the general election, mainly resulting in the cancellation of the Howard Aris Memorial Lecture," Wilks shared.
Multiple Olympic and World Championships medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was scheduled to speak, but could not facilitate the alternate date.
"We regret that and hope to hear from her in the future," said Wilks.
He pointed to a fallout in sponsorship, but was very pleased with the level of entries received for the meet.
"Entries are at the robust levels. Our plans to welcome a US College team for the first time after many years have fallen through," he said.
Despite this, he expects the usual quality performances.
"The quality will be excellent, as seen from the development meets since January. We are very happy with preparations, and patrons can expect a high quality, efficiently run meet in a safe, fun-filled environment," he added.
As usual, a lot of attention will surround the high-school competition as teams will be using the opportunity to fine-tune ahead of Champs.
Defending girls champion Edwin Allen, after five victories a year ago will be hoping for another dominant performance at the Gibson/McCook Relays.
Following performances so far this season they look well set to win the Class 2, 3 and 4 4x100m relays along with the 4x200m and 4x800m event.
After two sub-45 seconds runs this season, Holmwood look set to maintain this high standard and should go all the way, while defending champions St Jago will be hoping to spoil their party.
The most outstanding female high school athlete Junelle Bromfield of STETHS will be on show today as she will be hoping to bring her team to their third victory this season in the 4x400m, after brilliant anchor legs at the Milo Western Relays and Digicel Grand Prix finale, where she made up large deficits to guide her team to victories.
CALABAR CLASS TWO BOYS
Among the high school boys, all eyes will be on Calabar's Class 2 4x100m relay team and with Christopher Taylor, in their ranks, they look set to create history by going sub-40 seconds.
Last year's top team, Kingston College, look set to dominate in the lower classes, while St Jago and STETHS should battle it out in a competitive 4x800m relays
With this being an Olympic year, several leading senior athletes will be on show and following their outstanding performances at the Milo Western Relays, the Maurice Wilson-coached G.C. Foster College/Sprintec will be looking to Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby, Sherone Simpson, Gayon Evans and Anastasia Le-roy on the female side. Among the males, Andre Clarke, Colin King, Demar Murray and Rasheed Dwyer should feature prominently.
The University of Technology/MVP team will be coming out much stronger this time around after playing second fiddle to Sprintec/GC Foster in Montego Bay and they are expected to parade the likes of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Carrie Russell, Elaine Thompson and Stephanie McPherson on the female side, while the male side will have the likes of Nesta Carter, Kimarley Brown and Andrew Fisher.