Windward Road, John Mills in dead heat at Jr High Champs
At the end of day, two of the INSPORTS Junior High school track and field championship, defending champions Windward Road and former winners and main challenger John Mills are deadlocked on 200.50 points after 26 finals, of which 21 were contested yesterday.
However, the day was not without controversy, as the reinstatement of Windward Road's 200m participant, Maliek Bromfield, in the boys' class one final, after the athlete fell in the preliminary round as a result of poor track condition, presented a bone of contention between meets organisers and coaches.
Strong protests from Constant Spring's Nardia Hanson and John Mills' Ransford Spalding to meet director Anthony Gibbs forced a meeting between the affected parties. After a brief discussion, Windward Road's coach Oral Whilby decided to pull his athlete in the best interest of the event.
POOR TRACK CONDITIONS
According to Spalding and Hanson, many athletes have been affected by the poor running track, so reinstating one and not the others showed favouritism.
After the coaches refused the time final, the organisers wanted to push the race back to today, but Hanson and company would have none of it. As a result, the race was run as the last event of the day.
One official explained that some coaches did not know the rules and didn't protest when their athlete fell, but she noted that Windward Road appealed and got a reprieve.
Windward Road's Coach Whilby said that in the best interest of the meet, he chose to withdraw his athlete. "It is a simple situation that was blown out of proportion, so I withdrew my athlete. But that cannot prevent us from taking the championship," he insisted.
John Mills' Nemy Cockett was the day's top performer, winning the shot put open with a record throw of 13.54m and the class one long jump in 1.70m. Windward Road lead the female section with 104 points and John Mills, the male category, with 124.50 points.