Corinaldi hold off Black River to win crown
Catherine Hall Primary School's 4x400m relay team added the exclamation mark to the eighth staging of the JPS Western Primary Schools Athletics Championships, but it was the super-dominant Corinaldi Avenue Primary that took home the top prize, compiling 217 points at the Montego Bay Sports Complex on Saturday.
Nine records were established, including two from first-time entrants, Black River Primary.
Black River earlier put the scare on Corinaldi's chances with several awesome performances of their own, finishing 17 points back in second place. The Davian Elliott-coached St Elizabeth-based school ended the championship with 200 points.
Dethroned back-to-back champions Howard Cooke Primary were third overall with 163 points, while Barracks Road ended fourth on 143, with former winners Wakefield rounding out the top five with 117.
Howard Cooke's star athlete Shanequa Vassell took home three gold medals, including the double in the 100m, where she clocked 13.04 and 26.65 seconds in the 200m.
Vassell and teammates Brianna Minto, Tonya-Lee Guinland and Bryanna Johnson carried Howard Cooke to the Class One 4x100m relay gold in 54.02 seconds, with Barracks Road running second in a time of 54.77 seconds. Corinaldi were third in 55.93.
Vassell was clearly the outstanding athlete in Class One, but in Class Two, that honour belonged to Carleta Bernard, also of Howard Cooke.
Bernard starred in striking gold in the girls' Class Two 100m, in a record 13.06 seconds, erasing her own record of 13.16 seconds, which she established in the preliminary round. The previous mark of 13.13 was set in 2013 by Akelia Hylton.
Corinaldi's Aaliyah Foster took silver in 13.97 seconds, with the bronze going to Sanayah Daley of Clark's Town Primary.
Black River's Alicke Cranston was brutal in the boys' Class One long jump event, breaking the record twice. Cranston jumped 5.12 metres, a record in the final, for gold.
"I knew I would break the record. I felt that I could win and I thank God I did. I feel very proud of myself and my school," said Cranston.
His teammate, Bouwahjgie Nkrumie, was also relentless on the record books in a dominant display of fine sprinting to win the boys' Class One 100m final. His 12.44 seconds destroyed the old mark of 12.46 set last year by Rouel Spence. Nkrumie's win secured some well-earned points for his school, which pulled them almost to the top of the heap in their first time participating.
Event organiser Albert Ferguson hailed the meet as a resounding success. He said it was the best for many years and also praised sponsors JPS for their resolute backing of the still-fledgling event.
"At this point, I am very elated with the outcome. Congratulations to the overall winners, the schools and all the participants. The day's events proved what talent we have at our disposal in western Jamaica and we look forward to next year when certainly it will be even more successful," Ferguson said.