Sat | Jan 20, 2018

We expected this ... St Mary High conquer Eastern Champs again

Published:Wednesday | March 1, 2017 | 12:00 AMShayne Fairman
Romaine Beckford from Buff Bay High clears the bar at 1.94 metres to break the Class One boys’ high jump record during the 2017 Eastern Championships at the UWI-Usain Bolt Stadium yesterday.
Shanequa Morgan (left) from St Mary High beats her chest as she crosses the finish line first in the Class Four girls’ 4x100-metre relay at the Eastern Championships, which was held at the UWI-Usain Bolt Stadium yesterday.

Many-time champions St Mary High put in a gutsy performance, to return as Eastern Championships overall winners, courtesy of a commanding 717.50 points, at the UWI-Usain Bolt Track, yesterday.

The champions scored 290.5 and 427 points on the boys and girls' sides to wrestle away the title last held by bitter rivals Buff Bay High in 2015.

Runner-up Buff Bay High scored 650 points, (287 point - boys, and 363 points to the girls) respectively. Titchfield were third with 324.50 points, Oberlin High finished fourth with 313 and Morant Bay High rounded out the top five with 218 points, respectively.

The hotly contested two-day event climaxed with the St Mary school copping Jamaican $250,000 in the boys and girls' section, while the runner-up and third placed teams pocketed $100,000 and $50,000 respectively.

The champion boy Romaine Beckford (Buff Bay) set a new high jump Class Two boys' record at 1.94 metres.


Shanice Burrell, the champion girl from Titchfield High, set a new mark in the girls Class One 100m hurdles in a time of 14.83 seconds.

There were a total of eight records broken on yesterday's final day of competition.

St Mary High's Class Three star, Soneitta Gilette, won four gold medals in the long jump, 100m, 200m and 4x100m respectively.

Meanwhile, St Mary's coach, Dwayne Williams, was happy with winning his second title since 2010.

"It was a hard-fought victory, but we expected it to some extent, despite injuries to some of our athletes and interruption to our training," Williams said.

Yesterday's event culminated the second meet of the 2017 Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Series.

The series consists of five meets and the top two athletes from each of the Digicel Grand Prix Championship events will advance to the final, the G.C. Foster Classics, which will be held at the National Stadium on March 11.

It will carry a grand prize of $1 million dollars in gym equipment for the top boys and girls' schools; $500,000 for second and $250,000 for third.