Big guns line up for Corporate Area meet
With Calabar expected to finally roll out their big guns this season, action will be at fever-pitch levels for the third meet in the 2017 Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championships, the Anthrick Corporate Area Development Meet. The track and field classic takes place at the UWI-Usain Bolt Track tomorrow, beginning at 9 a.m.
"It promises to be a cracker," said Ricardo 'Ricky' Martin, chairman of the organising committee for the Anthrick meet, which essentially previews the top boys' teams for Champs.
Calabar High, which has won Boys' Champs for the past five years, has not been parading its big stars this season in numbers, but Martin says the attractive prizes on offer in the cash-rich 2017 Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championships are proving insatiable.
"What I've heard from the camps within the Corporate Area - KC, JC, Calabar, Wolmer's, Excelsior, and on the girls side - Immaculate, Queen's, Excelsior High and Camperdown - they're fielding their best teams," he informed.
"It's going to be a cracker. I've seen Calabar's entries and all the big names are there."
That includes Christopher Taylor, the World Youth 400m champion who has been missing in action all season, along with Dejour Russell, last season's Champion Boy, plus many others.
They are expected to compete in any of three Grand Prix events, from 100m to 400m, which will also include their big rival Kingston College's biggest star, 100m and 200m sprinter Jhevaughn Matherson.
The full slate of Grand Prix Championship events are the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 4x400m, long, jump, high jump and discus for Classes One and Two athletes. The top two from each Grand Prix Championship event will qualify for the finals, the G.C. Foster Classics, that will take place at the National Stadium on March 11. However, each athlete can run only one individual event at the finals.
Kingston College has been throwing in some strong performances all round and other big clashes between the schools should come in the Class Two 800m, where KC's Ugandan import, Arymanya Rogers, is expected to be tested by Calabar's Kevroy Venson and Kimar Farquharson, the only man to beat him this season.
Martin, a long-time track and field official, expects a changing of the guard in the girls' competition "On the girls' side, we'll see a new champion. Wolmer's won for the past three years and Excelsior, they're doing very, very well. David Riley (Excelsior's head coach) and his charges, they are doing very well also. Immaculate, with Mr Forde (Franz), is one to watch," he observed.