Calabar and Edwin again
Calabar High defied the pre-meet odds last night while Edwin Allen High's girls posted an expected victory as an exciting and sometimes tension-filled ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Championships ended inside the National Stadium.
Edwin Allen clinched the girls' title in late afternoon, but the boys' race went down to the final event.
Going into the 4x400 metres, Kingston College, the pre-meet favourites, led by four points - 309-305. Calabar, as expected, swept to victory with ace 400 metres sprinter Christopher Taylor on anchor. KC needed to be in at least third to win the title. They ended in fifth.
The National Stadium was turned into a sea of green and black as Calabar finished on 317 points, three ahead of KC, to cop their sixth straight title and 27th title overall. It also extended what was already their longest streak in control of the Mortimer Geddes crown.
The top two were followed by Jamaica College (203), St Jago (157), St Elizabeth Technical (114.50) and Wolmer's (82).
Edwin Allen retained their girls' title after comfortably scoring 304.5 points. Hydel finished second with 255, followed by St Jago (246), Holmwood (238), Vere (117.5), Excelsior (113), Wolmer's (54) and Immaculate (40).
Calabar's Christopher Taylor was one of the star performers of the meet as he captured the boys Class One 200m, 400m, as well as helping his team to gold in the 4x100m and 4x400m relay events.
Taylor ran his heart out to win the Class One boys 400m as he beat teammate Anthony Carpenter in 46.45 seconds.
Carpenter, who was fifth in the event last year, clocked 46.53, while Kingston College's Dawshawn Morris was third in 47.18.
The 17-year-old Taylor then returned to capture the Class One 200m in a respectable 20.70. Excelsior's Andel Miller was second in 20.90, while Taylor's teammate, Tyreke Wilson, was third in 21.03.
Calabar's Kimar Farquharson added the Class Two boys 800m title to his 1,500m bronze after a stunning final 100m to edge Kingston College's Tarees Rhoden on the line in a time of 1:52.49. Rhoden posted 1:52.53, while Munro's Rushane Fullerton was third in 1:53.31.
KC's Ugandan athlete Aryamanya Rodgers won the 5000m Open in 15:07.58. Rodgers' teammate, Shane Buchanan, the steeplechase champion, was second in 15:20.94, while third went to St Elizabeth Technical's Shemar Salmon in 15:21.56.
Meanwhile, Cemore Donald was a double winner, adding the Class Two girls 800m title to the 1,500m title she won on Friday. The Edwin Allen athlete posted 2:08.01 to win ahead of Petersfield's Shaquena Foote, 2:09.39, and Hydel's Charokee Young, 2:17.28.
Earlier, Excelsior High School's Ackera Nugent's frustration was palpable as she was beaten in the Class Three girls 80m hurdles by a fast-finishing Crystal Morrison of St Jago.
Rayon Butler pulled off a coup on his St Elizabeth Technical High School teammate, Jauavney James, in a tight finish to win the Class One boys 800m final.
The highly favoured James showed it was all love, hugging his teammate after the race, which Butler won in 1:50.24 to James' 1:50.27. Leon Clarke of St Jago was third in 1:51.11.
Chrissani May of Holmwood stamped her class on the girls Class One 800m with a 2:11.17 win ahead of Edwin Allen's Asshani Robb in 2:11.26.
Edwin Allen's Gabrielle McDonald shattered her Class One 100m hurdles record on her way to winning the final in 13.12.
McDonald, a former Holmwood student, erased her mark of 13.52, which she set in the heats. Wolmer's Janeek Brown was second in 13.16 ahead of Nicolee Foster, who finished third in 13.40.
Calabar's De'Jour Russell turned in a scintillating performance to win the Class One boys 110m hurdles in a new meet record of 13.21.
Russell, who was suffering from a hamstring injury entering the championships, eclipsed the previous mark of 13.24, which was held by KC's Omar McLeod.
Russell's teammate, Orlando Bennett, was second in 13.52, while third went to JC's Oquendo Bernard in 13.53.
St Jago's Jahvel Granville won the boys Class Three 100m hurldles in a new meet record 12.90. Granville's time erased the previous mark of 13.10, which was set by Kamali Simpson.
KC's pair of Timothy Lee (13.17) and Tajae Francis (13.33) was second and third, respectively.
St Jago's Kimara Francis delivered an upset to defending champion Sanique Walker of Vere Technical, coming from behind to win the Class Two girls 400m.
Francis posed 54.11 to Walker's 54.19 with St Catherine's Anna-Kay Allen in third in 55.06.
Petersfield's Kevin Nedrick won the Class One shot put in a new meet record of 20.65m. Nedrick's throw erases the previous mark of 19.52m, which was held by Demar Gayle of Edwin Allen.
Calabar's Kyle Mitchell was second in the event with a throw of 17.64m, while KC's Zico Campbell was third with a mark of 17.52m.