Calabar, Edwin win Digicel Grand Prix
Calabar and Edwin Allen high schools showed their readiness for next week's ISSA GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Championships by winning the boys and girls categories of the Digicel Grand Prix Finale on Saturday at the National Stadium in an evening that was filled with spectacles and drama.
The boys from Red Hills road amassed 146 points to dethrone St Jago High School, who was a distant second with 74 points. Kingston College rounded off the top three with 54.5 points.
Edwin Allen was also dominant in their victory, outscoring their arch-rivals Holmwood Technical High 144 to 113. Hydel High School with 82.5 points finished third in the girls' category.
Both Calabar and Edwin Allen were presented with $1 million in prize money to go toward the development of their schools' sports programmes.
St Jago and Holmwood walked away with $500,000 each for their second-place finishes, while Hydel and KC were awarded $200,000 for finishing third in their respective categories.
The mile relay provided high drama at the end of the meet as the race was called back after seven of the eight teams completed the first 100m as Shemar Chambers, the starter of Calabar's outstanding quartet, which broke the high school 4x400m relay world record at the Corporate Area Championship, was left in the blocks.
Meet director Maurice Wilson said that Chambers indicated that he could not hear the starter and was not able to get in his set position.
"I wasn't necessarily on the track, but based on what I saw, they called back the race after about 100m, and I think they took too long. But the young man (Chambers) said that he did not hear the gun and he was not in the set position so the starters had a right to call back the race," Wilson said.
Excelsior High School pulled their team out of the race in protest. A member of Excelsior's coaching staff said that Chambers did not react to the gun and the other teams should not have been penalised as a result.
"I was very disappointed that Excelsior did not participate because it is not about the coaches. It is about the youngsters and all of this is part of life," Wilson said.
Calabar went on to win the race in 3:06.42 seconds.