Immaculate sets ambitious Champs target
Immaculate Conception High School's track and field coach Floyd Quarrie said that this may be the year the school finishes with its highest-ever medal haul at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships.
The Constant Spring Road- based school has sent its largest contingent of athletes since Quarrie's arrival in 2012, with 29 active competitors and five reserves, and the coach is positive about his objective, because of the school's showing in the recent Corporate Area Championships.
"This is the best season we've had," he said. "Coming out of the Corporate Area Champs and scoring over 200 points, beating last year's tally by almost 50 points and winning a lot of medals, we did very well. In the past, we've normally had like two or three girls that carry points. Now, we have a larger contingent of girls who actually have the potential to podium in their final year at Champs. It's a very promising team this year."
Quarrie said that the aim is to finish with five or six medals and have as many athletes getting into finals as possible.
MEDALS MEAN A LOT
He likened the team to St George's College's, which he competed for at Champs as a sprinter in the early 2000s. This is because both schools do not have a very big reputation in track and field, which, to him, means that just gaining a medal means more to both institutions.
"Medalling at Champs doesn't come easy because there's a lot of talent out there," he said. "So when someone does well at Champs, it becomes like a staple for the school. Back at George's, you had the legacy of Tesfa Latty and Kevin Stewart that reigned through. It's always big shoes to fill. For Immaculate, you have the likes of (Diane) Dietrich, Danielle Jeffery, and Kimberley Laing."
Quarrie is also confident because of the growing pool of athletes coming through the school yearly.
"We've only had two girls leave after last year," he shared. "We've always stressed on building from the bottom up and trying to fill out the classes. Now we have a Class One relay team and this is the first we've had that since I've been here. Next year is going to be even better because we have the Class Four stepping into Class Three and it's a lot of in-house competitiveness because it fosters growth of talent. It's pretty encouraging looking forward to that."
Immaculate finished eighth at Champs last year, with 40 points.