Stage set for competitive Boys and Girls' Champs
THE ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Championships is slated for the latter part of March and the stage has already been set for perhaps the most competitive meet for years.
Defending champions Calabar High and Edwin Allen High will not, unlike last year, have things their own way. Kingston College and Jamaica College among the boys and the girls from Holmwood Technical, St Jago High and Hydel High will ensure both contests will be different.
After two weekends of action at the various development meets there are several pointers that the remaining weeks leading up the championships will be very interesting.
The three meets this weekend - Central Hurdles and Relays at GC Foster College, Wint/McKenley Classic at Calabar High and Big Shot meet for throwers at Excelsior High - will give a clearer picture as all the top athletes will be in action.
At GC Foster College defending champions Edwin Allen will lock horns with Holmwood and St. Jago while the improved Excelsior high will also be in attendance. The Michael Dyke-coached Edwin Allen dominated at the year's opening meet at Jamaica College. Led by their outstanding Class Three athlete, Tia Clayton, with a speedy 11.63 seconds in the 100 metres and good performances all-round, Edwin Allen looked ready to successfully defend their title.
Since then Holmwood have also shown good all-round strength.
Coach Dave Anderson predicted that there would be good performances from his team ahead of the JAAA Puma Kirkvine meet and they delivered. The Christiana-based school was dominant in all classes as they only failed to win three events on the day.
There is also a lot of quality among St Jago's girls. They dominated the sprint hurdles events at Jamaica College while showing great improvement in their middle distance programme.
KC A LIVE THREAT
Among the boys, champions Calabar are expected to dominate their home meet as Kingston College and Jamaica College will travel to Spanish Town. Calabar have retained some of their leading athletes including 400m ace Christopher Taylor and top hurdler De'Jour Russell in Class One but they have weakened by the departure of sprinters Tyreke Wilson and Anthony Carpenter and hurdlers Orlando Bennett and Malik James King.
After knocking at the door for the past four seasons a rejuvenated Kingston College are aiming to break the Calabar dominance. At the recent Charlie Fuller field events meet they showed that they will be very strong in this area with IAAF World Under-20 long jump bronze medallist Wayne Pinnock leading the charge.