Top track teams to score psychological points at Youngster Goldsmith
THIS year’s staging of the Youngster Goldsmith Track and Field Meet, dubbed the ‘Classics Before Champs’, takes the spotlight on Saturday at the National Stadium. It will be a crucial meet for teams gunning for top honours at this year’s ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships as both titles could be decided in hurdles and field events.
The Youngster Goldsmith is the only meet, leading up to Boys and Girls’ Championships, that will have a preliminary round and finals in all sprint hurdles.
The eight fastest qualifers from the heats will move on to the finals, and results in these events will give strong signals as to which schools are strongest in this area.
All four top female teams –Edwin Allen High, Holmwood Technical, St Jago High, and Hydel High – have been showing a lot of depth so far this season. At the Purewater/JC/Danny Williams meet, it was the Michael Dyke-coached Edwin Allen who dominated, with good performances in the sprint hurdles from the Keilando Goburn-coached St Jago, while it was a more reserved effort from Holmwood and Hydel.
Since the Jamaica College meet, the other title contenders have stepped up well and have shown that they have the quality to go all the way.
At Kirkvine’s JAAA/Puma meet, it was Holmwood who showed the best form, while Hydel did well at Calabar High’s Wint/McKenley and Douglas Forrest meets.
St Jago also did well at the Douglas Forrest and Queen’s Grace Jackson meets, while Edwin Allen, Holmwood, and Hydel showed good form at the STETHS Invitational. Hosts Kingston College will be hoping to send a strong message to their title rivals, especially defending champions Calabar, that they are back on track. Their confidence has been high since they broke a long 32-year football drought late last year to lift the Manning Cup title. With their powerful Class One team, Calabar have shown that on the track, they could be unchallenged once again in the upper class, but they could be found wanting in the lower classes where Kingston College and Jamaica College have real depth. Kingston College’s strength will definitely be in the field and in the hurdles. So far this season, they have been the most impressive team in both areas.
Jamaica College have shown depth in middle- and long-distance events and also in the jumps, and with former Kingston College head coach Neil Harrison at the helm there, this could be added motivation for the Old Hope Road-based school to do very well. After Saturday’s meet, track and field fans will get a clearer picture of the teams at this stage.
Even before Saturday’s meet, Edwin Allen look to have the edge on the girls’ side while Calabar lead among the boys but both by very slim margins.