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22 schools confirmed for 2010 Eastern Champs

Published:Wednesday | February 10, 2010 | 2:00 AM

Anthony Foster, Gleaner Writer

Twenty-two schools have confirmed for next week's staging of the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS)/Jamaica Public Service (JPS)-sponsored Eastern Athletics Championships.

High schools from the parishes of St Thomas, Portland, St Mary, St Catherine and St. Andrew, will compete in 80 events over Monday, February 15 and Tuesday, February 16 at the National Stadium.

Carron Hall High will be returning after a one-year absence but the schools expected to set the National Stadium alight are defending champions Oberlin, last year's runners-up Glengoffe, Morant Bay, Buff Bay and Yallahs.

Speaking at a press briefing held yesterday at the Terra Nova Hotel in St Andrew, Lt. Col. Errol V. Johnson, president of the Eastern Secondary Schools Sports Association (ESSA), said the energy among the schools will be high.

"Spectators can look forward to exciting performances from the students, many of whom are coming prepared to break records and take the top awards back to their respective schools," Lt Col Johnson said.

Participants

Annotto Bay, Brimmer Vale, Fair Prospect, Happy Grove, Islington, Marymount, Paul Bogle, Port Antonio, Robert Lightbourne, Seaforth, St Mary's College, St Mary Technical, St Mary High, Tacky, St Thomas Technical, Titchfield and Yallahs are the other schools down to participate.

This year, the technical staff headed by meet director Garth Gayle has decided to drop the preliminary rounds of the 1500m events. The 1500m will now run as a time-final.

"I think for a two-day cham-pionship we were asking a lot of the athletes, so the decision was made that the 1500m would be a time-final, because it's likely the girls would be back for the 3000m and the boys for the 5000m. These are two gruelling events and we are working with the IAAF standard for rest for athletes and the committee made this wise decision," Gayle said.