John Mills take charge
Ryon Jones, Gleaner Writer
John Mills Primary and Junior High look set to claim their 16th straight title after ending day one of the 31st staging of the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) All-Age and Junior High Athletics Championship with a huge lead.
Five finals were contested with John Mills winning four to lead the overall standings with 68 points. They are followed by Windward Road (35), Calabar Junior High (20.5), Lowe River (10.5), Shortwood Practising (6), Central Branch All-Age (6), New Day (6), Cockburn Gardens (6), Green Park (6), Mico Practising (3), Highgate (3), Rock Hall (2) and Red Hills (2).
Windward Road's Shanice Marshall (1.55 metres) won the Class-One girls' high jump, overcoming strong competition from arch-rivals Christina Geddes (1.50m) and Shanice Chambers (1.50m) of defending champions John Mills, who finished second and third, respectively.
John Mills' Oraine Brown took the Class-Three boys' long jump comfortably, as he leapt 5.24 metres. Calabar's Rajeer Thomas was .28m adrift in second, while Jevaughn Lugg of Cockburn Gardens took third with an identical distance to Thomas, 4.96m. Thomas, however, had a better overall jumping average.
John Mills were back in the winners' column in a big way in the Class-Two girls' high jump, with Rene Medley setting a new meet record of 1.61m to eclipse the previous mark of 1.60m, which was set by Nadelya Stephenson back in 2000. Lisa Backwood (1.55m) and Chantelle Downer (1.40m), both of Windward Road Primary, placed second and third, respectively.
Thirteen-year-old Medley was very pleased with her performance.
"I feel proud because I just went out there and did my best," said Medley. "I will now work towards next Champs so I can set a new record, I want to go 1.65m or over."
Tamoy Williams and Tanika Williams earned John Mills 16 points as they took first and second in the Class-Three girls' long jump with distances of 4.51m and 4.47m, respectively. Dana Roberts of Green Park Junior High leapt to third with 4.41m.
The day's other final, the girls' shot put open, was won by John Mills' Althea Russell (9.38m). Abigayle Buckle of Lowe River Primary with Melissa Haughton (7.68m) of Shortwood Practising were second and third, respectively.
John Mills coach, Ransford Spaulding, said: "I am very comfortable because if you compare today's lead with the last three years, we are ahead. I am not going to declare a win yet as we still have some keen competition, but this year is looking much better than all the years. We are looking at a lot of quinelas in the sprints."