Wolmer's, Holmwood start title defence... Champions will be hard-pressed to retain crown this year
Andre Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Defending champions Wolmer's Boys' School and Holmwood Technical will begin the defence of their respective titles, as the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships begins the run-off to a new century at the National Stadium this morning.
The Championships, now in its 101st year, will have three finals on today's opening day of the four-day championships - the girl's triple jump Open (1:30 p.m) and Class One discus (3:25 p.m.), as well as the Class One boys' long jump (5:20 p.m).
However, the first event, the 100 metres in the boys' decathlon, will get under way at 8:15 a.m. The preliminary rounds of the 200m and 4x100m relays are also down to be contested later today.
After grabbing hold of their 12th boys title last year, Wolmer's will be hard-pressed to repeat their success this time around, with the likes of favourites Calabar High, Jamaica College (JC) and Kingston College (KC) all champing at the bit, well positioned to pull away the Mortimer Geddes Trophy from the cabinet at the Heroes' Circle-based institution.
A good start
The defending champs should, however, get off to a good start today with team captain Romone Bailey, who has jumped 7.61m this season, expected to better his main competitors Lerone Williams (St Elizabeth Technical High School) and Jerome Wilson (KC) in the Class One boys' long jump final.
Before Bailey starts his title quest, Calabar's throwing core will be looking to lay their mark in the Class One boys' discus preliminary round, where their athletes - national junior record holder Traves Smikle and Federick Dacres - the hot favourites to take the top two spots in tomorrow's final.
Edwin Allen, like last year, have been touted as favourites for the girls' title heading into the meet and their strength will be on full display tomorrow.
The Michael Dyke-coached Edwin Allen are also positioned for a positive start to their quest of halting Holmwood's ambitions ofa ninth consecutive crown.
Kimberly Williamson will be looking to finish in a good position for Edwin Allen in the girl's triple jump open final, but the title should be decided between St Jago's Avril McGhee and STETHS' Opal James, who are both coming into the championship in good form, following the recent CARIFTA trials.
Sixteen-year-old James won the Under-17 triple jump with a leap of 12.42m, while McGhee, who is three years older, comes in with a season-best 12.17m - meaning the pair are the only two jumpers to have bettered the 12m mark so far this season.
Shantele Shirley (The Queen's School), who posted a wind-aided 11.83m a few weeks ago, could spoil the status quo, having recorded a season-best 11.71m, also at the CARIFTA trials.
Edwin Allen are expected to do their biggest damage today in the Class One girls' discus final, where Sasha-Gaye Marston and Danniel Thomas are expected to dominate, having both gone over 46 metres this season.
Fayon Gonzales (St Jago) is also expected to figure among the medals, with her teammate Samantha Hall and Devene Brown (St Hugh's High) possible spoilers.
Other preliminary round events down to be contested today are the girls' high jump, the girl's and boys' 2000m steeplechase, girl's and boys' 400m hurdles open, girl's Class Four long jump and the Class Two boys' high jump.
TIME EVENT ROUND
8:15 Decathlon #1 Boys 100 m FINAL
8:30 Boys Discus Throw Class 1 Prelims
8:30 Boys Long Jump Class 1 Prelims
8:30 Girls High Jump Class 3 Prelims
8:35 Girls 800m Class 3 Prelims
9:05 Boys 800m Class 3 Prelims
9:45 Girls 800m Class 2 Prelims
10:10 Boys 800m Class 2 Prelims
10:35 Decathlon # 2 Boys Long Jump FINAL
11:00 Girls 800m Class 1 Prelims
11:15 Boys 800m Class 1 Prelims
12:45 Girls 200m Class 4 Prelims
12:45 Girls Discus Throw Class 3 Prelims
12:45 Girls High Jump Class 2 Prelims
1:20 Girls 200m Class 3 Prelims
1:30 Girls Triple Jump Open FINAL
1:45 Boys 200m Class 3 Prelims
1:50 Decathlon # 3 Boys Shot Put FINAL
2:25 Girls 200m Class 2 Prelims
2:55 Boys 200m Class 2 Prelims
3:00 Boys High Jump Class 3 Prelims
3:25 Girls Discus Throw Class 1 FINAL
3:35 Girls 200m Class 1 Prelims
3:45 Girls Long Jump Class 4 Prelims
3:55 Boys 200m Class 1 Prelims
4:40 Girls 400m Hurdles Open Prelims
4:55 Boys 400m Hurdles Open Prelims
5:20 Boys Long Jump Class 1 FINAL
5:25 Girls 4X100m Relay Class 4 Prelims
5:30 Decathlon #4 Boys High Jump FINAL
5:55 Girls 4X100m Relay Class 3 Prelims
6:30 Boys 4X100m Relay Class 3 Prelims
7:15 Girls 4X100m Relay Class 2 Prelims
7:45 Boys 4x100m Relay Class 2 Prelims
8:20 Girls 4X100m Relay Class 1 Prelims
8:40 Boys 4X100m Relay Class 1 Prelims
9:10 Decathlon #5 Boys 400 m FINAL
9:25 Girls 2000m Steeple Chase Open Prelims
9:40 Boys 2000m Steeple Chase Open Prelims