Ryon Jones, Gleaner Writer
Holmwood Technical's maroon clad army from Christiana, Manchester yesterday marched away with their ninth consecutive Inter-Secondary School Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Girls' Championships title after thwarting the strong challenge of bridesmaids Edwin Allen.
In the title race, which went down to the wire, Holmwood Technical amassed a total of 326 points, a mere six ahead of second place Edwin Allen on 320. The top six was rounded off by St Jago High (211.50), Vere Technical (186), Wolmer's Girls (122) and Manchester High (72).
Holmwood's Chris-Ann Gordon was one of the stars for her school as she accounted for the record in the Class Two 400 metres. She romped to victory in 51.62 seconds, to better the mark of 52.41 seconds set back in 2004 by Sonita Sutherland, a former Holmwood student. The Vere Technical pair of Olivia James, 52.90, and Shericka Jackson, 52.94, claimed the silver and bronze medals respectively.
"First of all I thank God for giving me all the strength and all the endurance to break that record today," Gordon expressed. "It is really not a surprise to me, because I trained very hard this season," she added.
The 16-year-old Gordon failed in her bid for a second individual gold medal as Simoya Campbell of Spaldings High, upstaged her in the Class Two 800m. Campbell captured the race in 2:11.24, while Gordon placed second in 2:13.01. Edwin Allen's Marleena Eubanks, 2:14.97, took the bronze.
The outstanding Ristanannna Tracey successfully defending her title in the Class One girls 400m racing home in 52.38 seconds. Tracey, competing at her final championships, claimed her third individual gold medal in the Class One 800m, winning in 2:05.95.
The minor medals in the Class One girls 400m were captured by Manchester High's Orenthia Bennett, 55.26, and Bellefield's Moya McKenzie 56.10 seconds while Edwin Allen's Desreen Montaque, 2:05.95, and Vere Technical's Chantal Duncan, 2:09.44, copped the silver and bronze medals respectively in the Class One 800m.
Holmwood did really well in the relays. They got off to a winning start in the Class One 4x100m crossing the line in 45.50 seconds. Edwin Allen had to settle for second, in 45.77.
Holmwood were not represented in the Class Two final, which was won by Vere Technical in 45.61, while St Jago, 46.36, claimed second in and Edwin Allen, 46.46, took third.
In the final and decisive event the 4x400m, Vere Technical won in 3:33.17, to eclipse Holmwood 's record of 3:34.35 set back in 2009. More important, Holmwood, 3:36.90, got the better of Edwin Allen, 3:41.26, for the silver.
There was a mild upset in the Class One girls' 100m hurdles as pre race favourite, St Jago's Tonique Sobah had to settle for second in 13.96 seconds. The gold medal went to Convent of Mercy's Kimberly Golding, 13.93, while St Jago's Anna Kay James, 14.30, claimed the bronze.
In Class Two it took a photo finish to separate St Jago's Chrisdale McCarty and last year's CARIFTA champion, St Andrew High's Megan Simmonds. Both stopped the clock at 13.66 seconds. McCarty was adjudged the winner, while Holmwood's Janieve Russell was third in 13.92.
Yanique Ellington of Holmwood claimed gold in the Class One girls 200m to go with her silver medal won on the penultimate day in the 100m. Ellington stopped the clock at, 24.10, to beat the Herbert Morrison pair of Remona Burchell, 24.18, and Toveo Jenkins, 24.45.
Class Two was won in impressive fashion by Vere Technical's Shericka Jackson, posting a time of 24.06 seconds. Edwin Allen's Claudette Allen, 24.25, and Wolmer's Girls' Cardine Copeland, 24.79, claimed second and third respectively.
The girls' 1600 sprint medley open was a cracker, as both winners Holmwood Technical, 4:01.64, and second place finishers St Jago, 4:01.83, dipped under the previous record mark of 4:01.92 set by Holmwood last year. Edwin Allen were third in 4:05.84.