Boys and Girls' Champs 101 was exciting
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
This year's renewal of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/ GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships will go down as one of the most exciting over the 101-year history of the meet.
The incumbents, Wolmer's Boys' School and Holmwood Technical, came into the championship fully aware that their respective titles were under real threat, and while each had contrasting results in the end, they both played a leading role in the thrills of this year's meet.
Wolmer's Boys were predicted to finish the meet in fourth place and that is exactly where they ended up, struggling to match the depth and strength of eventual winners Jamaica College (JC) and Kingston College (KC), who were both locked in a two-way sprint which went down to the finish.
JC, on the back of some impressive performances from their Class Two and Class Three athletes in particular, as well as their ability to score heavily in the new events that were introduced at the meet this year, went to the top of the pile with 280 points, 11 more than KC, who had to settle for second spot. Both teams were engaged in an exciting final-day contest, with the lead changing hands seemingly after the running of each final.
JC's James McDonald won the Javelin Open with a new meet record of 58.76m, while his team-mate Jerone Burke finished fourth, to rack up 14 points in that event for the Old Hope Road-based school. Bejaun Jones was third in the steeplechase open with Aaron Lee finishing behind him in fourth to secure another 11 points for the champions.
On the girls' side, Holmwood were widely expected to surrender the title this year to the maturing Edwin Allen High, who had been impressive on all fronts throughout the season.
The now nine-time champions, however, produced their usual final-day heroics to muscle their way to yet another girls' title; in the end tallying 314 points to Edwin Allen's 310.
Things should get even closer next year as the ever-improving St Jago, who ended up in third place on 203.5 points, could close the gap on the top two.
Boys' top 10:
Jamaica College 280, Kingston College 269, Calabar High School 236, Wolmer's Boys' School 139, Munro College 133, St Jago High 120.5, St Elizabeth Technical 67, Manchester High 34, Holmwood Technical 33, Bridgeport High School 23.
Girls' top 10:
Holmwood Technical 314, Edwin Allen High School 310, St Jago High 203.5, Vere Technical High 182, Wolmers' Girls' 119 Manchester High 72, St Elizabeth Technical 63, St Andrew High 61, Herbert Morrison Technical 49, Hydel High School 42.5.