André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Several records went crashing on yesterday's final day of the 103rd Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships as the defending champions Calabar and former champions Holmwood Technical marched to the top spots.
Calabar, who were locked in a three-way battle at the start of the day, came out roaring - taking the lead when it counted and outlasting their main rivals, Kingston College (KC) and Jamaica College (JC).
Holmwood trailed Edwin Allen for most of the day but pulled off an amazing victory as the girls from Clarendon lost points which they were expected to capture.
Amid blaring horns and banging drums; oversized banners and a kaleidoscope of school colours, yesterday's final day of 'Champs 2013' was already a spectacle long before the big crowds - avoiding intense sunshine - turned up in the late afternoon session.
new javelin mark
Zaavan Richards signalled KC's intentions from the outset, setting a new mark in the very first event of the day - the boys javelin open; with a 59.66m throw, which, like silver medallist Orlando Thomas' 59.59m, bettered James McDonald's 58.75m distance, posted in 2011.
Richards' schoolmate Nathaniel Bann was equally impressive in the Class Three Boys 400m, showing tremendous speed and endurance to win in 49.13, removing Ali Watson's 22-year record of 49.63.
Calabar strongman Fedrick Dacres smashed the Class One shot put record, wiping his old teammate Ashinia Miller's 18.98m off the boards, with a new 19.28m measurement, making up for his disappointment at not breaking the discus record.
In one of the most impressive contests at the championships, the top-three finishers in the Class Two Boys 400m, made Ramone McKenzie's old 47.24 record (2007) seem rather ordinary, with all three breaking the 47-seconds barrier; JC's Devaughn Baker stopping the clock at 46.64.
Wolmer's footballer-turned-sprinter Jaheel Hyde, 46.63, and St Jago's Martin Manley, 46.95, finished in the other medal positions.
Rushelle Burton (St Andrew) was having an amazing championships and she continued to delight by lowering the Class Three Girls 80m hurdles record to 11.13, while all sprint hurdles finals in the boys section turned up new records.
Kamali Simpson (St Jago), 13.10 bettering the old Class Three 100m hurdles mark of 13.11; Michael O'Hara (Calabar) posted 13.45 in the Class Two final to erase the old record (13.69), and class-one standout Omar McLeod, who continues to destroy records, won the class-one event in 13.24; erasing his own 13.42 set in the semi-finals.
But McLeod was not KC's only diamond, as young Jhevaughn Matherson proved in the 200m, lowering the record for the second straight day to become the first in his class under 22 seconds, with a 21.87 run, bettering his own 22.02 set in the semis.