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This was personal, says C'bar captain

Published:Monday | April 3, 2017 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott
Lafranz Campbell (right) Calabar team captain and silver medalist in the Decathlon is congratulated by Maurice Smith, old boy and one of the coaches at the school.
Calabar students in jubilant mood.
Dejour Russell is hugged by chairman of the school board Karl Johnson.
Calabar High School principal Albert Corcho poses with the Mortimer Geddes Trophy yesterday after his school claimed its sixth straight ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys Athletics Championship.

Calabar's track and field captain, Lafranz Campbell, says the battle for the coveted Mortimer Geddes Trophy for the Boys Athletics Championships, which ended at the National Stadium on Saturday, was a "personal" one and that the victory was "special" for the school.

Campbell, who got a silver in the decathlon with 6,423 points, behind Kingston College's Donovan Thames (6,771), said his team was motivated because everyone wrote them off. But he said at no time did they doubt their ability to go all the way for a sixth straight year.

"This was a personal championship. It was a very special one. There were many criticisms, many critics, but we stayed focused and motivated and we went out and defeated those that were there," he told The Gleaner yesterday.

Campbell said they had to keep the focus right through in their efforts to bring the championship back home to Red Hills Road, but at no time did they doubt they were going to retain the trophy.

"After the first two days, we were composed, knowing that many championships had passed and we didn't have enough points to look like we were on a footing to go on and win. But we stayed composed and maintained what we had and worked hard for the remainder of the championships. So we were never shaken. We went out very confident. We were motivated and composed.

"The (final) day ended close, but we were the victors and not the victims. We were more focused and we were the better team that wanted the championship more. We were humble and we accepted God as the centre of everything we were doing," he said.

After trailing by 38 points at the end of day three, Calabar slowly reeled in their nemesis, Kingston College, through Friday and Saturday and eventually surpassed them in the final event on Saturday evening, the 4x400m relay.

Needing to finish at least third if Calabar won the event, to ensure a tie on points, the famed Purples could only manage fifth place as the Red Hills Road school ran away with the race and the championship by four points.