Portland take early lead at rain affected JTA/Sagicor Champs
Rain brought a temporary halt to the activities at the first day of the JTA/Sagicor Athletic Championships at the National Stadium, but after seven of the eight finals completed at press time, Portland lead with 53.5 points, followed by St Elizabeth (34 points), and St Andrew (29.5 points). The top five is completed by Westmoreland on 29 points and Kingston on 24 points.
The meet continues today, starting at 9 a.m., with the remaining 41 finals, closing with the medley open for boys. There will be a break from the athletics action at 1 p.m. for the official opening ceremony and parade of athletes.
For entry, adults are being asked to pay $200, and $100.00 for children.
Herman Reid, coordinator for leaders, Portland, a former three-time champion, said, “We are happy with the lead as we have always performed well in the field events. However, we have not qualified for some track events, as many of our runners are first timers inside the National Stadium and were possibly overawed by the occasion.”
Mabracq Harris, Coordinator for defending champion St Andrew said, “We are not where we want to be, but we have a balanced team and expect to earn points on and off the track in all age groups, and in the relays, where we expect to score heavily, which should see us retaining our title.”
Former two-time champion, St Elizabeth, started the day with a bang, finishing first and sixth in the Girls Under 13 long-jump, to earn 12 points; Chrystal Salmon with a winning leap of 4.70m, and teammate Saskia Lawson, sixth. Second was Shelly-Ann Taylor of Kingston, 4.61m; with third going to Samoya Brown of St Andrew, 4.46m. Chavez Penn of St Thomas won the boys U15 high jump, clearing the bar at 1.60m, second was Garfield Dehaney of Portland at 1.55m, and third Shamir Kelly of St Catherine at 1.48m.
Godfrey Drummond, a member of the meet’s Organising Committee said, “Today was great with exceptional performance amidst the rainy weather. We expect that tomorrow’s many finals will bring much excitement.”