Fri | Jul 30, 2021

STETHS expected to dominate at Western Champs

Published:Thursday | April 29, 2021 | 12:25 AMKavarly Arnold/Gleaner Writer

Track and field action returns to the west today with the staging of the County of Cornwall Athletics Association Western Championships at St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) in Santa Cruz.

Only a handful of schools are expected to turn out and with weakened teams at the meet, which has been scaled down to a one-day event from its usual three. It will, however, mark a welcome return for athletics in the region and will also serve as a qualifier for the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships, which takes place at the National Stadium from May 11-15.

Roderick Myles, coach of defending girls’ champions Rusea’s High School, has already thrown in the towel on his team’s chances of extending their four-year hold on the title due to financial issues crippling his unit. He is, however, looking forward to some quality performances from his athletes.

“There is no way we can plan to defend with 12 girls. We do have a team, but of them, all the reality is that only about 12 really train. STETHS and Petersfield are good teams, and there is no way 12 girls can compete with 30-odd,” Myles said.

“Despite that (not being able the defend the title), I expect some quality performances. I have some outstanding girls ... . Also, on the boys’ side, I have some real quality,” he added.

FOCUS ON ATHLETES

Coach of Petersfield High School, Machell Woolery, said their objective is not to win the championship. Instead, he is focusing on getting the best out of his athletes on the grass track at STETHS.

“This year is just about participation for us. It’s not about winning the championship or contesting any position at Western Champs. The persons that we bring, we are hoping they can qualify for Champs. We want outstanding performances, yes, but competing at STETHS on grass, I don’t know what we can get out of it,” Woolery said.

Fewer than 20 schools are expected to show up, with one of the most notable absentees being Munro College.

Meanwhile, hosts STETHS are overwhelming favourites to win both the girls and boys’ titles. Last year, they won their sixth consecutive boys’ title by almost 150 points and finished as runners-up to Rusea’s by just under 50 points in the girls’ section.