St Jago's girls hunting top-four spot
Anthony Foster, Gleaner Writer
St Jago distance girls pose after the High Mountain Coffee 10k road race in Williamsfield, Manchester, on Jan 31. - Photo by Anthony Foster
Four-time girls' champions St Jago High aim to use their distance programme to claw their way back into the top four at Boys and Girls' Championships next month.
Goburn said they while many schools can hold their own in the field and sprints, the distance events is the area where the top four central Jamaica schools - seven-time defending champions Holmwood Technical, Vere Technical, Edwin Allen High and Manchester High - separate themselves from the rest of the schools.
"I have all respect for the top four central schools, but we would like to take one of those positions this year," warned Goburn.
Goburn, who told The Gleaner in an interview last year that he was positioning St Jago to make a serious challenge for the title by 2012, believes the first part of their goal is on target.
"That was our plan from the get-go, to get our distance programme on track ... and fit everything around that," he said.
He recalled that when St Jago were the top girls' school at the championships the distance programme was equal to, or in line with, the sprints.
So far, the girls, led by Class Two athlete Shevel McDonald, have been performing very well in various competitions.
At last week's Queen's/Grace Jackson meet, McDonald led home her teammates Jhavere Hall and Molly-Ann Blake in a St Jago 1-2-3 in the girls' Class Two 1500m.
The following day, at the High Mountain 10k meet, St Jago's girls dominated the high-school section and again McDonald led home Roshae Burrell, Blake, Hall, Antonette Gray, Shauna Kay South and Shantol Hemley, as they took seven of the top 10 places.
At the March 24-27 championships, St Jago will have Yanique Malcolm, Tiffany Thomas, Shantol Hemley, Ann-Marie Finnegan in Class One; Hall, Blake, Kayanda Henry and Roxanne Tyrrell in Class Two, while the Class Three athletes are Roshae Burrell, Antoinette Gray and Shauna Kay South.
According to Goburn, "The average age is 16, so they still have time to develop.
"Our aim is to get back to where St Jago have two girls in all the distance finals (800m, 1500m and 3000m). That's our aim, irrespective of the final position," he said.
"I am happy, but it's still a work in progress ... We can only grow from strength to strength," Goburn added.