Buff Bay run away with first title
Anthony Foster, Gleaner Writer
Buff Bay crowned themselves new champions of the JN/JPS Eastern Athletics Championships, which ended at the National Stadium yesterday.
At the end of the two-day championships, Buff Bay tallied 551 points to beat last year's winners Oberlin, which ended second on 530.5 points. Glengoffe (334.5), Morant Bay (328) and Titchfield (224) rounded off the top five.
Oberlin, with 334.5 points, topped the girls' section ahead of Buff Bay (287) and Glengoffe (215); while Buff Bay ran away with the male section on 264 points. Oberlin (196) and Morant Bay (184.5) finished second and third, respectively.
Fourteen records were broken on yesterday's final day.
Buff Bay's successful title chase was spearheaded by record-breaking efforts from Ramario Rodney, who cleared 1.65m to equal the Class Three boys' high jump; Kelvin Grant (13.82m) in the boys' Class Two shot put; Kedeshia Sweeney (12.34m) in the girls' Class Four 80mH hurdles and Jonelle Graham (31.10m) in the girls' Class Three shot put.
Kevin Brown, coach of the winning team, could not hold back his emotions when he spoke to
"Right now I am speechless," was his initial response.
"The athletes, the principal ... we are all overjoyed with this victory, the first in the school's history."
Brown said he knew his charges could do it, after analysing their performances at the development meets.
"The athletes worked very hard and their hard work and dedication to the programme was what paid off," he noted.
According to Brown, since his entry to the school's track and field programme eight years ago, the team has improved every year. He remembers finishing seventh in 2006; fifth in 2007 and 2008 and fourth in 2009.
Meanwhile, 2008 Carifta Games 4x400m gold medallist, Natasha Morrison of Glengoffe, captured the girls' Class Two 200-400 double in record times. Morrison won the 200m in 26.69 and the 400m in 56.56.
Kery-Kay Lamb also broke two records, winning the Class One 400m in 56.39 and the 200m in 22.73.
Other record breakers on the day were: Travana Morris of St Thomas Technical (21.86) in the boys' Class Two 200; Robert Thomas of Paul Bogle (39.01m) in the boys' Class One discus; Carlington Benjamin of Morant Bay (14.84m) in the triple jump open; Latoya Powell of Oberlin (5.53m) in the girls' Class One long jump; Felecia Ferron of Morant Bay (14.72) in the girls' Class Two 100m hurdles and Oberlin's 4x100m Class One team (51.43).
National junior representative, Javere Bell - the top man from the eastern region - was a double winner. He won the 200m and 400m for Class One boys in 22.41 and 48.75, respectively.