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Oberlin retain title, Williams magnificent

Published:Wednesday | February 22, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Jodeen Williams of St Mary High School celebrates after breaking another record in the Girls 200m Class 1 final with a time of 23.96 seconds at the JNBS Eastern Championships at the National Stadium yesterday. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

Raymond Graham, Gleaner Writer

IN a nail-biting finish on yesterday's final day of competition at the JNBS Eastern Athletics Championships at the National Stadium, defending champions Oberlin High held on to their title by a whisker, as they scored a close 2.5 points win over 2010 champions Buff Bay High.

Winning coach Everton Leslie, who was very pleased with his team's success, stated that he was not surprised despite coming into yesterday's final day trailing Buff Bay into second place.

"I am not surprised that we won again as our aim was to qualify two athletes for each final, and this was done in most events, and despite not being in the 800 metres among the boys, we were able to nullify this with strong performances from the girls," stated Leslie, who singled out Class II female athlete Margaret McKay for her fine individual effort in winning three events. She won the Class II 800m, 1500m and Open 3000m events.

Undoubtedly, the star of the meet was St Mary High Class I female athlete Jodeen Williams, who won four gold medals yesterday, which included three individual events in record times. She was also a member of her school's 4x400 metres team. Williams won the 100m, 200m and 400m events.

In the 100 metres she broke the old mark of 12.12 seconds done in 2000 by Janika Martell, formerly of St Mary Technical, winning in 12.01 seconds.

She broke her own records set the previous day when she also captured the girls 200m and 400m. She lowered her 200 metres record of 24.80 seconds with a new mark of 23.76 seconds. She closed her individual triple by eclipsing her mark of 55.75 seconds in the 400m with a winning time of 54.38 seconds.

She then closed the meet on a successful note, as she ran the lead-off leg on her team's 4x400 metres Open Relay winning team.

Williams was very happy with her achievements.

"I feel good as this year I am much more stronger, and to know that this is my first year in Class I, it makes me feel even better," said Williams, who stated that she is looking forward to next month's ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships.

Oberlin won the female title after tallying 372 points to Buff Bay's 336, while the tide was turned in the boys' section; Buff Bay winning with 251.5 and Oberlin finishing second on 218.

Points Standings:

Oberlin 590, Buff Bay 587.5, St Mary High 351, Glengoffe 225.5, Morant Bay 218.5, Titchfield 169, Yallahs 168, St Thomas Tech 154, Seaforth 143, and St Mary College 124.