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Portland, St Andrew set to battle for title

Published:Thursday | May 16, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Jubilant members of the Portland team celebrate after winning the JTA/Sagicor National Primary, All-Age and Junior High Schools Athletic Championships at the National Stadium last year. - Contributed


One of track and field's intense rivalries is set to unfold today at the 30th staging of the 2013 JTA/Sagicor National Primary, All- Age and Junior High Schools Athletic Championships at the National Stadium.

Portland will have to pull out all the stops if they are to secure their fourth title, as St Andrew have made their intentions clear of retaining the title in the two-day event, which ends tomorrow.

Parish coordinator for St Andrew, Merelene Smith, says her charges are ready and raring to go and nothing else but victory is on the cards.

"We have our team set and in place, we have been training since early April and we believe we have what it takes to come out on top this year," said Smith.

St Andrew's victory bid will be led by 2012 Champion Girl Tizadie Johnson, who dominated the 200m, 400m and high jump at last year's championship.

Smith believes her team's strength lies in the sprints.

In the meantime, defending champions Portland are fielding a full strength team as well and their victory bid will rest on their sprinters.

According to coach Herman Reid, Portland's young guns are ready to fire again.

"Our team is still young, but with the likes of Mackaela Fraser and Joline Fable in good nick, it's going to be hard to dethrone us," said Reid.

All 14 parishes will be vying for the national title, while individual athletes will compete for the coveted title of Champion Boy and Champion Girl award, both of whom will receive a trophy and academic scholarship, tenable at a secondary school, courtesy of Sagicor Life Jamaica.