After five days of intense competition at the Jamaica Boys and Girls Athletics Championships (Champs) in Kingston, the girls championship title came down to one race: the Open 4x400m relay, the penultimate event of the competition. The competition saw the 2012 champions Edwin Allen High School relinquishing a 48-point lead in the wake of an afternoon surge by their major threat and 2011 winners Holmwood Technical High School, who chipped away at the lead on the final day and entered their last race together 2.5 points ahead of Edwin Allen.
With the last remaining race to decide the champions, Edwin Allen with 297.5 points and severely hampered by injuries needed to finish the race at least two places ahead of Holmwood to snatch enough points to seal the deal in their favor. But a win for the defending champions was not in the stars; Holmwood ran a strategically sound race to place second for an additional ten points, leaving Edwin Allen behind in third place with eight points. Holmwood won the title with 310.5 over Edwin Allen’s 305.5.
The dethroned champions lost valuable points earlier, when their top athlete Marleena Eubanks did not compete in the 400m and 800m. Two weeks ago, she was injured when she was hit on the head by a discus during training. She did, however, anchor her team in the all-important final race.
With the girls championships out of the way, the boys were ready for their final race, but their situation was different. With the points from only two results in field events to be tallied and the mile relay to come, Calabar High School, who was locked in a three-way battle with Kingston College and Jamaica College after the second day, was now out of reach and would contest the event just out of formality. However, the 4x4 brought them an additional ten points for second place (3:12.13) behind the record-breaking Munro College (3:09.21) and ahead of third place finishers KC (3:12.59).
The nail-biting Champs 2013 ended with 18 new records on the final day for a total of 30 – 19 boys and 11 girls – throughout the competition.
|Some Records at a Glance1. KC’s Nathaniel Bann, Class Three Boys 400m – 49.13 to erase Ali Watson's 22-year record of 49.63.2. Calabar Fedrick Dacres, Class One Boys shot put, 19.28m to erase his old teammate Ashinia Miller's 18.98m.3. In the Class Two Boys 400m, the top-three finishers erased the old 47.24 record set Ramone McKenzie in 2007. Jamaica College's Devaughn Baker won in 46.64.Wolmer's Jaheel Hyde, 46.63 and St. Jago's Martin Manley, 46.95, finished second and third.4. Rushelle Burton of St. Andrew High School for Girls lowered the Class Three Girls 80m hurdles record to 11.13.5. Kamali Simpson (St. Jago) clocked 13.10 to better the old Class Three 100m hurdles mark of 13.11.6. Michael O'Hara (Calabar) posted 13.45 in the Class Two to erase the old record (13.69).7. KC’s Omar McLeod won the class-one event in 13.24; erasing his own 13.42 set in the semi-finals.8. KC's Jhevaughn Matherson in the Class Three 200m lowered the record for the second straight day. He became the first in his class to go sub-22 seconds, with a 21.87 run, bettering his own 22.02 set in the semis.9. Wolmer's Boys' Christoff Bryan broke the 18-year-old Class One Boys high jump record of 2.15m set by Enrico Gordon. He cleared 2.19m. His personal best is 2.20m.10. Shericka Jackson anchored Vere in the Girls 4x400m Open, in 3:30.51.11. Holmwood's Gleneve Grange – Class One Girls Shot Put with a heave of 13.00m ahead of rival Tara-Sue Barnett of Edwin Allen with 12.41m.12. St. Jago's Kimone Shaw – Class Four Girls 200m in 24.28secs for her second record of the Championships.13. Munro anchored by World Junior 200m champion in 3:09.21 for a new 4x400meters mark.
14. Kimone Shaw of St. Jago – 11.75 for the Class Four Girls 100meters record.
The last-day record-breaking festival began when Zaavan Richards of KC setting a new mark in the very first event of the day – the boys javelin open – with a 59.66m throw. Second place winner Orlando Thomas of Bridgeport High, who threw 59.59m, also bettered James McDonald's 58.75m distance, posted in 2011.
A spree of records then followed. From Class One (16 to 17 years old) to Class Four (10-12), they tumbled fast and furious, some in negative wind.
It then ended with a blow-out run by Munro’s Delano Williams on anchor. Having already copped the sprint double and anchored the 4x100meters relay in which he took his team from sixth to third in a flash, Williams hustled away after collecting the baton. Like a runaway train, he kept opening the gap at 200m pace and ran through the finish line before crashing to the track – breathless.
This is Williams' third straight 200m and a personal record (pr) and world leading 20.27secs; his time is now time is second to Usain Bolt's 20.25 set in 2003 for William Knibb Memorial. On the previous day, Williams won the 100m in 10.28 seconds, both new Turks and Caicos national senior records. He joins former KC sprinter Lennox 'Billy' Miller as three-time winners of the 200m at Class One. He is the first to do so since Miller 48 years ago in 1965.
The Championships many dubbed the best-ever was, however, not without low points. In the Class Two Girls 100m hurdles, the record holder from Friday, Peta Gaye Williams of Camperdown High, false-started and was disqualified. Her exit was shortly followed by a second disqualification of Vere Technical’s Tishanna Montieth for the same offence.
TOP 5 FINAL POINTS STANDING
Holmwood: 310.5 Calabar 299
Edwin Allen: 305.5 Jamaica College: 258.5
St. Jago: 208 Kingston College: 247.5
Vere Technical: 202 Wolmer's: 121
Hydel High: 157.5 St. Jago: 107