Holmwood's victorious girls' Class 3 4x100m relay quartet at the Jamaican high school championships (Leondro Marzo Photography) © Copyright
On the boys' side, Jamaica College (JC), true blues, lit up the newly installed blue track at the National Stadium for their 21st Boys Champs title. It was JC's first title in 11 years after overcoming a very close battle with old rivals Kingston College (KC) 280 points to 269.
In the girls' section, Tracey worked overnight to win the girls' 400m Hurdles open (Friday, April 1) in a record 55.81, returned Saturday to defend her 400m title with victory in 52.38 and add the 800m title with 2:05.95 for a whopping 27 individual points.
She also anchored the 4x400m Relay team to third, but by this time, Edwin Allen would have to finish about three places ahead of Holmwood, which did not happen as the latter held on for second to Vere Tech, who with Yanique McNeil, Olivia James, Chantal Duncan and Shericka Jackson, ran a record 3:33.17.
However, Holmwood started the championships slightly behind Edwin Allen, but led by head coach Maurice Wilson, the maroon clad girls once again proved that a champion will "never say die". Holmwood lost Osheen Erskine to injury, so too did Edwin Allen with Saquine Cameron, both big names, but the biggest blow came on the first day when Edwin Allen's captain Sasha-Gay Marston, who is head and shoulders above her competitors failed to make the final of the girls' Class 1 Discus Throw.
But, take nothing away from Holmwood, as again, Chris-Ann Gordon was outstanding, despite losing the Class 2 800m to Simoya Campbell of Spaulding 2:11.24 to 2:13.01, she had earlier run 51.62 seconds in the 400m to shatter Sonita Sutherland's 52.41 seconds record set back in 2004.
The Vere Technical pair of James, 52.90, and Jackson, 52.94, just never bothered to challenge Gordon, who went out fast to take full control of the race.
At this stage, after the 400m finals, Holmwood 157, led Edwin Allen 149 points.
Jackson, however, returned to take the 200m in 24.06 ahead of Claudette Allen of Edwin Allen (24.25).
It was then onto the sprint hurdles, and even though Edwin had five entries to Holmwood three, the latter won Class 3 with Yanique Thompson (11.60), placed third in Class 2 (won by St. Jago's Chrisdale McCarthy, 13.66), 7th in Class 1 (won by Alpha's Kimberly Golding, 13.93) for 17 points, the same as Edwin Allen - the lead at this time - Holmwood 174 - 170
Somewhere here, Kimberly Williamson delivered in the girls' Class 2 High Jump with a leap of 1.80m to beat rival and good friend, Manchester High's Chanice Porter, who cleared the same height ... Edwin Allen slightly ahead 179-178.
And after the 800m finals, which mention was made of earlier of Edwin Allen's 1-2 in Class 1 with Tracey and Desreen Montaque (2:09.01) and Campbell of Spaulding over Gordon of Holmwood in Class 2, Holmwood's Lisa Buchanan victory in Class 3, which had no Edwin Allen entry, Holmwood held a 206 to 205 lead.
Again, somewhere here, Holmwood with Tamara Moncrieffe took the Class 3 Long Jump with 5.82 to put Holmwood 231-227 ahead.
In the 200m finals, St. Andrew High's Ruschelle Burton (25.36), Wolmer's Shawna Helps, who completed the sprint double, running 24.64, Jackson (24.06) and Holmwood's Yanique Ellington (24.10) - Holmwood 26 points to Edwin Allen's 23, overall 245 to 234.
After the Javelin Throw, which St. Jago's Kellion Knibb took with a throw of 47.18m, with Edwin Allen 2nd and 3rd, the lead again was cut to two points, Holmwood 278 - 276, setting up for a relay decider.
Marleena Eubanks, who won the 1500m Class 2 on Friday, also had a very good Champs for Edwin Allen, as she returned to take the 3000m in 10:03.66.
During the sprint relays, Holmwood out of Class 2, took classes 1 and 3, plus a surprising 2nd in class 4 for 34 points to Edwin Allen's Class 4 victory, 2nd, 4th and 3rd in class 1, 3, and 2 respectively.
At this time, the girls Heptathlon and Class 1 Long Jump where Holmwood had two entries, were taking place, and here they picked up 12 and 4 points respectively, whereas Edwin Allen without a Long Jump finalist, got 8 points, this killed the Championship for them going into the final event.
Nickeva Wilson of Camperdown won the Long Jump with a leap of 6.44m.
Final girls' standing: Holmwood 326, Edwin Allen 320, St. Jago 211.5, Vere 186, Wolmer's 122, Manchester High 72, St. Andrew High 63, St. Elizabeth Technicl 63, Herbert Morrison 49 and Convent of Mercy Academy 43.
Jamaica College boys back on top
In the boys' section, The JC boys from Old Hope went into the final event, the boys' 4x400m Relay open, with an 9-point lead, knowing only failing to finish and if KC led all teams home, they would have lost the title.
In the end, none of the contenders could match the other schools, headed by winners Munro (3:12.90) as they, KC and JC finished 7th and 8th.
KC started the day in the lead, by 21 points, and after the first set of finals, the 400m, which ended without a single victory for neither of the challengers, who watched as Javere Bell of Seaford (46.54), Lennox Williams of Manchester (46.54) and Jordan James (50.28) took classes 1, 2 and 3 respectively. KC, however, maintained their lead 150-124 over JC.
The boys’ sprint hurdles were up next, KC with Stefan Fennell took the Class 1 110m Hurdles event in 13.68 while JC's with Tyler Mason (13.82) took Class 2, after which JC got closer with 164 to KC 169.
In the 800m finals, Holmwood's won Class 1 with Kevin White (1:52.26), Foga Road High's Kevin Robinson (1:57.40) took Class 2 and Orville Dixon, a 13-year-old, with 2:00.24 for the Class 3 title, but again without a single victory, JC were able to scratch 2nd and 3rd in Class 3 and 3rd and 4th in Class 2, to move slightly ahead 177-167.
JC stretched their lead after Deshawn Jackson's (21.97) and Devaughn Baker's (22.69) victories in the Classes 2 and 3 boys 200m finals.
With the title still on the line before the relays, JC picked up vital points in the Classes 1 and 2 boys High Jump, and James McDonald's victory in the Javelin Throw, a new event, (58.75), despite KC's victories in the Class 2 discus (Andre Helps, 48.68), going into the relays, JC 235 lead KC 219.
KC won the sprint medley relay in 3:33.17 ahead of Calabar (3:33.72), but JC were close behind in third, 3:35.73.
After the 4x100m finals, which JC came out on top in classes 2 (41.21, a record run) and 3 (43.29) extended their lead 237 to 223 over KC.
In between events, JC also picked up valuable points in the Shot Put for Class 1 boys, which went to Calabar's Ashinia Miller (18.98, a record throw) over his teammate Traves Smikle (18.05m).
So, it was down to the final event, and as mentioned earlier, JC would only lose the Champs if they had failed to finish and KC had won.
But in the end, the final points tally was JC 280, KC 269, Calabar 236, Wolmer's 139, MUnro 133, St. Jago 120.5, STETHS 67, Manchester 34, Holmwood 33 and Bridgeport 23.
Anthony Foster for the IAAF
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