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New format

Changes coming for Western Champs

Observer West writer

Thursday, January 25, 2018

SAVANNA-LA-MAR, Westmoreland —

There will be a change to the format of the County of Cornwall Athletics Association (COCAA) Western High School Championships, set for three days in mid-February, as organisers seek to find more ways to assist athletes in their preparation for the ISSA National High School Track and Field Championships to be held a month later.

At a meeting held at Mannings School in Savann-la-Mar last week, where nearly 30 schools were represented, COCAA president Stephen Smith announced that while the championships will be staged on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, there will be significant changes in the format for the event to be held February 13, 15 and 17.

Smith later told the Jamaica Observer West: “we have heard the calls from the coaches asking for changes and as an organisation we met and discussed them, and these changes we think will go a far way in helping athletes from the west prepare better for Champs.”

One of the biggest improvements, Smith noted, was that the middle and long- distance events will be held on the all-weather Mondo track at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.

“In the past we had some issues with the long-distance runners failing to qualify for Champs after running all their events on the grass tracks, and we think that moving them to Catherine Hall will make for significant improvements,” he argued.

Under the new system, both boys and girls will compete together over the three days, and the finals of most of the field events will be held at the St Elizabeth Technical Sports Complex in Santa Cruz.

The action will then move to the Montego Bay Sports Complex for Thursday and Saturday, with the preliminaries of the track events for both genders in all eight classes held on Thursday and the finals contested on Saturday's final day.

In the system that was used up to last year, saw the boys and girls had separate elimination days, where most of the field events were completed, while the track finals for both were held at the Montego Bay Sports Complex, along with a handful of carefully selected field events.

St Elizabeth Technical boys and Rusea's High girls are the respective defending champions.