Western Ja-based schools better last year’s performance at Champs
WESTERN Jamaica-based schools put on an improved performance at last week's ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships, as 18 schools scored points at the prestigious five-day event that ended on Saturday night in a blaze of glory.
While defending boys' champions Calabar High won their third straight title and 24th overall, and girls' champions Edwin Allen were wrapping up their second title, western-based athletes were making their presence felt in almost every aspect of the championships.
There were two double winners from western Jamaica.
Cornwall College's Warren Barrett won double gold in the boys' Class 2 shot put and discus throw, the school's first gold since the mid- 1990s when middle-distance runner Kempes Chambers won, and St Elizabeth Technical's (STETHS) Jauavney James in the Class 2 800/1500m, as both tied for the Class 2 points champions with 18 each.
Rusea's High's Stephanie Barrett also won two medals to end her Champs career on a high, taking silver in the 3,00m Open and bronze in the Class 1 1500m.
Athletes from western Jamaica also accounted for two new meet records- Barrett with his 18.18m in the shot put and STETHS Devon Spencer with a throw of 64.08m in the javelin Open.
There were also 10 gold medals, the most won in many years- seven among the boys and three among the girls.
In the points tables, STETHS boys were a big improvement from last year, amassing 123 to place fifth after scoring 49 points last year; COCAA West Champs winners Munro College scored 50 points to place eighth after scoring 98 last year; Cornwall College had their best points total in years when they scored 45 for 11th place after scoring only 19 points last year and eight in 2012; Petersfield High were 12th with 31 points; Herbert Morrison and Cedric Titus scored 10 points each to tie for 19th place; Spot Valley High scored nine points to finish in 21st place; Godfrey Stewart had seven points for 24th place; Mannings School scored six points to place joint 25th, one point ahead of William Knibb's five, with Newell High getting four points for 30th place.
The STETHS Girls matched last year's 65 points to finish eighth, while Rusea's improved to 38 points after scoring 18 last year and placed 10th; Petersfield High scored 14 points for 16th position; Balaclava High scored seven points to tie Herbert Morrison for 22nd position, Hampton School had four points for joint 29th, ,while Lacovia had one point for joint 38th position.
Devannah Gayle won Spot Valley High's first ever gold medal at Champs when he crossed the line first in the Cass 3 boys' 800m, while Rohan Cole of STETHS won the boys' Class 2 110m hurdles.
On the girls' side, Rusea's High's Shanice Cannigan had a good second day to win the heptathlon Open; Junelle Bromfield STETHS took the Class 2 800m,while her teammate Satanya Wright won the Class 3 400m.
There were seven silver medals and seven bronze medals as well; the Petersfield pair of Glenford Watson and Kevin Nedrick both won silver medals in the Class 1 discus throw and Class 2 shot put respectively; the IAAF World Youth Championships gold medal winner had to settle for silver in the 400m hurdles beating teammate Okeen Williams, as well as winning the bronze in the Class 1 110m hurdles;
Ouekie Wright of STETHS won the silver medal in the Class 2 boys' triple jump; Dawnalee Loney of Balaclava was second in the Class 1 girls 400m, while Rusea's High's Lamara Distin was second in the Class 3 high jump, while the STETHS boys' 4x400m team were second.
Shemar Salmon of STETHS won bronze in the Class 2 boys 1500m and his teammate Orlando Smith was second in the Class 2 110m hurdles, Cornwall College's Odaine Lewis won bronze in the Class 1 triple jump, while STETHS Chantai Smith placed third in the Class 1 girls 800m.