NEW synthetic runways for the pole vault and long jump will be a new feature of the first developmental track meet of the 2012 season the JC/Wata Track and Field Meet which takes place today at Jamaica College's Old Hope Road base starting at 8:30 am.
"That should help to speed things up as far as competition is concerned and as far as qualification for (Boys' & Girls') Champs is concerned," Meet director Ian Forbes told the Observer, adding that the runways were started late last year and were completed in time for today's 19th staging of the annual meet.
Forbes noted that athletes participating in either event on the synthetic surface should wear spike nails no longer than seven millimetres long.
Between 1,800 and 2,000 athletes from several of the leading schools across the island including hosts Jamaica College, Kingston College, Wolmer's, and Calabar will be in action on the track and on the field.
"(This meet) is usually very difficult to stage having to work through Christmas, but we have a very good organising committee and we're expecting a good turnout of athletes," Forbes added.
Events to be contested include the 70m, 80m, 100m, and 110m hurdles, 800m, 1,500m, 3,000m, 5,000m, long jump, discus, pole vault, high jump, and shot put.
This year's meet honouree will be Jamaica College old boy and chairman of the school's board R Danny Williams, who Forbes said would be "honoured for his contribution to the transformation and development of the school".