High hopes for 36th Milo Western Relays

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer

Thursday, January 23, 2014    

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — The organisers of the 36th annual Milo Western Relays are predicting another outstanding meet following yesterday's launch at Wexford Inn, Gloucester Avenue, Montego Bay.

The meet, which is being sponsored for the 20th successive year by Milo, will be held at the Montego Bay Sports Complex on Saturday, February 8, starting at noon with a series of sprint hurdles races.

Karen Willis-Mussington, Milo's Consumer Marketing Manager, said her company was delighted to continue its association with the event while announcing their $6 million sponsorship package.

Willis-Mussington also announced a donation of $200,000 to the track programme at Holmwood Technical, one of the schools that have done well at the event during their sponsorship run.

Meet director Ray Harvey said with the quality of the confirmed teams so far, "we are confident we will have a bigger, better Milo Western Relays this year". He listed the likes of Holmwood Technical, Edwin Allen High, newcomers Hydel High and western giants St Elizabeth Technical and Herbert Morrison, and on the boys side Kingston College and Wolmer's Boys from Kingston, as well as Munro College and St Elizabeth Technical from western Jamaica, to provide the greatest competition.

The Stephen Francis-coached MVP Track Club led by triple World Championships gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, newcomers Cameron Blazers, UWI, Mona, UTech, GC Foster and Sprint Tech are the club/institution teams already confirmed, Harvey said.

The closing date for the event will be Tuesday, February 4, and cash prizes for the top four high schools in the Class One 4x100m, 4x400m and 4x800m Open will be on offer, he said.

Former Holmwood Technical High female coach Maurice Wilson, a member of the national senior coaching set-up, will be the patron of the meet, while IAAF World Youth Championships gold medallists Yanique Thompson, Jaheel Hyde and Marvin Williams will be recognised.

"This is the first time that we will be honouring three global gold medallists at the meet," Harvey said.

"Normally we honour only two athletes, one from each sex, but this year we could not choose between Hyde and Williams and decided to share the award."

Thompson, who is the defending champion in the Class Two girls' 100m hurdles at Milo Western Relays, ran a World Youth Best 12.94 seconds to win the gold medal in the 100m hurdles at the World Youth Championships held in Donetsk, Ukraine, last July when Jamaica won six gold medals to top the medals table.

Hyde ran a Championships Record 13.13 seconds to win the boys' 110m hurdles in Donetsk, while Williams won the boys' 400m hurdles in a World Youth Leading 50.39 seconds.

It was also confirmed that all high schools sprint hurdles, three for boys and four for girls would be contested for the first time as the girls' Class Three and Four events would be added.

The meet is open to athletes of all age groups from prep and primary to clubs/institutions and all classes for high schools.

The relay events are the 4x100m, 4x200m, 4x400m, 4x800m and sprint medley, while individual events will include the 100m and 400m for men and women; 1,500m for women, and 3,000m for men, as well as long and high jumps for men and women.





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