Preparations in high gear for 36th staging of Milo Western Relays
CATHERINE HALL - St James - THERE is anticipation in the air leading up to Saturday's 36th staging of the Milo Western Relays scheduled for the Montego Bay Sports Complex starting at 12 noon.
Up to earlier this week, the organisers were in full preparation mode for what is seen as the first major track and field meet of the local calendar. And on Tuesday's closing date for entries, a number of the island's top high schools, as well as clubs and institutions had sent in entry forms.
Meet Director Ray Harvey told the Jamaica Observer West on Tuesday his committee was on track and is anticipating yet another outstanding staging of the popular event.
"We are encouraged by the quality of the entries we have seen so far," said Harvey, hours before the cut off time.
"Based on what we have seen we are in for yet another outstanding day of competition across all categories from the prep/primary to the clubs and institutions."
Among the team that had confirmed their participation are the powerful MVP Track Club, Sprint Tech, GC Foster, UTech, UWI and newcomers Cameron's Blazers.
The Holmwood Technical versus Edwin Allen rivalry will continue among the high school girls section, and with the return of Manchester High, added to St Elizabeth Technical and Green Island High. The competition there, is expected to be close.
Kingston College and Wolmers Boys which combined for eight victories in both relays and individual events last year, will be back to lead the boys' high school section.
St Elizabeth Technical who were absent last year will be a factor this year and after running 3 minutes 20.9 seconds to win the 4x400m at the STETHS Classic two weeks ago, should run even faster on Saturday with IAAF World Youth Championships gold medallists Marvin Williams and Okeen Williams in their line-up.
Even without former World Record holder Asafa Powell and Olympic Games silver medallist Sherone Simpson, the MVP team are still expected to be among the top clubs with triple World Championships gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Carrie Russell, Kaliese Spencer to lead the women's teams.
For the first time, the meet will have competition in the sprint hurdles in all six classes for the ISSA High School boys and girls Championships.
After running both Classes 1 and 2 for boys and girls last year, the organisers have added Classes 3 and 4 for the girls and class 3 for the boys this year.
There will also be competition in the 100m and 400m open, 1500m for women and 3000m for men; 400m hurdles Open for both male and female, and long and high jumps Open for both male and female.
Additionally, there will be relay competition in 4x100m for all classes; 4x200m, 4x400m and 4x800m.
Meanwhile, former Holmwood Technical High coach Maurice Wilson will be honoured as the meet patron, while a trio of IAAF World Youth Championships hurdles gold medallists -- Marvin Williams of St Elizabeth Technical, Jaheel Hyde of Wolmer's Boys and Yanique Thompson of Holmwood, will also be honoured for their outstanding 2013 seasons.