STETHS to be tested as Girls Western Championships runs off
LUCEA, Hanover — St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) are expected to be pushed to the very limit in their effort to win a 10th straight County of Cornwall Athletics Association's (COCAA) Gatorade/ Hanover Co-operative Credit Union's Girls' Western Championship that gets underway with the eliminations at the newly refurbished Colin Miller Sports Complex in Lucea today.
STETHS, with 414.5 points last year, doubled the score of second-placed Mannings School (201), but the race for the top spot could be much closer this year if pre-season form is anything to go by.
Thirty-six schools, including newcomers Sydney Pagon High from St Elizabeth, will take part today when 15 finals are scheduled to be contested.
The finals set to be contested are the 1,500m races, 3000m Open, three discus throws, two shot put events and four finals in each of the long and high jumps.
Additionally, there will be heats in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 4x100m, 4x400m and sprint medley relays.
Also the shot put will be contested on two sections for the first time — Class One and Class Two. Previously, the event was contested as an Open event, but the organisers of Western Champs are adopting the move by the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA), who introduced the new class at the national high schools championship last year.
Meanwhile, the finalists from the heats today will advance to Saturday's combined finals at the Montego Bay Sports Complex where they will be joined by the qualifiers from the boys' eliminations that were held at Munro College on Tuesday.
Defending boys' champions Munro College have opened up a 38-point lead after Tuesday's eliminations and are on 136 points, leading Petersfield High (98), STETHS (68), Herbert Morrison (51), Cornwall College (45), Lacovia (18), Cedric Titus (12.5), Rusea's High (11.5), Godfrey Stewart (10), Green Island (seven), Grange Hill and Mannings (six each), Green Pond and Muschett (four each), Maggotty (three) and Balaclava (one).
Today a number of athletes are expected to stand out with Rusea's High's Stephanie Barrett tipped to run the Class One 1,500m and the 3,000m races.
Barrett is one of a few athletes who will be running at Western Champs for the final time. Another is Petersfield High's Asaine Hall, whose clash against Balaclava's Dawnalee Loney in the Class One 400m could be one of the highlights of the championships.
Last year Hall ran all three sprint events — 100m, 200m and 400m — picking up two gold medals and a silver, and will be seeking to go out on a high.
Last year's Class Three triple sprint gold medallist Vanessa Pusey of Green Island should continue her gold medal streak when she steps up to Class Two.