2019 athletics season runs off today

By Howard Walker
Senior staff reporter

Saturday, January 05, 2019

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THE Purewater/Jamaica College (JC)/R Danny Williams athletics meet is one of three that will highlight the start of the much-anticipated 2019 year along with the First Chance meet at Rusea's High School and the Ted Dwyer Classic at Excelsior High School.

The spotlight will be at Old Hope Road, starting at 8:30 am following the newly constructed Ashenheim Stadium at JC which boasts a new 400m, eight-lane synthetic track with seating, lighting and adequate parking.

Meet director Ian Forbes told the Jamaica Observer that they have registered over 2,000 athletes from all the top schools and clubs for the event dubbed “The Meet with a difference”.

“All set and ready to go…everything is in place. The track is completed, the markings are in and all the other competition areas are prepared and of course we have an abundance of entries,” said Forbes.

“We look forward to it and we expect some high-level performances and I think a lot of persons are curious and some excited about the new facility,” he added.

“We are imploring everyone to come out and enjoy the track and field and catch up with old friends,” said Forbes.

With the new running synthetic surface all the track records will be reset, having been established on the old grass track, but the field events won't be affected.

Action will be in the 100m, 800m, 3,000m, 5,000m, 70m, 80m, 100m and 110m hurdles events, with the 400m hurdles being a new event. The field events this year are long jump, discus, high jump, shot put and pole vault.

It should be noted that the discus and shot put events will be held at the Usain Bolt facility at the University of The West Indies and athletes will be shuttled by bus to and from Jamaica College.

There will be 10 individual trophies for athletes selected by the judges in each class and category as the most outstanding performers.

This year's honoree will be Trevor McCain, a statistician and organising committee member for over 20 years who has been integral to the growth and development of the Jamaica College Track & Field Development Meet. McCain also serves as a Pan Am Badminton Confederation referee and umpire.

Meanwhile, at Mountain View, Excelsior Community College will be hosting the second staging of the Ted Dwyer Classic starting at 8:30 am. Events on offer are 100m, 400m, 800m, 4x400m relay, discus, shot put, long, high and triple jumps.

In addition to honouring one of the founding principals, Thomas Edward 'Ted' Dwyer, the track and field Classic is positioned as one of the ideal events at the beginning of the season to give athletes and coaches the opportunity to evaluate their readiness for other high-level competitions.

Most importantly, proceeds from this event will be used to raise scholarship funds for student-athletes who want to live, train and study in Jamaica. The meet will be at the Excelsior High School's nine-lane 400m grass-track.

The County of Cornwall Athletics Association (COCAA) First Chance Meet is scheduled to start at 8:30 am at the Collin Miller Sports Complex at Rusea's High School in Hanover.

Stephen Smith, president of COCAA, told the Observer that approximately 23 schools have registered which is a good sign in the context that there are two other meets taking place.

“I am not seeing an entrant from STETHS (St Elizabeth Technical High School) yet but the other schools from the region will be there and the schools are in camp and they are trying to look at what they have,” Smith pointed out.

The events to be contested are 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1,500m, 400m hurdles, discus and shot put.

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