Calabar, XLCR favourites to retain Corporate Area Champs titles

Senior staff reporter

Friday, March 08, 2019

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Defending champions Excelsior girls and Calabar High start favourites to retain their Digicel Anthrick Corporate Area Championship crowns as the two-day meet starts today inside the National Stadium.

The Corporate Area Championship, which is the fourth stop of five in the Digicel Grand Prix Series, should be an intriguing one for top honours and the winning prize of $250,000.

Excelsior girls, who last year totalled 342 points and beat Wolmer's Girls by 95 points, will be hard to beat following some strong performances in the development meets. Having won last year, they went on and performed creditably and placed sixth in the all-island Boys and Girls Championship.

Once again Wolmer's, Queen's High, Immaculate High, St Andrew High, Camperdown High and Convent of Mercy “Alpha” should keep them on their toes.

Eyes will be set on the likes of Excelsior's Class two 100m hurdler Ackera Nugent, her high jumping teammate Shantae Foreman, Daszay Freeman of Queen's High, Janielle Josephs of St Andrew High, to name a few.

But most interest is expected on the boys side as all-island champion Calabar High look to fend off the challenges of Kingston College (KC) and Jamaica College (JC). The green and black standard bearers of Red Hills Road amassed 491 points last year and won easily with KC some 102 points behind with 389 and JC third with 226.

Calabar should again win if they send a strong team, but both KC and JC will be closer this time around. The stage is set for a tactical and psychological battle among the three top schools as they might not want to show their hands before Champs later this month.

But with not much time between now and Champs, which starts on March 26, the top schools will find it extremely difficult to hide their hands. There are doubts surrounding the likes of Calabar stars Michael Stephens and Dejour Russell, who were spotted at only one meet this season, and fans will be looking to see if they turn up or what kind of condition they are in.

Christopher Taylor, the emerging Oblique Seville, Evaldo Whitehorne, Kimar Farquharson, Kevroy Venson, Kai Chang and Andrew Betton should prove too hot to handle.

KC will look towards the likes of long jump sensation Wayne Pinnock, captain Tarees Rhoden, Romel Plummer, Jhevaughn Powell, Ralford Mullings and Henry twins Gianni and Giouvanni for inspiration. With a few weeks before Champs, eyes will also be looking to see if Aryamana Rodgers recovers from his injury.

JC will be looking to really make a statement and Dugion Blackman, Ryiem Robertson, Michali Everett, J'Voughnn Blake, Christopher Scott and Dwight Downer will lead from the front.

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