Cash prizes for 4th McKenley/Wint Track and Field Classic

Friday, January 18, 2019

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The fourth-staging of the McKenley/Wint Track and Field Classic (MWC) will for the first time see schools competing for cash prizes in a three-event championship, it was announced at the launch of the athletics meet on Wednesday.

The meet, named in honour of Herb McKenley and Dr Arthur Wint — two Calabar stalwarts and Jamaican legends that put the small island on the global map in 1948 — will take place at the Calabar Sports Complex tomorrow.

Schools that amass the highest number of points in both boys' and girls' sections in the 400m, long jump and discus events will walk away with $40,000. Points will be awarded to the top eight finishers in each event across all classes.

Only the top two athletes from each school will be scored and entries from host, Calabar High School, will not be scored.

Richard Parchment, member of the organising committee in charge of marketing and public relations, said this year's edition will have a “carnival like atmosphere”.

“Each year we strive to put quality in this development meet befitting the outstanding contribution these two greats for sports of track and field in Jamaica, and indeed internationally when they stamped their class on the 1948 Olympics,” Parchment said.

He continued: “The development of sports became their passion. Herb served his alma mater Calabar High School for many years after he retired. Dr Wint went on to deliver service in the field of sports medicine.

“What a day we have planned for you as of 12 noon today (Wednesday) we have a total of 70 schools that have registered. The reigning boys' and girls' champions have registered their teams. In fact, we can confirm that the top five schools in the ISSA Boys' and Girls' Championships have registered. We expect good competition and outstanding performances this Saturday.”

Dubbed the “Championship Edition”, the meet will see the debut of Calabar stars Christopher Taylor, Dejour Russell and Michael Stephens.

And for the first time a race will be run in honour of a dedicated Calabar Old Boy Kashief Bernard, who was killed in December 2018.

Bernard represented Calabar in badminton and served as an assistant athletics coach up to his untimely death. The Class One 1500m for boys and girls will be run in his honour and cash prizes of $20,000 each will be awarded to the winners.

Spectators will be treated to a feast of races and field events competition at the Calabar Sports Complex, which has seating capacity of 700 along the 100m stretch of the track, which makes for close viewing.

Main Events Entertainment will have all races projected live on the giant video screen and live streaming throughout social media will be transmitted by Stride Vision.

The events to be contested are 100m, 400m, 1500m, 400m hurdles, sprint hurdles, high jump, long jump, discus, shot put, pole vault and a new sprint relay for prep and primary school for boys and girls together.

— Howard Walker

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