Edwin Allen, St Jago set to defend titles at Central Champs

Observer staff reporter

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

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Edwin Allen and St Jago High schools will go in defence of their titles at what is expected to be another explosive staging of the Digicel Central Championships, which takes centre stage at G C Foster College today.

Action in the two-day meet is scheduled to get under way at 8:30 am, with day-two action set to begin half-hour later at 9:00 am.

Edwin Allen, the reigning ISSA Girls' Champions, and St Jago, were a cut above the competition when retaining their titles in emphatic fashion last year, and a similar result is expected at this year's meet.

A heavy component of the island's outstanding junior athletes, who are now rounding into form, is set to come a blazing, which should add more flavour to what is already a well cooked-up meet — the fourth in the exhilarating, five-race Digicel Grand Prix series.

The Michael Dyke-conditioned Edwin Allen High are expected to face stiff competition from Holmwood Technical, St Jago, Hydel High and Vere Technical, while the boys' section will see St Jago battling Holmwood, Edwin Allen and Glenmuir for the top spot.

Chester McCarthy, a member of the organising committee, was beaming about the finger-licking prospects to come, with the top five girls' schools from the ISSA Girls' Championships set to lock horns.

“We are at the facility now doing the necessary set-ups and we will continue into the night so that come tomorrow, we will be ready to get the first event going on time, because this is one of the major build-up events to Boys' and Girls' champs,” McCarthy told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

“On the first day we will be having mostly the preliminaries and then on day two we will have live coverage via SportsMax, which is pretty much all finals. So we will have fireworks starting as early as the first day because this meet has the top five schools from the girls' champs section and a number of top performers on the boys' section,” he added.

Athletes will contest the full slate of Grand Prix Championship events, which are the 100m, 200m, 400m, 400m hurdles, 800m, 4x400m and medley relays, as well as long jump, high jump and discus for classes one and two athletes, to put their school in a position to capture the $1-million top prize.

McCarthy, who is also a member of the Holmwood Technical management team, believes the meet will give fans a glimpse of what to expect at the Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships, particularly in the female category.

“I am sure all the schools will be coming all out and so our (Holmwood) girls are expected to perform well. As always, once Holmwood get out there the objective is to win. sometimes it doesn't necessarily happen like that, but the objective is to go for the top spot and then let the chips fall where they may,” McCarthy noted.

The top two from each Grand Prix Championship event will qualify for the finals to be contested at the Grand Prix finale – the G C Foster Classics scheduled for March 10 at the National Stadium.

along with the Grand Prix events, the 70m, 80m, 100m and 110m hurdles as well as the 1,500m, 3,000m, and the 4x100m relay will also be on the track, while the triple jump and javelin will be the other field events.

The champion schools in both sections will pocket $250,000, with $100,000 for the runners-up and $50,000 for the third-placed teams.

The winning schools overall will take home $1 million towards their sports programme, while the second- and third-placed schools will be awarded $500,000 and $200,000, respectively.




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