Immaculate Conception signal intention to pull a fast one at Champs

Sunday, March 24, 2019

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The 26 medals gained by Immaculate Conception High School at the Digicel Corporate Area Development Meet at the weekend, weighs heavy around the neck of coach Franz Ford.

Never before in the history of the school have they won so many medals at the meet and they certainly got the attention of many with their record-breaking performances at the event.

The school performed admirably at the two-day championships to come away with 11 gold, eight silver and seven bronze medals with the outstanding Class Three and Class Four teams making significant contributions.

Ford was a proud man after the display given by his charges.

“They went out there and delivered and I am quite proud of them. We had a few hiccups and we just want to make sure that God's willing it is corrected in time for Championships,” he notes.

Immaculate finished second on points (238.50), well clear of the third placed Queen's Schools (204). Excelsior were the winners for a second year in a row with 332.50.

Over the past few years, Ford has recruited some of the best girls from the prep school track and field system and the benefits can now be seen with the power packed Class Three and Class Four teams that won points on the track and in the field.

With only a few athletes doubling up for Immacualte, there were three double gold medallists in Jounee Armstrong in Class Four, Onanda Lowe in Class Three and vice captain Danielle Sloley in Class One.

The 'Immaculate' performance began on Friday when Misha-Jade Samuels won Gold in the Class Four Girls high jump in a new record of 1.55m, while her teammate Lori Choy won bronze with 1.45m. Sloley then won silver in the Class One Girls discus with 39.10m.

The girls long jump Class Four brought more glory as Jounee Armstrong won Gold with another record of 5.85m, while Choy won her second medal of the day, a silver with 5.22m, which also bettered the old record of 5.14m.

Both the Class Three and Class Four girls won their heats in the 4x100m in record time, which was the sign of things to come.

The Class Four girls went into overdrive on Saturday, with Toni-Ann Bryan winning gold in 12.86 and Kennice Harriott silver in 12.93 in the 100m final. Jaida Creary won the 70m hurdles gold in 11.57s, Bryan took bronze in the 200m final and the 4x100m relay team broke the record they set on Friday to win gold on Saturday in 48.51s.

Onanda Lowe won the Class Three Girls long jump gold with 5.54m and the 100m gold in 12.24, while Gabrielle Lyn took silver in 12.54s. Essence Burbridge won the 80m hurdles silver in 12.07s and Mickaila Haisley won silver in the 200m final in 25.39s and bronze in the 400m final in 59.30s. Chanel Honeywell won bronze in the 200m final in 25.42s.

The fantastic Class Three performance was capped off with another record-breaking run of 46.50s to secure the gold medal there.

The fairly young coach says that the youngest members of his squad have an unshakable self-belief.

“They are hard workers and they believe in what they are doing. They are aware of the objectives and as such we have to prepare them spiritually, mentally as much as physically. Myself and the coaching body just want them to go out there and have fun in what they are doing,” Ford reasoned.

Hughasia Fyffe was the only medallist in Class Two, snatching the silver medal in the 100m final in 12.07s and bronze in the 200m final in 25.16s

On the track in Class One, Shantelle Riley won silver in the 100m final in 12.31 and bronze in the 200m final in 25.00. In the field, Sloley won the javelin throw Open gold with 35.22m and shot put gold in 13.33m. Ashalee Brown took the long jump bronze in 5.39m.

Immaculate would have had their final dress rehearsal before Champs at the Digicel Grand Prix Final at GC Foster College last weekend.

— Dwayne Richards

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