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Queen's/Grace Jackson meet embodies rich track and field legacy

Friday, January 19, 2018

The 17th staging of the Queen's/Grace Jackson Track and Field Development Meet will take place at the National Stadium on Saturday, January 27 .

This and other details were announced on Wednesday at a press launch on the grounds of the all-girls' school.

The Queen's school is the only all-girls' school to host a track and field development meet and also boasts the proud record of being the only all-girls' school from the Corporate Area to win the ISSA/Grace Kennedy Girls' Championships. This they did 40 years ago in 1978, when the patron after whom the meet is named, Grace Jackson, was a member of the track team.

In 1978, Queen's took first and second in the Classes Two, Three and Four sprint hurdles. In Class Two, Jackson won the 100m hurdles and Paulette Morris was second.

In Class Three, Sharon Clarkson won the 80m hurdles and Sharon Walker was second, while in Class Four, Christine Hutchinson won the 70m hurdles and Janine McGregor was second.

No other school before or since has been able to repeat that feat.

Speaking by way of a recording, the coach of the winning team in 1978, Barbara Briggs, advised the members of the current track team that “success doesn't come easily or overnight, but has to be worked at”.

“It (success) takes discipline, dedication, hard work, long hours of training and belief in yourselves that you can do it.

“Nothing comes to you on a platter, it has to be worked for. Here, I must emphasise that our achievement 40 years ago did not come overnight (as) it took 10 long years of building and moulding a quality team that saw itself gradually rising up the points and place standing until we finally arrived among the top four schools,” she said.

The Queen's Grace Jackson Meet is one where a number of senior athletes make their season debut, and meet manager Olive McNaughton indicated that it would be the same again this year.

Speaking on behalf of the sponsor Wisynco, sponsorship and events manager Jermaine Brown said: “We enjoy a great partnership with Queen's. It is significant and speaks to the rich history of Jamaica's track and field that we have meets that are named after past Olympians... and it brings impetus to the girls that are coming up right now to push towards greatness,” he said.

Registration for the meet is currently on and this can be done online at www.queensgracejacksonmeet.com.jm. Registration closes on Tuesday and each school will be allowed a maximum of four entrants per event.

The event is set for an 8:30 am start with the Class Three Boys' 400m and will close with the Men's 4x400m.There will be a special 60m Invitational event at 6:00 pm for senior athletes who are preparing for the Indoor Championships.The sprint hurdles, all classes, male and female as well as all the field events, will be contested.

— Dwayne Richards