St George’s College target 5 years to return to Champs glory
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Former champions St George’s College earned their highest point total in five years at the recently concluded Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships, an accomplishment which is being attributed to a five-year plan by management to return the ‘light blues’ of North Street to their former glory.
“Well, we have a five-year plan and this is just year one. It started off by just redefining the coaching staff. So, we have appointed Gavin James as the head coach, Kevin Pryce as the hurdles coach, Wilbert Walker as the jumps coach, Franz Ford as the throws coach and Garfield Gordon as the distance coach. That was the first step that we took, which we did last year in June,” St George’s College track and field team manager Barrington Groves told OBSERVER ONLINE.
“We then started to grow the team from eight members to a team of 25, which was the target. We ended up with a team of 33, of which 28 participated at Champs. So those were some of the objectives that we had in the first year. Another objective that we mentioned was to break into the top 10, which we anticipated would take about 35 points,” he added.
The school fell short of its points and placement target, finishing in 13th place with 19 points, but Groves expressed satisfaction with the overall performance, the highlight of which was Jahzi Walters earning a bronze medal for the school in the Class 3 boys’ 100m hurdles on Saturday.
St George’s are a powerhouse in schoolboy football, winning the urban area Manning Cup 22 times, but this success has largely not been replicated in track and field. Their last Champs triumph came nearly a century ago, having won the boys’ title in 1914 and 1925.
“Well I mean, we’ve made a massive improvement from zero points last year and five years consecutive of single digit points. Our aim was 30 points, but we had some mishaps in the relays, which made us fall short of our target. But we’re pretty happy,” a beaming Groves told OBSERVER ONLINE, adding that Walters was not even involved in track and field before this year, having only recently started running competitively.
“Our team is very young and out of the 28 boys that participated at Champs, only five of them have ever participated at previous championships. So, we’re pretty young and inexperienced. So, we’re very excited about the prospects of the future,” added Groves, noting that some of the boys were hampered by injuries, which hindered them from competing at their highest level.