'True Blue' JC break 10-year drought to land 22nd Boys' Champs title in COVID-19 eraSunday, May 16, 2021
BY DWAYNE RICHARDS
JAMAICA College (JC) completed their highly anticipated victory at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships yesterday, winning the event by 15.5 points over the defending champions Kingston College (KC) to claim their 22nd hold on the Mortimer Geddes Trophy at the National Stadium yesterday.
JC ended on 328.50, while KC were second on 313 points. Calabar High were a distant third with 241.50, while St Elizabeth Technical with 181 and St Jago with 129 points, rounded out the top five.
The boys from Old Hope Road began the day trailing their rivals by 8.5 points but erased the deficit at the end of the 400m. JC scored a total of 30 points from the 400m compared to KC's 20 points, and they never looked back.
Jordan Taylor and Shavaughn Brown had given the boys from North Street some hope of being able to stave off the imminent blue wave when they finished first and third in the Class Three boys' race. Zachary Wallace of Maggotty High was second, while Deandre Gayle scored five points for JC in placing fourth.
But whatever lingering hopes KC had of winning were extinguished when Mark Anthony Miller and Javier Brown won the Class 2 and Class 1 races for JC. Miller was expected to win and duly obliged despite the best efforts of Mark Manley of Calabar and Derrick Grant of Ferncourt High, who he beat into second and third place, respectively.
Brown, the man of the moment and probably the man of Champs 2021, did yesterday what he did in the 400m hurdles on Friday and surprised the field to win his second gold medal of the championships, relegating race favourite Jeremy Bembridge of Calabar into second and Tahj Hamm of Holmwood Technical into third.
JC never had the success they expected in the Class Three boys' 800m as the pair of Tyrone Lawson and Rasheed Pryce finished third and fourth instead of the anticipated first and second, eclipsed by Rashid Green of STETHS and Rhsaune Johnson of Calabar who took the top two places.
Kemmario Bygrave and Khandale Frue then restored the motion of the surging blue wave with a first and second finish in Class Two that produced a significant 16 points.
Chevonne Hall of Edwin Allen High secured his second gold of the championships when he won the Class One race in a new record of 1:48.57, ahead of Rivaldo Marshall of Calabar. J'Voughnn Blake, who had missed out on a podium finish in the 1500m, got the bronze while his teammate Handal Roban got fourth place, securing 11 more points for JC.
JC didn't win any of the 200m races as Nicardo Johnson of KC won in Class Three, Mark Manley won in Class Two and the irrepressible Antonio Watson of Petersfield High won in Class One; but JC managed to pick up enough points to maintain their lead.
Over in the field, the KC pair of Aaron McKenzie and Aaron Thomas finished first and second in the Class Two boys' high jump, showing the KC spirit, but they were unable to shake the presence of the True Blue, as Chavez Penn of JC finished in third place.
Nishorn Pierre then bagged another nine points for JC when he won the Class One boys' high jump with a personal best 2.08m. Western Champs winner Dejone Raymond of STETHS was second with 2.0m, while Waukeem Walters of Wolmer's was third on countback with a best of 2.0m as well.
With JC scoring both on the track and in the field, they continued to prise the fingers of KC off the Mortimer Geddes Trophy and tighten their grip on it at the same time.
JC's Zachary Campbell finished second behind Shaiquan Dunn of St Jago, while Delano Lawrence of Calabar was third in the Class Two boys' discus. An eighth-place finish from Delangelo Jackson meant eight more points for JC, in an event where KC could only manage three points, when Romeer Currie finished sixth.
The strong desire of JC was on full display when anchor man Omarion Davis recovered from a fall to finish in third, one spot behind KC, in the 1600m sprint medley. The gold medal went to STETHS, following a strong finish by their anchor leg runner Rajay Collington.
By the end of the 4x100m the destination of the Mortimer Geddes Trophy had been decided.
St Jago won in Class One with a time of 39.75s, STETHS were second in 39.82s and JC were third in 40.21s, while KC were only fourth in 40.26.
JC won in Class Two in 40.97s, ahead of Calabar in 41.31s and KC who were in third in 41.78s.
STETHS landed another relay gold medal, winning in Class Three in 43.01, Calabar were second in 44.31s and JC were third in 44.84s. KC were a distant fifth in 45.67s.
However, showing true 'Fortis' spirit, Aron Tanui won the last gold medal of the championships for KC when he won the 5,000m Open. Tanui ran a well-measured race to get the better of a determined Romoy Grant of Bellefield High. Noel Ellis secured the only medal of the championship for Campion College when he finished in third place.
The championships would end on an anticlimactic note for JC, however, as they were disqualified from the final event of the day, the 4x400m relay, for a lane infringement after crossing the line first. The race was awarded to Excelsior, who were also winners of the event in 2019. Second place went to Calabar, while third place went to Edwin Allen. Again, KC were down the track, finishing in fifth place.
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