Kingston College (KC) and Edwin Allen High on Saturday night won the respective titles at the 2019 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships at the National Stadium.
North Street-based KC scored a runaway victory over Calabar to win by all of 82.5 points, but Edwin Allen High had to survive a strong challenge from Hydel High throughout the final day before securing a seven-point victory.
KC, which entered the fifth and final day on 180 points, 40 ahead of second–place Calabar High, ended the championships with a record 395.5 points after the 42 finals were scored to dethrone the seven-time defending champion and won their first title since 2009 and 32 overall.
Calabar ended with 313 points. Jamaica College (232.5), St Jago High (106.5), St Elizabeth Technical High School (90), Wolmer’s Boys (80), Petersfield High (51), Bellefield High (40), Edwin Allen High (39) and Rusea’s High (35) complete the top 10.
The track and field title came four months after KC defeated North Street neighbours St George’s College 3-2 in a dramatic ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup final, at the National Stadium to win urban area biggest schoolboy football prize for the first time in 32 years.
Edwin Allen High, which entered the final day on 131 points, 52 ahead of Holmwood Technical in second place, took the girls’ championships with 291 points after the 46 finals were scored for their sixth straight victory and seventh overall. Hydel High scored 284 points for their second place.
Holmwood Technical (220), St Jago High (207) and Rusea’s High (84), Immaculate Conception High School (80), Excelsior (80), Vere Technical (64), Spalding High (51) and St Catherine High (44) complete the top 10.
KC secured the Mortimer Geddes trophy long before the relays and even delivered an unexpected victory by taking the Boys’ Class 1 4x100m relay final in 39.98 seconds. Calabar High, with Michael Stephens on the anchor leg, finished second in 40.15.
The victory handed Wayne Pinnock three gold medals for the championships.
Pinnock on Thursday won the Boys’ Class 1 long jump and earlier on Saturday scored an impressive victory in the 110m hurdles, the two coming in record-breaking fashion.
Pinnock, after leaping a record 8.05m on Thursday, returned to face a crack field of hurdlers, including the Champs record holder, Dejour Russell of Calabar, who was running just his second race of the season.
Pinnock clocked 13.06 seconds to break Russell’s 2018 record of 13.10, finishing ahead of teammate Akeem Cargill, 13.28, and Rasheed Broadbell of St Jago High, 13.33.
Russell was fourth in 13.43 seconds.
KC also scored big points in the Class 3 100m hurdles courtesy of a 1-2 finish. Ra’john Gray won in 13.17, just ahead of his teammate Amontae Wray (13.18).
St Jago High had a 1-2 finish in the Class 2 110m hurdles. Vashaun Vascianna smashed the record of 13.35 he set last year to clock 13.26 seconds. Jahvel Granville was well beaten into second place in 13.43.
In one of the most anticipated events at the championships, Calabar High’s Kimar Farquharson smashed the 32-year meet record in the Boys’ Class 1 800m.
In a thrilling finish, Farquharson outbattled Tyrice Taylor of Enid Bennett High and Tarees Rhoden, the KC captain, to cross the line in 1:48.67 and erased the previous mark of 1:48.84 set by Vere Technical’s Sherwin Burgess in 1987.
Tyrice Taylor clocked 1:48.91 for second place and Rhoden crossed the line in 1:51.59 for third.
A record run was highly expected after Tyrice Taylor turned back a strong field at the Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championships to clock an impressive 1:48.85 seconds, a time which was just one-hundredth of a second outside of the Champs record.
Earlier, Jeremy Farr of Wolmer’s Boys’ School handed Christopher Taylor of Calabar High his first defeat over 400m at the championships.
Farr came with a strong stretch run to split the Calabar pair of Taylor and Evaldo Whitehorne on his way to register a big personal best 45.65.
Christopher Taylor, the Class 2 and Class 3 record holder at Champs, held on for second in 46.38, while Whitehorne finished third in 46.54.
Following his 400m defeat, Christopher Taylor – who was expected to give Calabar High big points in the championships – pulled out of the Boys’ Class 1 200m final and the Boys’ 4x400m relay open final.
Xavier Naire of Wolmer’s Boys won the Boys’ Class 1 200m in impressive form, clocking 20.91 to beat KC’s Jevaughn J Powell, Clarendon College’s Rajay Morris and JC’s Ryiem Roberson, all credited with 21.02 seconds.
In the Boys’ 4x400m open, Excelsior surprised KC to take the gold medal in 3:10.95. KC held on for second in 3:12.08, while Holmwood Technical came home third in 3:12.15.
Earlier, Oneika Mcannuff of Hydel High and Akeem Weir of KC also registered big personal best times over 400m on their way to gold medals.
Mcannuff outbattled Rickiann Russell of Holmwood Technical in the straight and then pulled away for the victory in a personal best 53.01 in the Girls’ Class 3 400m. Russell crossed the line in 53.88. Clarendon College’s Dejanea Oakley finished third in 54.09.
And Weir staved off a strong and determined challenge from Deshaun Gordon of Charlemont High to take victory in the Boys’ Class 3 400m in a personal best 50.49. Gordon clocked 50.66 for his second place, while Jasauna Dennis of St Elizabeth Technical High School finished third in 51.15