The 2018 Boys and Girls Athletics Championships, popularly called Champs, runs off Tuesday (20 March) and crosses the finish line on Saturday.
Defending champions Calabar and Edwin Allen will start favourites for the boys’ and girls’ titles respectively.
Calabar will be going in search of their seventh straight title while Edwin Allen will be hoping to make it five in a row.
Kingston College (KC), the overwhelming favourites in 2017, will be Calabar’s main challenger while Hydel, Holmwood and St. Jago are expected to make things tough for Edwin Allen.
Christopher Taylor and Dejour Russell, both of Calabar, are the biggest names for Champs2018. Both athletes are World Youth gold medallists, Taylor over 400 metres in 2015 and Russell, who is the current 110m hurdles champion.
On the female side, Edwin Allen enters with the biggest name in Kevona Davis. She too had some success at the World Youth stage, in 2017, winning bronze in the 100m.
World Youth 400m hurdles silver medallist Sanique Walker of Vere and Dazsay Freeman, now at The Queens School, took bronze in the 100m hurdles, also at the 2017 World Youth Championships, are two other high profiled athletes.
Two potential record breaking relays could come in the Class 1 boys’ division. This includes the 4x100m which will feature Calabar’s quartet of Tyreke Wilson, Taylor, Michael Stephens and Russell, who registered a stunning 39secs flat to win at Penns in 2017. This is just 3/100th of a second outside the national junior record of 38.97 set in 2012 at World Junior Championships in Barcelona.
The other relay that track and field fans will be watching keenly is the Championships’ final event, the boys 4x400m open. Again Calabar is expected to dominate this event with their powerful team of Anthony Carpenter, Shermar Chambers, Taylor and Malike James King. This team ran 3:05.04, a Jamaican High School, at the Corporate Area meet in February. The Champs record is 3:06.76, done in 2015, also by Calabar.
Other events to watch are Class 1 boys 200m with Taylor, Class 2 girls’ 100m with Davis, and the Class 1 boys’ 110m hurdles with Russell