The race for the boys’ title at the 2019 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships at the National Stadium was predicted to be very close between Calabar High and Kingston College (KC), while Edwin Allen High were expected to prove too hot to handle among the girls.
After the fourth and penultimate day on Friday, KC had a 40-point lead over the seven-time defending champions Calabar High in second place and Edwin Allen High, the five-time defending champions, were 63 ahead of Hydel in second place.
Based on Pre-Champs predictions, Calabar High were expected to cut deep into KC’s lead on the final day, while it would be smooth sailing for Edwin Allen.
However, those predictions proved wrong as KC easily won the Mortimer Geddes trophy for the first time in a decade, while Edwin Allen had to survive a big scare from Hydel High before retaining their crown by only seven points.
KC racked up 395.50 points at the end led by victories in the Class 1 4×100 (39.98), and the sprint hurdles to put an end to Calabar’s winning streak.
Coincidentally, many of KC’s highlights were at the expense of their main rivals Calabar.
Long Jump champion Wayne Pinnock proved he could produce record-breaking performances on the track too, winning the Class 1 110m hurdles in 13.06, eclipsing 2018 champion’s (Dejour Russell of Calabar) record of 13.10. Pinnock’s teammate Akeem Cargill finished second in 13.28. Russell, who also made the final, would finish fourth.
Pinnock also anchored KC’s to victory in the Class 1 4x100m relays. He staved off a sustained challenge from Calabar’s Michael Stephens to take the gold in 39.98. Calabar finished in 40.15.
KC had a 1-2 finish in the Class 2 100m hurdles through Ra’John Gray(13.17) and Amontae Wray(13.18).
KC’s Neil Matthew-Sutherland (13.75) finished third behind the St Jago pair of 100m champion Vashaun Vascianna (13.26) and Jahvel Granville (13.43) in the Class 2 110m hurdles.
KC also secured victories through Akeem Weir’s Class 3 400m (50.49), Jaquan Coke (1:58.50) in the Class 3 800m and the Class 3 4x100m relay team, which won in 43:13.
Wolmer’s Jeremy Farr (45.65) won the Class 1 boys 400m final.
Taylor, who barely qualified for the final of his signature event, finished second in 46.38 and pulled out of the 200m final, which was won by Wolmer’s, Xavier Nairne’s 20.91 to win.
Calabar won the Class 1 boys’ 800m with an impressive display by Kimar Farquharson, who set a new Champs Record of 1:48.67. He outpaced Tyrice Taylor, 1:48.91 and KC middle distance star, Tarees Rhoden, 1:49.04.
KC finished the meet by earning second place points in the 4x400m open relay. Excelsior won in 3:10.95 while 3:12.08 for their second place.
In the girls’ championship, Edwin Allen survived after entering the final day with a big 63-point lead.
Hydel picked up 33 points from the first three track finals – the 400m, where Edwin Allen had no finalists.
In the next set of events, Hydel picked up 14 points in the Class 3 long jump and three points from Class 3 shot put. Edwin Allen were also missing from those finals.
The sprint hurdles were next, and even though Edwin Allen won the Class 4 70m obstacle with Santae Wilson (10.49), Hydel outscored them 26 to 15 to move within two points on the champions.
Hydel’s Class 1 star Charokee Young with 52.48 and 2:06.02 to win the 400m and 800m kept her team within a single digit of Edwin Allen 193 to 186 points.
Edwin Allen, however, restored their double-digit lead 221 to 211 points after Kevona Davis’ (23.21) victory in the Class 2 200m final and the Clayton twin (Tia 23.44) and Tina (23.46) 1-2 finish in Class 3.
Ashanti Moore ran 23.26 to complete the Class 1 girls’ sprint double victory for Hydel.
Edwin Allen also picked up huge points in the 3,000m open, which they won with Kayan Green (10:13.02) and their medley relay victory in 4:01.09 just ahead of Hydel 4:02.52.
In the sprint relay finals, Edwin Allen won Classes 2 and 3 in 45.27 and a record 44.25 respectively, while Hydel topped Class 1 in 44.44. Edwin Allen at this stage led 281 to 260.
Although Thaila Wilson of Hydel won the heptathlon for 12 points, Amoy Edwards’ 6th place finish for five points made sure Edwin Allen won Champs going into the mile relay final.
Edwin Allen wrapped up their sixth straight title with 291 points over Hydel’s 284.