By Noel ‘Bravo’ Francis, Special to TrackAlerts.com
In the final edition of our Girls’ champs feature we look at the exciting relay showdowns. The relay events can be unpredictable because of several factors such as baton exchange mishaps, running out of lanes and zone violations. I am always nervous throughout a sprint relay praying that all goes well for the teams, as most times the disappointments are unbearable to watch. First let us look at the points system.
Many track fans love the excitement of ‘Champs’ while leaving the meticulous task of points tallying to the officials. Nevertheless, I believe it is important for everyone to know how the points are allotted for the various positions in the relays at ‘Champs’.
Points systems – Relays
1st – 12 points
2nd – 10 points
3rd – 8 points
4th – 6 points
5th – 5 points
6th – 4 points
7th – 3 points
8th – 2 points
From my observation, we can expect to see some great relay races from the following:
Class 1 4x100M
At the Gibson Relays Edwin Allen underlined their class with a record-breaking run of 44.48 seconds. They are the only Class 1 team to have gone below 45 seconds this season and they have done it twice. Therefore, the fate of Edwin Allen in this event is not dependent on their opponents; it is ensuring that they put on another flawless display similar to the performance at the Gibson Relays.
Defending champions in this event Holmwood Technical have been chasing Edwin Allen all season and would be hoping to create a major upset. They are missing the services of Kedisha Dallas now at G.C Foster College from last year’s all conquering team that won the Penn Relays title in 44.82 seconds.
However, with the retention of Chanice Bonner, Yanique Thompson and Diana Johnson from that quartet much more is expected. The key is to find a suitable replacement for Dallas. St. Jago High will be hoping to bounce back after the disappointment at the Gibson Relays where they did not finish this event. Wolmer’s Girls are outsiders and should be in the top four. This will be the first relay in the girls’ category on the final day and Edwin Allen would like to set the tone by starting on a winning note.
Class 2 4X100M
This is shaping up to be one of the most competitive sprint relay events. Wolmer’s splendid win at the Gibson Relays makes them slight favourites to win gold. Many are looking forward to another super clash between the top teams Wolmer’s, St. Jago High, Green Island and Edwin Allen.
However, I believe a serious challenge could come from Holmwood Technical who looked out of sorts at the Gibson Relays and Hydel High who were disqualified for committing a zone violation in the finals at the same meet. This event will definitely surpass the excitement experienced at the Gibson Relays. Can Wolmer’s Girls win this event at ‘Champs’ two years in a row? Will St. Jago High put the right team together and shock their opponents?
Class 3 4X100M
The Hydel Group of Schools are the defending champions in this event and have been in some very close finishes with Edwin Allen High all season at various meets. This keen tussle between both schools should continue, however, I suspect though that St. Jago High will be in the mix.
The sheer quality of Kimone Shaw will be on display either on the second or anchor leg for St. Jago High School; we hope her teammates provide the required support. This one is too close to call, and will be great entertainment for the fans. I am leaving it up to you to predict a winner.
Class 4 4X100M
Hydel Group of Schools has been one of the dominant teams in the lower classes for the past two years. They will be hoping to continue that trend and defend their title. However, they might face a major roadblock in St. Jago High School.
St. Jago High will be seeking to make amends after their massive blunder in the third exchange zone at the Gibson Relays after leading by over 10 meters. This loss in concentration by the anchor leg runner reminded everyone that properly executed baton exchanges in a sprint relay is equally important as raw speed. It is always a beautiful spectacle when there is a combination of both elements.
In my view St. Jago High are still favourites if the baton goes around, as I believe they would have learnt their lesson from that mistake. I expect Edwin Allen, Convent of Mercy Academy (Alpha) and Hydel High to be engaged in a keen battle for second.
If ‘Champs’ is not yet decided by the time this final race comes along neutral fans will be happy. Edwin Allen knows how important this final race at ‘Champs’ will be to their title challenge and no doubt will be going all out to ensure victory.
They have been the form team throughout the season and should win easily barring any unforeseen setbacks by at least 40 meters. St. Jago High, Vere Technical, Holmwood Technical and STETHS will be in a keen battle for second and third place.
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