first_imgIt’s no surprise that Calabar High and Edwin Allen High held on to their team titles at the recently held ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships. Both schools used great depth as a launch pad to victory at the March 15 to 19 championships. However, Kingston College and Hydel High, the respective runners-up, both have reasons for optimism.Led by coach Michael Clarke’s magnificent crew of Class 2 sprinters, Calabar increased their winning margin from 16.5 points last year to 27.5 this year. Christopher Taylor, Dejour Russell, Michael Stephens and Brandon Health chipped in with one-two finishes in the 100, 200 and 400 metres and one-three in the hurdles to lead the green-and-blacks to score 118 points in Class 2.outgoing seniorThose same boys gathered a Champs all-classes record of 116 when they were in Class 3.Even though Calabar were predictably modest in Class 3, one-two results in the 110 hurdles, led by outgoing senior Seanie Selvin and Kyle Mitchell in the shot, the Class 1 team added 88 points. The corresponding numbers for KC are 50 and 46.In part, because of illness to Kevroy Venson, Calabar managed only 38.5 points in Class 3. Venson, the favourite for both the 800 and 1500 metres, was eliminated in the first round of the shorter event, but recovered to win the longer event.The 2015 Calabar Class 3 unit took 35 points home.That’s the bright side for Kingston College and Jamaica College and any others who entertain hopes of winning anytime soon. The repeated absence of a high point Class 3 squad suggests that Calabar won’t be able to replace Taylor and company when they go up to Class 1 next year.Still Kingston College have much to work on with a meagre seven-point haul from the throws – a key area for attention. With Zico Campbell joining 2015 double Class 2 champion Rasheeda Downer in Class 1, the purples should be fortified.Not even the triple disaster of a lane violation for Class 1 200m prospect Patrice Moody, an injury-hit campaign for captain Shellece Clarke, and a baton drop for the Class 4 4x100m favourites could stop the Michael Dyke-coached Edwin Allen team. Clarke lost her sprint-win streak to Kimone Shaw of St Jago, who burned the Class 2 100m record to 11.40 seconds, but that was just one battle. Edwin Allen retained the big prize by scoring almost as freely as predicted. The champion school’s gold-medal winners included sprinters like Moody, who recovered to take the Class 1 100m, and Kevona Davis, who won both the 100m and 200m in Class 3, to Cemore Donald, who copped the 800/1500 Class 3 double to steeplechase champion Teresha Jacobs.possible challengerAnna Ashley continued her phenomenal Champs career with twin wins in the Class 2 high and long jumps.The best of all of those gold medals went to Shannon Kalawan, who flitted through the 400 metre hurdles in 56.41 seconds, the second fastest time in Champs history.Only 61 points of Edwin Allen’s 337.5 total were won in Class 1.Nevertheless, Hydel have emerged as a possible challenger in the future. Attention has clearly been paid to the middle and long distances and has added to Hydel’s core areas of sprints, jumps and hurdles. Coached by Corey Bennett, Hydel amassed 263 points.That’s a Hydel scoring record. Coach Bennett will lose reliable Samara Spencer, the Class 1 long and triple jump winner, to graduation after a fine Champs career, but he and his team have found a winning formula. Time will tell if it is quite enough to close in on Edwin Allen at Boys and Girls’ Championships 2017.For now, it’s time for Calabar and Edwin Allen to celebrate.• HUBERT LAWRENCE has attended Champs since 1980.last_img

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