Jamaica Observer / Buff Bay High (151.50 points) lead defending champions St Mary High (135 points) after 19 of the 20 scheduled finals on day one of the Eastern Athletics Championships being held at the National Stadium in Kingston. On the girls’ side, after 11 events scored, Buff Bay lead with 104.5 points ahead of St Mary High (100 points) with Oberlin in third with 45.5 points. On the boys’ side Titchfield lead with 59 points after eight events scored. Buff Bay have been strong in both the field and on the track, sending a strong signal to the defending champions that they will have to work very hard to retain their championship.
Five records were broken on the day, four by individuals and one relay on an exciting opening day of athletic action.
On the girls’ side, Shone Walters of St Mary High erased the old mark of 5:02.33 set by Shanique Masters in 2013 when she ran 4:57.05 to win the Class One 1500m final.Vanessa Ward of Titchfield High was second in 5:05.36 and Jhamelia Myers, also of St Mary High, third in 5:07.23.
Defending champion Jamara Scott retained her title in the Class Three high jump erasing the old mark of 1.60m when she cleared 1.65m to claim gold. Jamara is the first born of triplets and competed with her sister who had to withdraw due to injury. Their brother who makes up the triplet is not participating at the championships.
Scott said she achieved the targets she set herself coming into the championships.
“It is an overwhelming feeling that I could come and get the record. I have been working for it all season and I am glad I came out today and got it.”
Her ambitions do not stop at the Eastern Championships and Scott is hoping to medal at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships which will be held at the same venue next month.
The other record by females was set by St Mary High when they broke their own mark of 49.29secs in the Class Three 4x100m heats, speeding to 49.04secs in advancing to the final.
Chadrick Bacchus of Port Antonio High smashed the old record of 4:31.34 in the Class Three boys’ 1500m final when he stopped the clock at 4:23.85, winning the race by a city block. Devounie Williams of St Mary High was a distant second in 4:41.35, while Caballero Walters of St Thomas Technical was third in 4:41.90.
Bacchus returned later in the afternoon to easily qualify for the final of the 800m and seems a safe bet to claim a second gold medal on today’s final day.
The other record came in the field when Romaine Beckford of Buff Bay High heaved the discus to 45.64m to erase the old mark of 45.00m that was held by Nicolas Mendez. Second was Kimoye Adams, also of Buff Bay with 40.80, and Shamar Reid of St Thomas Technical was third with 33.38.
All the events on today’s second day will be finals.