Jamaica Observer / St Mary High School defended their Digicel Eastern Athletics Championships despite a determined effort from Buff Bay High School at the National Stadium yesterday. The champions trailed Buff Bay heading into the final day but were able to overhaul the deficit by the end of the 100m finals. St Mary won with a total of 710 points compared to the 655.50 points gained by second-placed Buff Bay High. Titchfield High were third with 396, Oberlin High on 343.50 for fourth and Morant Bay High rounded out the top five with 217 points.
Buff Bay High topped the male team section with 297 points dethroning St Mary High, who scored 277 points. Titchfield High were third with 179, Oberlin fourth with 152, Morant Bay fifth with 110, Port Antonio sixth with 80, St Thomas Technical seventh with 68.50, St Mary Technical eighth with 65.50, Fair Prospect ninth with 50 and Tacky High rounded out the top 10 with 47 points.
St Mary High streaked away with the female section gaining a whopping 433 points to leave Buff Bay trailing in their dust with 385.50 points. Titchfield were also third in this section with 217 points, Oberlin fourth with 191.50, Morant Bay fifth with 107, Glengoffe sixth with 81, St Mary’s College seventh with 47, Tacky eighth with 35 points, St Thomas Technical ninth with 25, while Port Antonio rounded out the top 10 with 22 points.
St Mary took control following the running of the 800m, winning five of the six finals. They continued their surge to victory when the sprint relays began, claiming three of the four girls’ finals. They took gold in classes four to two before Oberlin High spoilt the sweep when they won the Class One final.
They were at it again in the boys’ equivalent, winning the Class Three and Class One finals, but were upstaged by boys’ champions Buff Bay in Class Two.
The girls’ sprint medley was won by Morant Bay High, while Buff Bay High took gold in the boys’ final.
Fittingly, St Mary took gold in the final track event for both the boys and girls when they won both 4x400m finals.
There were a number of outstanding performances during the two-day event, most notably from the overall champion girl and the overall champion boy.
Tamera Howell of St Mary High won three gold medals and one silver medal to score a whopping 34 points. She won gold in the 400m, 800m and 1500m, while she took silver in the 3000m final.
Romaine Beckford of Buff Bay High won four gold medals, three individual and a relay gold. Beckford won gold with a record throw in the discus on day one, then returned to win gold in the high jump also with a record. He then went on to win gold in the shot put before joining his teammates to secure a medley relay gold.
Another big winner at the championship was Aaron Lowe of St Mary High, who won three gold medals in the Class One boys’ 400m, 800m and 1500m.
— Dwayne Richards