Jamaica Gleaner / St Mary High school dominated the sprint events at the first leg of the Digicel Grand Prix series to retain their title as Eastern Athletics Champions at the National Stadium yesterday.
The school from Highgate, St Mary amassed 710 points to Buff Bay High School’s 655.5 to capture the overall title. However, 2016 champions, Buff Bay High School, performed well in the last few events on the schedule to nip the boys’ crown.
But with overall champion girl, Tamera Howell, leading the way, St Mary High managed to walk away with the title. Howell won the 400m, the 800m, and rounded off her performance with a second-place finish in the 3000m open.
St Mary High also scored heavily in the short sprint events [100 and 200m] in the girls’ section, to pull away from their rivals.
The pair of Sydonie McIntosh and Glacian Loutin got the work done in Class Three, winning the 100 and 200 metres respectively.
McIntosh was most impressive though, breaking the 100m record previously held by World Athletic Championships relay gold medallist, Natasha Morrison.
McIntosh stopped the clock at 12.11 seconds to erase Morrison’s previous mark of 12.18.
McIntosh and Loutin would combine their efforts later in the day to win the 4x100m relay. St Mary also won the 4x100m in Classes Four, Two and One.
In Class Two, Janaelia Campbell won the 100m in 12.40 before returning later to claim the sprint double with the 200m in a time of 25.22. She was also a member of the Class Two 4x100m relay team.
Coach, Dwayne Williams, said their dominance in the sprints was by default as the inclement weather conditions that battered the eastern parishes over the last six months prevented them from training on the school’s playing field.
“We didn’t get to train on our field because it was waterlogged for the majority of the time,” Williams explained. “We had to train on a little 40-metre area, so the athletes didn’t get the endurance that they need.”
Buff Bay displayed a lot of guts, to win the boys’ sprint medley to cement the boys’ crown.
The winners of each event automatically qualify for the Grand Prix finale at the G.C. Foster Classics on March 10.