jueves, 12 de abril de 2012

"Champs" 2012: Looking for the Real Thing

Usain Bolt supports his school William Knibb High at Champs
             At the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Jamaica astonished the world when they tallied six gold medals at the sprint athletic events, including a clean sweep of the women’s 100m dash by Shelly-Ann Fraser, Kerron Stewart and Sherone Simpson and the unbelievable records achieved by “lightning” Bolt. In successive years this island of scarcely 3 million of inhabitants has kept its dominance of the sprints scene, relegating the USA to second fiddle, Usain Bolt is currently the biggest track and field star and also noteworthy is the growing depth of the country at the 100m and 200m in both sex categories. All those achievements have attired many specialists in the sport from all over the world who are trying to find the key of this sensational Jamaican success, in the same way they travel to Iten in order to discover the formula of long distance Kenyan runners.
Undoubtedly researchers have initially focused in the foremost athlete of Jamaica, the 25th year-old living legend. Bolt grew up in the mountainous region of Trelawny, in the North West of the island. Like many children in the country, the future record holder had to walk several miles daily in order to reach school through the hills, so he acquired an athletic conditioning not even noticing. Aunt Lilly points out also to the delicious yam and banana dishes she still prepares for him. (1) Bolt’s diet based in rich and complex carbohydrates would be the secret of his astounding performances, though the athlete himself has often argued he does not follow any special diet, unless it is his famous combination of chicken nuggets and Guinness. The man who has run the 100m in 9.58sec and the 200m in 19.19sec has also his own theory about the formidable success of his country in track and field: "It is confidence. We are a confident people; we love winning and to be the best at whatever we do, so we work hard to achieve it." (1) This explanation fits with studies as the ones of Rachel Irving, Professor from the University of Western Indies, who states a lot of Jamaicans have high levels of serotonin, the “speed gene” in their bodies.  "Serotonin determines mental toughness. If your level is high, you have a special gene; you tend to be very determined, aggressive." (1)

Munro's Delano Williams the new sprint sensation in the Caribbean
Genetics, natural food rich in carbohydrates, running to school… It does not sound familiar? I think we have already heard that about Kenyan athletes one thousand million times lately. Yet if we dig deeply we can discover peculiar circumstances in Jamaican track and field we cannot find anywhere else in the world. As in Kenya, athletics is in the third largest island of the Caribbean the national sport. Suffice to say all 55 medals the country has accomplished at the Olympics but one were won in track and field, and every kid dreams he will become the next Usain Bolt, in the same way Brazilian children want to be like Pelé or Ronaldinho. As in the East African country there is also a long and outstanding tradition of practice of the sport and triumphs at the Olympic Games. Yet in Jamaica this tradition goes back even further in time. Kenya was not seriously involved with track and field until British colonizers, notably through the tireless work of John Velzian, instilled the practice of the sport in the 1950s and the first Olympic gold medals did not come until 1968 in Mexico. On the other hand, Jamaica had already completed a 1-2 at the 400m, thanks to Arthur Wint and Herbert McKenley, the first time they entered the Olympic Games, as an independent country, in London 1948. Furthermore, track and field practice inside Jamaica has very deep roots, and the foremost example is the ISSA Inter-Secondary Schools Boys and Girls’ Championships, locally known simply as “Champs,” which is the oldest and most popular manifestation of its kind in the world. Interestingly, the Caribbean holds the two most prestigious track and field youth competitions in the world, being the other Carifta Games. The Champs, staged every year since 1910 with the only interruption of 1944, have been decisive in the formative years of every athlete of note in the island: Arthur Wint, Herb McKenley, Lennox Miller, Don Quarrie, Bert Cameron, Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, Merlene Ottey, Juliet Cuthbert, Sandie Richards, Deon Hemmings, Trecia Smith, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Melaine Walker, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Sherone Simpson… all grew up as runners at Champs.

Paul-Ann Gayle set a new Champs record at the discus Class-3
Photo: ian Allen
Champs are in the heart of arguably the most intense, consistent and organized track and field program to be found anywhere in the world. Furthermore there is no activity in the public or private sector in Jamaica as well established and successful as athletics, thanks to the long experience of instruction, management and administration of track and field all over a century. (2)  No sportive event in the country awakes as much passion as Champs, which are called for a reason the mini-Olympics. Every year the weekend before Easter an enthusiastic crowd of 30.000 spectators gather at the Kingston national stadium to support their favourite high school. There are four different age groups among the boys and three among the girls but, speaking about scores, the victory of a 14-year-old athlete Class-3 contributes for his school with as many points as the triumph of an already-19 veteran Class-1. Through exposure to tremendous competition and an excited crowd, the young athlete, who sees Champs as an opportunity to escape poverty, learns from an early age to deal with pressure and also develops a right aptitude for hard work, discipline, perseverance and team spirit. Champs prepare youngsters for big-time competition and as Usain Bolt says if you can win at Champs you can do it everywhere. No wonder Jamaican squads as Wolmer’s, Munro and Kingston College among the boys, and also Edwin Allen, Vere Tech and Holmwood among the girls, had no match in US high schools in the last edition of Penn Relays and expect the same for this year.

Spalding's Simoya Campbell leads the new generation of
Jamaican middle distance runners

110m hurdles legend Colin Jackson, one of the many former athletes who never miss his annual date with Champs, describes accurately the socio-cultural relevance of the most important competition in the Jamaican sportive calendar: "I have been to a few championships in my time, and, you know, the Olympics, the worlds and the Europeans are all pretty good. They are OK. But this is different. This is Champs. When you come here you see the real root of the sport. The Jamaican kids have such desire to compete. It is incredible. And the knowledge of the crowds is fantastic. Inside that stadium will be women in their mid-60s who will be able to discuss the form of all these school stars. It illustrates the knowledge and commitment you find at Champs. I go into stadiums in the UK and I can tell you that spectators will not even know the names of the major stars in our sport – never mind high-school runners. At Champs you get to understand how deeply ingrained track and field is in this nation. My parents are both Jamaican, and I was brought up with Jamaican culture, but I still could not understand why they had this passion for the sport. It was only when I came to Champs that I finally understood. This is Athletics in its purest state." (3)
Usain Bolt went from big success at Champs, defending the colors of his school William Knibb High, to international stardom and so did many others. The last one for the moment is 100m gold medalist in Daegu Yohan Blake, who competing for St Jago established the current Champs record at the 100m in Class-1 in 2007 (10.21), just one week before setting a new national junior best at Carifta (10.11) and also owns the Class-2 record at the distance. Notwithstanding, there is not straight line from Champs to Olympics and World Championships. Deon Hemmings, the first Jamaican female Olympic champion never shone at Champs and neither did Sherone Simpson. Shelly-Ann Fraser struggled to win her only scholar gold medal for Wolmer’s in 2004.  http://moti-athletics-100-w.blogspot.com.es/2012/02/one-thousand-reasons.html   On the other hand Champs dominating forces as Calabar’s “little warrior” Daniel England never made it to the senior ranks while other quarter milers of his time with lower profiles as Michael Blackwood and Danny McFarlane were quite successful years afterwards. (4) Yet most important than victories for the likes of Blackwood, McFarlane, Hemmings, Simpson and Fraser were the tough lessons they learned while competing at Champs. Asafa Powell’s inability to hold his nerve in major championships is easily explainable for his lack of competitive experience at Champs. He belonged to a small school, Charlemont High in St Catherine. They only made it once to Champs and Asafa got disqualified due to a false start. 

Sanj Powell wins the 800m Class-1 for Kingston College
Nevertheless, whatever it is the leading man in this sensational Jamaican emergence as world sprint powerhouse was not Usain Bolt but Asafa Powell. The eternal loser in big competition was however the first Jamaican athlete in history who smashed the world record at the king event of the 100m when he sensationally clocked 9.77 in Athína in 2005 to dethrone Moe Greene. Thereafter he became the role model for thousand of kids in the island and he kept its place until the arrival of Bolt. Furthermore, Asafa Powell did something even more important for the future of national track and field: despite being tempted by uncountable US colleges offers, Asafa set the precedent of staying in Jamaica, along with hurdler Brigitte Foster-Hylton. They joined the then little-known MVP Track Club to be trained by local coach Stephen Francis. Their example would be spread to the newest generation so currently most of the leading exponents of Jamaican track and field are staying in the island, either at MVP (Powell, Foster-Hylton, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Melaine Walker, Shericka Williams, Kaliese Spencer, Michael Frater, Nesta Carter, Carrie Russel, Dexter Lee) or at Racers Track Club under Glenn Mills (Bolt, Yohan Blake, Jermaine Gonzales, Ricardo Chambers, Marvin Anderson, Kenroy Anderson, Kimmari Roach, Rosemarie Whyte, Schillonie Calvert, Shereefa Lloyd, Davita Prendergast, Nickiesha Wilson, Ristananna Tracey). Traditionally, Champs used to be a showcase for US Universities to scout Jamaican talent. Nowadays, both Francis and Mills are considered among the best sprint coaches in the world and local promising runners do not see anymore the need to travel abroad to study and make an athletic career. Instead, an increasing number of sprinters from all the Caribbean and Central America as Antigua’s Daniel Bailey, Barbados’ Andrew Hinds or Honduras’ Rolando Palacios get enrolled by Jamaican teams, attracted by the prestige of its coaches. The creation of the G.C. Foster College in St Catherine in 1980 and an IAAF high performance centre in 2001, by a government increasingly interested in investing in sport, were decisive in the formation of excellent Jamaican elite coaches and the nurturing of local talent. (2)
Fredrick  Dacres competing at the 2011 World Youth Championships
in Lille, where he won gold for Jamaica
Photo: Getty Images                    http://www.iaaf.org/
With its usual display of rough talent and fierce competition, the 102nd edition of the ISSA Inter-Secondary Schools Boys and Girls’ championships were held last week at the Kingston national stadium, in a colorful party-like atmosphere, which can be easily related to last soccer World Cup in South Africa, firstly because of the presence of hundreds of grating vuvuzelas, secondly because of its craziness on the stands. Special guest were, among several other track and field stars, Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Yohan Blake, Shelly-Ann Fraser, Veronica Campbell and also Jamaican-born Sanya Richards-Ross, who participated in the modest but emotive and full of rhythm and dancing inaugural ceremony. In spite of its long history, only sixteen different schools had previously won the contest, counting both sex categories. At the boys’, Kingston College (31 titles), Calabar (22) and Jamaica College (21) had amassed 74 out of the 101 overall victories, while Vere Technical had tallied 22 triumphs, since the girls’ joined Champs in 1961. In the last category, the invincible Holmwood Tech was keeping a 9-victory streak, only inferior to Kingston College’s 14 consecutive triumphs from 1962 to 1975 and Vere Tech’s 15 titles between 1979 and 1993. This year, after narrow loses in past editions, Edwin Allen became the 17th winner of the Champs, defeating overwhelmingly 9-time female defending champions Holmwood for more than 100 points, while Calabar boys struck its 23rd victory in a much closer contest, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its foundation. Unfortunately awkward weather with gusts of headwind over 5m/sec ruined the achievement of good marks.             
Edwin Allen High was launched in 1964 in deep rural Frankfield, Clarendon, as an all-girl establishment. For years the school just participated at Champs with the target of getting a couple of single medals but the arrival of principal Elroy Ricketts in the 1980s changed the philosophy of the team. Rickets envisaged to build-up a first class squad in sports, which triumphs would also help develop the infrastructures of the school, so important for the whole small farming community. Michael Dyke was engaged in 1991 as head coach for the ambitious project and gradually the school has been making the way to the elite. (6) In 2010 Edwin Allen lost to Holmwood Tech by 13 points. The following year the Frankfield girls were red-hot favorites but despite an impressive display of Ristananna Tracey, who won three events and set a championship record at the 400m hurdles, misfortune and some bad tactics made them lost the title by only six points, when Holmwood managed better the pressure and showed why they were the champions for nearly a decade. (7) The same Ristananna, a semifinalist in Daegu who graduated from school and was enrolled by Racers Track Club, announced the victory for 2012 Champs of Edwin Allen. She saw more determination, a entirely new attitude in her former mates: "I think some of the athletes were not serious enough about it, or probably they did not really believe that we could win in previous years so they did not take it as serious as they should have, or fight to the end as they could have, but that is different this year." (8)  

Michael O'Haro wins big for Calabar at the 2012 ISSA Boys and Girls' Champs
Edwin Allen went ahead since the very first day, when discus throwers Tara-Sue Barnett and Danniel Thomas achieved gold and silver at the Class-1 final, after breaking the championship record in several occasions. Eventually, Barnett would prevail over her mate 50.76m to 50.42m. It was followed by another 1-2 and another record at the 2000m steeplechase by Desreen Montaque and Atara Segree. Edwin Allen would never relinquish the overall first place and would gradually increase their gap over Holmwood. Meanwhile, the defending champions’ leader Chris-Ann Gordon, who had run a massive 51.62 at last year champs, tore her hamstring. The Pan American junior gold medallist withdrawal meant a real shock for the moral of the team. As decorated Holmwood Technical coach Maurice Wilson argued, “Chris-Ann’s injury killed the spirit in the camp.” From then on the unbeatable champions played second fiddle to Edwin Allen as experienced multi-events specialist Janeive Russell, who was not able to win any of the three finals she entered. One of Dyke’s standouts, Christania Williams, the World youth bronze medallist, also suffered a cramp at the 100m Class-2 final but still could hold her competitors and defend her title, before setting out of Champs and Carifta. Anyway Edwin Allen had many other cards to play in the contest. Quite a lot boys and girls suffered injuries during this year Champs like Gordon and Williams. It was rare the race a stretcher was not needed to help out some of the competitors. It is the flip-side of this exciting Champs which show athletics in its purest state. Youngsters who still have not attained their maturity, neither physically nor mentally, over train for eight months to reach their best at Champs; then they enthusiastically participate in as many events as possible in order to score for the team. No less than Glenn Mills denounced this situation which risks burn-up the athlete before he even meets the senior ranks. In the words of the reputed Race Track Club coach, most of Jamaican runners who eventually make the World championship and Olympic finals belong to minor high schools not involved in the fight for Champs overall title. (9) Already, the number of events an athlete can compete in was limited in girls’ Class-4, but restrictions should been applied to the other age categories as well. Also maybe Champs and Carifta are too close in time.

Shericka Jackson won three gold medals at 2012 Champs
Photo:  http://www.trackalerts.com/
Danniel Thomas, who transferred from Frome Technical two years ago, led Edwin Allen’s victory following up her silver at the discus with a gold medal at the shot put and the javelin. She was the athlete, both male and female, who tallied more points for her team, with a total of 25. Another thrower, Paul-Ann Gayle, scored big points too for the Frankfield-based squad, achieving the discus Class-3 victory with a new Champs record (42.28m). After Marleena Eubanks emphatic victory at the 1500m Class-2, Christania Williams at the 100m Class-2, Shellece Clark at the same event in Class-4, and the valuable contribution of the rest of the team, Edwin Allen finished the penultimate day with an advantage of 76 points over second-placed Holmwood Tech, almost sealing their victory. In the final day, a confident and highly motivated Edwin Allen just increased their gap, tallying 330 points, to finish well ahead of Holmwood (207), St Yago (164) and Vere Technical High (133). Eubanks completed the middle distance double, while Saqukine Cameron won gold at the 200m Class-2 and silver at the 400m in the same session and Aalayiah Hopkins struck the victory at the 200m Class-4. There was no hassle anymore for the relay events but still the youngest members of the team accomplished a sensational victory at the 4x100m. Now Michael Dyke talks about founding a dynasty as strong as Holmwood’s and reign at Champs for as many years. As for now they are keeping almost the whole team for the next high school championship, with the exception of Danniel Thomas, Desreen Montaque and Shawnette Lewin, and the succession is guaranteed. 

Calabar high school, the winner at the boys’ competition, was established back in 1912 at theRed Hills Road by the Jamaica Baptist Union, for the sons of Baptist ministers and the children of poor black. Interestingly the school was named after the former slave port Calabar in Nigeria. The institution had won Champs for the last time in 2008. This time around, in the 100th anniversary of their foundation they had one of the most successful years of their long sportive history, grabbing also the Schools’ challenge Quiz title during the weekend for the sensational double victory which is called “Quamps.”  And there was still a third title in rugby. For acclaimed head coach Michael Clarke it was his 11th overall victory at Champs. Previously he had won once with St Jago, then seven times with Jamaican College and two others with the “Lions.” Clarke was elated after claiming Champs title back and praised athletes and everyone related to Calabar for the victory: "It is a mammoth achievement to get as many as 287 points in this very competitive era, where there are so many teams with a lot of talent, but it just shows the enormous resilience of Calabar, the coaching staff, management crew; I think we have the best management crew and coaching staff in Jamaica." (10)

Christoffe Bryant, the teen who erased Germaine Mason from the record Books
  The boys’ 2012 edition of Champs was one of the most thrilling competitions in years, with all three teams who have traditionally dominated the contest, defending champions Jamaica College, Kingston College and Calabar, entangled in a hot battle for the final victory. The lions entered the decisive Saturday evening session 16.5 points ahead archrivals Kingston College and 29.5 over Jamaica College.  The 400m races showed just how concerned every contender was in that dramatic battle of blood, sweat and tears. In Class-3, Calabar’s Aykeem Francis and KC’s Jhevaughan Matterson fought for the victory until the limit of their forces to the point the latter fell on the ground extenuated with 5 metres to go, to eventually end up 8th. In another contested race, Javon Francis from the Red Hills’-based squad made another superhuman effort to upset hot-favourite Lennox Williams of Manchester High. He was so tired at the end he hardly could speak to journalists. Then Michael O’Haro, third the previous day at the 100m, won full of power the 110m hurdles Class-2. Yet Arkansas-bound Stefan Fennell responded for Kingston College, defeating long time archrival Yannick Hart of Wolmer’s in Class-1. While Jamaica College was falling behind, Kingston College tried to react at the 800m event. (11) Calabar’s Chevenne Hamilton victory in Class-3 was followed by two straight victories of their challengers: first Chad Miller won in Class-2; then Sanj Powell, who had broken the 2000m steeplechase record in the inaugural day, proved his outstanding shape with another victory in Class-1, while his mate Alex Saunders clinched bronze. However, O’Haro was determined to become Calabar’s hero and beat again consummate specialists at the 200m Rohan Walker and Devaughn Baker, both of J.C.  Calabar arrived to the decisive relay races with a comfortable 45-points-gap but the team started to feel the pressure. In the medley relay, Kingston College finished first in a final Calabar, which had miscalculated its forces, had not qualified for. Then they also won at the 4x100m Class-1, while the leaders ended up in the last spot. After a good second place in Class-2, after record breakers J.C. and a mishap in the exchange of the baton of Calabar, Kingston College had shortened up the gap to 3 points. Again came to Clarke’’s charges minds past fears and memories of recent failures at Champs:  in 2009 they had finished just 1.5 behind K.C. and one year later they threw away another title after a string of mistakes. (12)
Manchester High's Chanice Porter set two Champs records in jump events
Photo: Ricardo Makyn
Fortunately, glad news arrived from the field events: Demar Robinson had won the high jump Class-1 and, over all, Fredrick Dacres grabbed his second gold medal at the shot put, with Ashinia Miller clinching the bronze, and Shamar Kitson and Andre Beckford emulated the feat at the Discus Class-2, for a huge 30-points-tally. It is amazing, in a country with such solid reputation in the sprints all around the world, Champs had to be won at the throwing circle but this is what happened. Julian Robinson is doing an amazing job and, when Traves Smikle and Chad Wright are just reached the senior ranks, there are already new hopefuls in the same stable. If Smikle won bronze at the World Youth Championship in 2009 at the discus, Dacres improved his mate’s feat to gold in the next edition in Lille with nearly 6m over his nearest rival, in the first global victory for Jamaica in throws in any age category ever. If we add to it Trinidad and Tobago’s phenomenon Kenshorn Walcott, who threw 77.59 at Carifta in Bermuda, we can conclude the Caribbean is predestined to become also a throwing powerhouse in a near future. In the end, after the huge boost of confidence of the shot put and discus demonstrations, Calabar closed Champs in style, with a masterful victory at the 4x400m relay in a world class 3:10.19, to win the overall title with a total of 287.5 points. Kingston College placed second with 265, Jamaica College third with 222.5 and Wolmer’s fourth with 140. As colophon to the great party, we could hear through the speakers Bob Marley and Wailers’ “Rat Race.” This song symbolised the always fiercely contested Champs but literally it was also an ironic reference to a recent episode in Calabar High, when the school had to be temporally closed because of the presence of rats in the establishment. The kids showed how you can transform social adversity in athletic grandeur.

The track and field king event in Jamaica is usually the male 100m but it was not this time. World Youth Olympic champion Odean Skeen of Wolmer’s failed to qualify for the 200m final and committed a false start at the 200m and Green Islands’ Odail Todd, double gold medallist at the World Youth Champs in Lille, was equally in disappointing form. In the end, the 100m became a two-man contest between defending champion Jazeel Murphy from Bridgeport and Turks and Caicos-born and student in Munro, Delano Williams. Not being either of them a good starter, Williams proved stronger in the end, defeating the 4-times Carifta winner in a modest clocking of 10.37. In his pet event the 200m, Delano won overwhelmingly, thus completing the double. Watch out for the progression of this athlete who has run the distance this year in 20.53 and intend to compete at the United Kingdom national trials for the Olympics, once Turks and Caicos Islands is not a IOC member and its territory belongs to the host country of the Games. Elsewhere, Raheem Chambers of St, Jago achieved also another remarkable sprint double in Class-3. The young runner will try to become a worthy heir of Yohan Blake in his school. On the other hand, it is plain Wolmer’s High has found the new Shelly-Ann Fraser. I mean the 100m female Olympic champion in four years time: Shauna Helps. It is a wonder, this shy girl of 15 years whose mates describe as the nicest person you can meet in college, becomes such fierce animal in a race. This strong character and determination will bring this teen very far in her athletic career. For the moment she won the Class-3 100m final in a Champs record 10.50, a faster time than the one achieved in Class-1 (Herbert’s Seidatha Palmer) and Class-2 (Christania Williams) and repeated the feat at the 200m, where among others was competing the awesome Shericka Jackson, culminating her groundbreaking performance at Champs anchoring Wolmer’s 4x100m relay to gold.

Shauna Helps, Jamaica's future Olympic star, in company of Wolmer's mate Jonielle Smith
Jackson was also in a class of her own grabbing in the closing session three titles at the 400m, 200m and finally the long relay, being part of the formidable Vere Tech squad, along with Olivia James (silver medallist at the 400m) and Yanique McNeil (gold medallist in Class-2). However, James is not this year in the shape she showed in past seasons and it was confirmed in Carifta Games, where she lost her 400m title. With the likes of the Vere Tech trio and the addition of Chris-Ann Gordon, Janeive Russell, Tiffany James or Simoya Campbell it seems unlikely for any other team, including the USA, to beat the fearsome Jamaicans at the 4x400m relay at next World Junior Championships. Notwithstanding individually the dominant sprinters of the moment in their age category in the region are Bahamians Antonique Strachan and Shaunae Miller and they proved it again at Carifta. (13) Strachan, named for the second time best athlete of the Games after her double victory, improving on the way Veronica Campbell’s 200m record, and 400m world youth and junior gold medallist Miller are on the right path to reach the Olympic final this same year. Amazingly, the best Jamaican sprinter in Carifta was also Shauna Helps, who beat an astounding field at the 100m in the U-17 category, including older mate Saqukine Cameron, and then brought too her team to victory in the short relay. Another big winner at Champs and Carifta was Spalding’s Simoya Campbell, who made in both competitions the middle distance double in her first Class-1 year. This is another athlete with immense talent, worth watching her progress to the international elite. Simoya breaks with her outgoing geniality the typical shy behaviour of Jamaican teen athletes, who are just able to utter an embarrassing “yes, sir,” never making eye-contact with the adult journalists who cover Champs. Simoya has plenty of things to state to local press: “I am confident so racing and winning is easy for me.” Soon Kenya Sinclair will not be fighting alone the world 800m stars when Simoya Campbell and also Natoya Goule, Ristananna Tracey, Marleena Eubanks, Chantai Smith, Lisa Buchanan and Tiffany James will make become Jamaica a middle distance powerhouse. Watch out specially for Tiffany, who accomplished the 400m-800m double in Class-3 for the first gold medals ever for Papine at Champs and confirmed her talent with another two victories in Carifta.
Some words, before ending this long article about Champs excellence, to praise the brilliant performances in jump events. Chanice Porter of Manchester High, who became in Lille the first Jamaican to win a long jump gold medal in any major championship event, clinched double gold and double record at Champs. At the high jump she beat in an excellent competition, 1.86 to 1.84,  Edwin Allen’s hot favourite Kimberly Williamson, who owns the Jamaican junior best in the event, to erase Peaches Roach’s from the record books. At the long jump she flied the next day to a 6.52 PB to improve Elva Goulbourne’s old mark. Samara Spencer from team revelation Hydel and KC’s Sammawi Wellington also achieved the same double victory in girls’ and boys’ Class-3 respectively. Finally, Wolmer’s Christoff Bryan “only” struck a gold medal at the high jump event in Class-2 but his winning leap of 2.10 stole the record from no less than silver Olympic medallist in Beijing Germaine Mason. Bryan is another potential track and field star, who has already jumped 2.20 at 15 years of age.       

Edwin Allen high school's parade after their sensational first victory ever at Champs

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