Clarendon College, Kingston College, STATHS and Jamaica College will contest the semi-finals of the ISSA Champions Cup after securing quarter-final wins when the competition got underway at Sabina Park and STETHS on Saturday.

The first game of the Sabina Park double-header saw defending champions Clarendon College securing a 3-1 win over first-time Super Cup participants Mona High while last year’s beaten finalists Kingston College got a 2-0 win over another first-time participant, Central High, in the second game.

At STETHS, STATHS booked their semi-final spot with a 1-0 win over Manchester High before Jamaica College secured the biggest margin of victory in the quarters, 4-0 over the Manning’s School.

The semi-finals will be played on November 26 at the National Stadium. Jamaica College will take on STATHS before Clarendon College and Kingston College clash in a rematch of last year's final.

 

Kingston College and Mona High will join Jamaica College and STATHS in the semi-finals of the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup after wins in a double-header at Stadium East on Wednesday.

Defending champions Kingston College were first up and followed their 4-0 win over St. Georges College in their first game Saturday with a 5-0 win over Charlie Smith to move to six points from two games.

The second game saw Mona High get their second win in as many games with a 1-0 victory over St. George’s to book their spot in the last four for the first time in the school’s history. KC and Mona will meet on Saturday to determine who will progress as Group A winners while St. George’s College will play Charlie Smith at Jamaica College.

In the Tuesday Group B double-header at the same venue, Jamaica College beat Haile Selassie 2-0 to secure their spot in the last four before STATHS beat Wolmer’s Boys 1-0 to also advance. JC and STATHS will meet on Friday at Stadium East to determine the winners of Group B while Wolmer’s will tackle Haile Selassie at Jamaica College.

Defending champions Kingston College were held to a surprising 0-0 draw by Jose Marti High in the first leg of their second-round tie in the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup at Royal Lakes on Wednesday.

The second round of the Manning Cup will see 16 teams face off in two leg knockout fixtures to determine the eight teams to advance to the quarterfinals.

Kingston College advanced as winners of Group A while Jose Marti advanced as one of the best non-automatic qualifiers after finishing fourth in Group F.

Wednesday’s other second round fixtures saw Group B winners Jamaica College beat Norman Manley 5-0 at Calabar, STATHS (Group D winners) beat St. Jago (Group B third-place finishers) 2-1 at the Spanish Town Prison Oval and St. Catherine (Group B runners up) secure a 1-0 win over Wolmer’s Boys (Group E runners up) at Stadium East.

On Tuesday, Group E winners Mona High, the only team to have achieved maximum points from their 10 first round matches, continued their quest for a perfect season with a 2-0 win over Tivoli (third in Group C) at Stadium East.

Campion College (Group F runners up) and Charlie Smith (Group C winners) played out a 1-1 draw at Jamaica College while Haile Selassie (Group C runners up) and St. George’s College (Group A runners up) got 1-0 and 4-1 wins over Excelsior (Group F winners) and Jonathan Grant (Group D runners up) at Calabar High and the Spanish Town Prison Oval, respectively.

The second legs for the Tuesday fixtures will take place on Friday and the ones for the Wednesday games will happen on Saturday.

 

 

St. George’s College produced a spirited display to secure a 4-2 win over North Street rivals and defending champions Kingston College in their Group A fixture in the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup at Stadium East on Saturday. It was KC's first loss of the season.

St. George’s took the lead through a header from striker Joshua Jackson in the 14th minute and doubled their advantage through Zabir Taylor in the 44th minute. Shortly after the start of the second half, Kingston College would find themselves level after quick goals from Teyshawn Mattis in the 47th and Nashordo Gibbs in the 49th minute. Brian Burkett then got a double, capitalizing on a defensive mistake in the 72nd minute before scoring again in the 91st, to secure all three points for St. George’s.

Both have already advanced to the next round and are now level on 21 points from eight games, with KC holding a slight lead on goal difference. Waterford are third in the group on 12 points after a 0-0 draw with Ardenne at home while Calabar beat Meadowbrook 5-1 at home to move a point behind Waterford in fourth.

In Group B, St. Catherine High beat Cedar Grove 3-0 at the Spanish Town Prison Oval to move to 19 points from eight games and secure their spot in the next round alongside leaders Jamaica College. St. Mary’s College beat Holy Trinity 4-2 at home in Saturday’s other group game.

Haile Selassie secured their progression from Group C with a 3-0 home win over Bridgeport. They now have 20 points, three behind leaders Charlie Smith, from nine games.

Mona High, who have also already progressed to the next round, now have nine wins from nine games in Group E after a 3-2 home win over Papine.   

Excelsior will advance from Group F but will have to wait to see whether they will advance as group winners after playing out a 2-2 draw with Jose Marti at home to move to 21 points from their nine outings. They will be joined in the next round by Campion College who beat Kingston Technical 1-0 at home to move to 19 points, seven more than Jose Marti in third, from nine games.

Defending champions Kingston College and finalists Jamaica College were both in fine goalscoring form as action continued in the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup this week.

KC remained perfect after seven games in Group A with an 8-0 thumping of Waterford at Stadium East on Monday. 22-time champions St. George’s College are three points behind their North Street rivals after a 2-1 win over Calabar at Winchester Park while Meadowbrook and Ardenne played out a 1-1 draw at the Constant Spring Field in the other game.

On Tuesday, Jamaica College put nine past Holy Trinity without conceding at home to move to 19 points from seven games to lead Group B. Second-placed St. Catherine, the defending Walker Cup champions, suffered a setback with a 1-2 loss to third-placed St. Jago at the Spanish Town Prison Oval to remain on 16 points after their seven games. St. Jago trail them by four points in third. Cedar Grove beat St. Mary’s College 2-0 at home in the group’s other game.

Also on Tuesday, Charlie Smith and Haile Selassie both secured wins to stretch the gap between themselves and the rest of Group C. Leaders Charlie Smith got by Edith Dalton James 2-1 at Edith Dalton to move to 20 points from their eight games. Haile Selassie got a crucial 1-0 win over Tivoli at home to move to 17 points from their eight games. Their opponents are third with 10 points but have a game in hand over the top two. Bridgeport are two points behind Tivoli in fourth after a 2-1 win over Vauxhall at Dunbeholden.

In Group D play on Saturday, leaders STATHS and second-placed Jonathan Grant played out a 3-3 draw in a top-of-the-table clash at Jonathan Grant. STATHS still leads the group with 18 points from eight games while Jonathan Grant are just a point behind while having played one less game. Norman Manley have also played seven games and are four points behind Jonathan Grant in third after a 3-0 win over Spanish Town at Maxfield Park. Tarrant beat Dunoon 5-0 at Excelsior in the other game.

Mona now has 24 points out of a possible 24 to lead Group E after securing a 1-0 win over Wolmer’s Boys at home on Tuesday. Wolmer’s remain second in the group on 15 points from their eight games. Hydel missed out on a chance to leapfrog Wolmer’s and are now within a point of them in third after a 0-0 draw with Camperdown at Royal Lakes. Papine won the battle of the two bottom teams in the group 2-0 over Kingston High at Papine.

Excelsior and Campion College continue to set the pace in Group F after home wins over Clan Carthy and Cumberland, respectively. Excelsior won 2-0 to move to 20 points from eight matches while Campion College were 4-0 winners to move to 16 points from their eight games. Kingston Technical beat Jose Marti 1-0 to join their opponents on 11 points.

Defending champions Kingston College, 22-time champions St. George’s College and defending Walker Cup champions St. Catherine High all scored wins on a goal-filled Friday in the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup.

Friday’s action saw 32 goals being scored in just four matches with the highest scoring game being St. Catherine’s 10-0 win over St. Mary’s College at the Owen Palmer Oval.

St. Catherine now have 16 points from six outings and are level on points with leaders Jamaica College in Group B, trailing them by 10 on goal difference.

Kingston College secured a 9-0 victory over Ardenne at Stadium East for their sixth win in as many games to remain three points clear of their North Street neighbours St. George’s College in second.

St. George’s got their own 9-0 victory over Meadowbrook at Winchester Park to move to 15 points while Calabar and Waterford played out a 2-2 draw at Calabar in the other group game. Waterford are third with 11 points while Calabar are fourth with eight.

Defending champions Kingston College maintained their spot atop Group A of the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup with a comfortable 7-0 win over Meadowbrook High at the Constant Spring Field on Tuesday.

KC now leads the group with a perfect 15 points from five games, three points more than their North Street neighbours St. George’s College who avenged their shock loss to Waterford earlier in the season with a 3-0 win at Winchester Park. The other group game saw Calabar beat Ardenne 2-0 at Ardenne.

Charlie Smith leads Group C by three points after a 3-0 win over Bridgeport at Dunbeholden. After three wins in a row, Charlie Smith now has 17 points from seven outings. Haile Selassie remain second with 14 points after a 2-2 draw with Vauxhall at Vauxhall while Tivoli have 10 points in third after a 4-2 home win over Edith Dalton James.

STATHS now have a four-point lead in Group D thanks to a 5-0 win over Dunoon Technical at Excelsior. They now have 17 points from seven games, four more then Jonathan Grant, who beat Spanish Town 4-1 at home, in second. Norman Manley is third with 10 points after a 4-1 win over Tarrant at Tarrant.

Excelsior got their fifth win in a row, 1-0 away at Cumberland, to move to 16 points from six games and lead Group F. Campion College trail them by four points in second after a 0-0 draw with Jose Marti at Jose Marti. There were also no goals between Kingston Technical and Clan Carthy at Kingston Technical in the day’s other group game.

Defending champions Kingston College are still undefeated in the 2022 ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup after securing a comfortable 3-0 win over rivals Calabar at Calabar on Saturday.

KC now leads Group A with 12 points after four games, two points ahead of Waterford who hammered Meadowbrook 5-0 at home. KC’s North Street neighbors and 22-time Manning Cup winners St. George’s College are third on nine points after a 3-0 win at Ardenne.

30-time champions Jamaica College got their third straight win and fourth in five games with a 10-0 demolition of St. Mary’s College at St. Mary’s College. JC now leads Group B with 13 points, the same amount as St. Catherine High who beat Holy Trinity 3-0 at the Spanish Town Prison Oval on Friday. Cedar Grove scored an upset 2-1 home win over St. Jago in the group’s other Saturday game.

Charlie Smith beat Haile Selassie 2-1 in a Group C top of the table clash at the Tony Spalding Sports Complex to move to 14 points from five games, one ahead of their opponents. The group’s other games saw Bridgeport and Edith Dalton play out a 1-1 draw at Dunbeholden and Vauxhall lose 1-2 to Tivoli at home.

STATHS moved to 14 points to remain at the top of Group D after a 2-2 draw with Norman Manley at home. Jonathan Grant is still second after a 3-1 win over Dunoon at Excelsior while Spanish Town beat Tarrant 2-1 at the Spanish Town Prison Oval in the other game.

Mona High continued their red-hot form in Group E with a 6-0 win over Kingston High at Breezy Castle, their sixth win in as many games. Mona are now six points ahead of their closest challengers, Wolmer’s, who suffered a 1-0 defeat to Camperdown on Friday at the Alpha Institute, their second straight loss after winning their first four games. Hydel beat Papine 3-0 at Royal Lakes to move to 10 points from their six encounters.

Group F play saw Excelsior go to Kingston Technical and scrape a 2-1 win to move to 13 points from five games, maintaining a two-point lead over Campion College who beat Clan Carthy 1-0 at home. Jose Marti is third on seven points after a 5-1 win over Cumberland at home.

 

 

The 12th Annual David “Wagga” Hunt Football Classic kicks off on Saturday, August 20, at 4:00 pm with a clash between defending Manning Cup and Olivier Shield Champions Kingston College and Calabar High School at Calabar High School on Red Hills Road in Kingston.

The goodwill game is the David “Wagga” Hunt Scholarship Foundation’s way of reintroducing the Classic following the two-year hiatus caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Classic was established in 2009 in honour of the late David “Wagga” Hunt, a KC alum, who was a football coach and is also credited with reviving the sport at Calabar.

In 2005, Hunt coached Calabar to their first ever Manning Cup title in 28 years. Calabar also won the coveted Olivier Shield title that year.

The Classic is seen as a unifying force, emblematic of the generosity of spirit and community that Hunt embodied.

Hunt’s dedication to working with youth is the driving force behind the preservation of his legacy since his death in 2007. His mantra for the long-running rivalry between the schools was, “We can be rivals, not enemies.”

Since his passing, the foundation created in his memory offers scholarships to deserving students of both schools.

“I am very proud of the work the DWH Foundation has done since inception and I am eagerly looking forward to our abbreviated Classic, which will be our 12th staging,” said Christopher Hunt, David’s younger, who is also co-chair of the Washington, DC, based foundation.

He disclosed that for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year, the foundation 24 will benefit from scholarships valued at USD$17,000 (J$2.4 million).

“I am very proud and appreciative that we are able to continue to keep David’s memory alive while impacting our boys from both schools,” Christopher said.

Since 2009 the scholarship initiative has disbursed approximately US$5,000 (J$700,000) per selected student, from grades 8 to 13, to defray costs of tuition, books, lunch, technology assistance, and other school-related expenses.

To date, 35 scholarships exceeding US$115,000 (J$16 million) have been awarded to recipients, who are selected based on academic performance and attitude, involvement in extracurricular activities and need.

Through the years, corporate donors based in Jamaica have supported the foundation’s work. They include VM Group, Supreme Ventures Limited, Proven Wealth and the Gibson McCook Relays.

Overseas sponsors GraceKennedy Foods (USA), Steuart Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Spencer Financial, and McIntosh & Associates complete the complement of corporate donors.

All fund the scholarships on an ongoing basis. 

“I wish to express heartfelt gratitude to our corporate and individual sponsors for sticking with us throughout the Covid-19 pandemic despite the constraints,” said Arnold “Dullo” McDonald, co-chair of the foundation’s Jamaica chapter.

“We thank our supporters and spectators of the annual football classic as well.  The goodwill game is being presented as a show of appreciation. We hope they enjoy this in-person event.”

Andrew Edwards, Jamaica’s former national U17 head coach, has taken the job as Technical Director for reigning Manning Cup champions, Kingston College.

Edwards was the technical director in the Turks & Caicos Islands between 2019 and 2021 and returned home in December last year. He told Sportsmax.TV Thursday that the appeal to be part of the development process of the 16-time Manning Cup winners was too good to turn down.

“The job at Kingston College is one of the most appealing at the schoolboy level in the country,” Edwards said while confirming that he started on Wednesday.

“I have a number of friends in management and among the teachers including Head Coach Raymond Watson. The only concern was how I could make it work alongside Genesis, my football academy.”

Genesis is based in Mandeville, Manchester.

In his first year as technical director, Edwards doesn’t believe Kingston College has a lot of rebuilding to do despite the loss of several players from the team that defeated Jamaica College 5-4 on penalties at Stadium East in Kingston after they played to a 1-1 draw at the end of regulation and extra time in January.

He revealed to Sportsmax.TV that KC has retained a number of players from last season and there will good transition from the U16 team from last season.

Edwards has had a long history coach at the youth level in Jamaica. He was head coach of the national U17 squad from 2014-2017 and was the assistant coach of Jamaica’s U23 team in 2015 during the 2016 Olympic campaign. He was also the assistant coach of the national U20 squad from 2010-2013.

He also coached at St Elizabeth Technical High School, Munro College and Titchfield High School.

 

 

Camperdown High School made good on the promise they showed in the heats on Friday to win the Championship of America High School boys 4x100m title, as action came to a close at the 2022 Penn relays at Franklin Field in Philadelphia on Saturday.

The team of Rimando Thomas, Junior Harris, Jason Lewis, and Roshawn Clarke sped to 40.13 to narrowly finish ahead of Jamaica College (40.16) and St. Jago (40.17).

Kingston College were also winners on the day as the team of Amal Glasgow, Shaemar Uter, Emmanuel Rwotomiya and Marcinho Rose combined to run 3:09.52 to win the Championship of America High School boys 4x400m final ahead of Bullis School from Maryland (3:11.90) and St. Jago (3:12.09).

Jamaica College’s super 4x800m team was victorious in the Championship of America High School boys final.

Omarion Davis, Handal Roban, Kemarrio Bygrave, and J’Voughnn Blake combined to dominate the field in 7:28.38. Ridge High School from New Jersey ran 7:41.59 for second while West Springfield from Virginia ran 7:45.14.

In individual events, Jamaican Phillip Lemonious, competing for the University of Arkansas, won the College men’s 110m hurdles in 13.48 ahead of Jaheem Hayles of Syracuse (13.57) and Clemson’s Devon Brooks (13.62).

Rikkoi Brathwaite from the British Virgin Islands won the College men’s 100m in 10.28 competing for Indiana University. Ohio State’s Eric Harris was second with the same time, while Houston’s Edward Sumler IV was third in 10.30.

Jamaican Olympic 800m finalist Natoya Goule was second in the Olympic Development Women's Elite 600m in 1:24.09 behind reigning American Olympic 800m champion Athing Mu (1:22.75). The USA's Nia Akins ran 1:25.14 for third. Another Jamaican, Rajay Hamilton, ran 1:16.00 to finish second in the men's equivalent behind Ghana's Alex Amankwah (1:15.88).The USA's Kameron Jones was third in 1:16.47.

Jamaican 400m specialist Rusheen McDonald was second in the men's 300m in 32.69, narrowly losing out to Nigeria's Chidi Okezie who ran 32.68 to win. American Will London III ran 32.71 for third.

Former Olympic and World champion Omar McLeod ran 13.22 for second in the men's 110m hurdles. American Devon Allen ran a meet record 13.11 for victory while his countryman Jaylan McConico was third in 13.70.

Jamaica’s Roje Stona, competing for Clemson, was second in the College men’s discus with 65.11m. Virginia’s Claudio Romero was the winner with 67.11m and Army’s Jamir Gibson was third with 59.04m.

Another Jamaican, Romaine Beckford competing for the University of South Florida, jumped over 2.23m to win the College men’s high jump ahead of Ohio State’s Shaun Miller Jr (2.23m) and Princeton’s Jeff Hollis (2.17m).

 

 

 

Camperdown High led all qualifiers to the Championship of America High School Boys 4x100m final as the 2022 Penn Relays continued at Franklin Field in Philadelphia on Friday.

The team of Roshawn Clarke, Rimando Thomas, Junior Harris and Nickoy Drummond sped to 40.96 to advance as the fastest qualifiers.

Saturday’s final will also see the likes of St. Jago (41.06), Jamaica College (41.20), STETHS (41.48), Calabar (41.73), St. Catherine High (41.78), Excelsior (41.84) and Herbert Morrison (41.90) in the field.

Jamaica College was the fastest qualifier for the High School Boys 4x800m final. The team of Khandale Frie, Omarion Davis, Handal Roban and Kemarrio Bygrave ran 7:53.41 to be the only Caribbean team to advance to Saturday’s final.

In the field, Edwin Allen’s Trevor Gunzell (61.79) and Jamaica College’s Raquil Broderick (59.43) were the top two finishers in the High School Boys discus. Bergen Catholic’s Benjamin Shue was third with 58.82m.

Carifta U-20 champion and record holder Keyshawn Strachan of the Bahamas won the High School Boys javelin with a throw of 72.48m representing St. John’s College. Jose Santana of Eugenio Guerra Cruz in Puerto Rico was second with 60.29m while Wyoming Area’s Drew Mruk was third with 58.60m.

Jamaica once again got the top two spots, this time in the High School Boys shot put thanks to Edwin Allen’s Christopher Young (19.87m) and Calabar’s Kobe Lawrence (19.68m). Joe Licata of Gill St. Bernard’s was third with 18.75m.

Dejone Raymond of STETHS cleared 2.05m to win the High School Boys high jump ahead of South Brunswick’s Damarion Potts (1.99m) and Kingston College’s Aaron McKenzie (1.99m).

Jamaica College’s Uroy Ryan was second in the High School Boys long jump with 7.54m behind Lawrenceville School’s Gregory Foster (7.59m). Altoona’s Jake Adams was a distant third with 7.08m.

Kingston College’s standout long and triple jumper Jaydon Hibbert jumped out to 15.94m to win the High School Boys triple jump ahead of Valley Stream North’s Ryan John (15.02m) and Brandon Hutchinson of St. Augustine’s in the Bahamas (14.93m).

 

 

 

 

 

Newly crowned ISSA Under-16 champions St Andrew Technical (STATHS) have dedicated their victory to slain Manning Cup forward Omar Laing.

On Thursday, STATHS claimed their first football trophy in over three decades following a 2-1 triumph over the previously unbeaten Kingston College.  In fact, prior to the shock loss in the final, the North Street-based team had failed to concede a goal all season.

A brilliant Delaney Whyte free-kick blotted that copybook and gave STATHS the lead in the 25th minute.  After missing several presentable opportunities, in the first half, Kingston College did manage to pull back on level terms when Dujuan Richards scored soon after the resumption.  However, an own goal in the 54th from Anthony Ricketts sent the Purples crashing to a surprise defeat.

Laing, the leading scorer for the school’s Manning Cup team last season, was killed in a drive-by shooting incident in downtown Kingston last week.  His younger brother is currently a part of the triumphant Under-16 squad.

Kingston College secured their 33rd hold on the Boys title and Edwin Allen secured their ninth hold on the Girls crown as the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships came to a close at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

Edwin Allen finished with 352 points followed by Hydel (295), St. Jago High (249), Holmwood (174) and Excelsior (107).

On the Boys side, Kingston College finished with a mammoth 372 points to win ahead of Jamaica College (300.83), Calabar (170), St. Jago (147) and Edwin Allen (95).

Edwin Allen’s team of Serena Cole, Tina Clayton, Brandy Hall and Tia Clayton sped to a world high school record 43.29 to win the Class I Girls 4x100m Relay ahead of St. Jago High (45.05) and Hydel High (45.12).

The Class II event was won by Holmwood Technical in 46.33 ahead of St. Catherine High (46.45) and Edwin Allen (46.55).

St. Jago won the Class III race in 45.64 ahead of Hydel (46.19) and Holmwood Technical (46.67) while Immaculate Conception took the Class IV relay in 47.32 over Edwin Allen (48.25) and Hydel (48.58).

Jamaica College won the Boys Class I event in 39.43 ahead of St. Jago (39.89) and Camperdown (40.02).

Kingston College sped to 41.28 to win the Class II relay ahead of STETHS (41.74) and Calabar (41.86).

Calabar won the Class III event in 43.99 ahead of St. Jago (44.86) and JC (44.88).

Edwin Allen tasted victory in the Girls 1600m Sprint Medley in 3:58.87 ahead of Alphansus Davis High (4:06.74) and Holmwood Technical (4:07.31) while Kingston College won the Boys event in 3:27.66 ahead of STETHS (3:27.70) and Jamaica College (3:30.97).

Brianna Lyston anchored Hydel to victory in the Girls 4x400m Relay in 3:35.38 ahead of Edwin Allen (3:37.71) and Holmwood (3:38.34).

Jamaica College ran 3:10.04 to win the final event of Champs 2022, the Boys 4x400m ahead of Kingston College (3:10.68) and St. Jago (3:11.69).

In the field, Serena Cole, before running a leg on Edwin Allen’s victorious 4x100m team, won the Class I Long Jump in 6.36 ahead of St. Jago’s Machaeda Linton (5.82) and her Edwin Allen teammate Paula-Ann Chambers (5.71).

Edwin Allen’s Christopher Young got his third medal of the championships with gold in the Class I Boys Shot Put with 19.37m ahead of Calabar’s Kobe Lawrence (18.86) and St. Jago’s Brandon Gayle (18.30).

KC took gold in the Boys Class I High Jump through Verrol Sam (2.05m) who won ahead of STETHS’ Dejone Raymond (2.00m) and St. Jago’s Demario Prince (2.00m).

KC’s Aaron McKenzie added to his gold medal in the Class II High Jump by jumping out to 14.27 to win the Class II Triple Jump ahead of the JC pair Chavez Penn (14.22) and Euan Young (14.15m).

 

ISSA Boys and Girls Championships pundit Hubert Lawrence believes that Kingston College and Edwin Allen are favourites to win the Boys and Girls titles, respectively, as the competition get underway at the National Stadium on Tuesday.

“It looks to me as if the boys' side could be quite close. Both KC, the 2019 champions, and JC, the 2021 champions, are quite strong,” Lawrence said.

“Early in the season, it looked as if JC was not as significantly strong as KC in Class III, but each week I saw the JC Class III look better and better and it may be that on balance now, the two teams are quite strong. I don’t think there’s a walkover even though, in general, KC might look a little bit ahead,” he added.

Lawrence also expressed where the main strengths of both teams are.

“Where KC is brilliantly strong is in hurdles across the classes while JC is brilliantly strong in the 800, 1500 area across all the classes. It may be that those strengths and balances cancel out and in the 800s and 1500s, there is an extra race than the hurdles because there is no Class III 400m Hurdles but there’s Class III 800m and 1500m,” he said.

On the Girls' side, Lawrence believes that despite the fact that Hydel looked good all season, Edwin Allen is still the team to beat.

“Girls Champs will be quite competitive as well. Edwin Allen is coming on every week. They’ve had a late start to training and rain in the hills in Frankfield but they look to be coming on each week and I would have to say they’re the favourites to defend their title,” he said.

“Who’s coming at them? Hydel. One of the remarkable things about coach Cory Bennett is his ability to hide a great side in plain view. So, you might go and score them 10 points but they’re really worth 17. St. Jago is also like that this year but coach Michael Dyke at Edwin Allen is a master at getting his teams to peak at the right time so that is up in the air but I say Edwin Allen would go in feeling in a stronger position than KC on the Boys' side,” he added.

Switching gears from teams to individuals, who, apart from the obvious candidates, does Lawrence have his eyes on to do big things at Champs?

“I’d go Alexis James from Petersfield in the Girls Class I sprint hurdles. Because Class I has a glittering 100m and 200m compliment of athletes like the Clayton twins and Briana Lyston, not many people are looking at the sprint hurdles," he said.

"James won at Carifta trials and in that race too, Oneika Wilson of Hydel got to the World Junior final but couldn’t run because of COVID protocols. Both of them are not far away from the Champs record of 13.12 so I think that’s an event we have to look at. We’re very sprint focused but I think the sprint hurdles with Megan Tapper getting the bronze in Tokyo, with us having two world champions in that event in Danielle Williams and Brigitte Foster-Hylton, that’s an event now at the Class I level that might just move forward,” he said.

“On the Boys' side, one athlete that we might not watch too much because we’re sort of track-focused is Christopher Young of Edwin Allen, former Class II discus champion. He’s been fantastic in the shot put, discus and javelin. I think his teammate, Trevor Gunzel, is just as good as he is in the shot as well as World Under-20 finalist Kobe Lawrence of Calabar so he won’t have it easy,” he said.

 

 

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