The final day of the JTA/Sagicor National Athletics Championships came to a nail biting end on Saturday (June 10) at the National Stadium as St Elizabeth dethroned thrice consecutive champions St Andrew to win their fourth overall title.
St. Elizabeth, which started day two on 48 points, ended the meet with 268 points, 21 points ahead of St. Andrew which finished second with 247 points. In third place was Manchester with 235 points and rounding out the top five was St. Catherine in fourth with 195 points and Kingston with 173 points.
Andre James, sports coordinator for St. Elizabeth, expressed that assessing the team’s weak points and creating a plan to improve worked in his team’s favour and brought them the win.
“Before the start of the meet, we had high expectations because we devised a plan to improve our weak peformances and so we were confident we would have came out victorious. Our weak areas were the field events and we dominated those on day 1 which gave us a big lead. It’s a wondeful feeling to walk away as champions,” he shared.
The meet saw numerous outstanding performances which resulted in three champion girls and three champion boys who all ended their campaign with 18 points. The girl standouts were Kingston’s Sunjai Kirkpatrick, St. Elizabeth’s Reneka Reid and Westmoreland’s Natovia Asha Robinson. The top boys were St. Elizabeth’s Shaquawn Reid and Obrian Clarke as well Jevaughney Findlay of St. Catherine.
Rejeanne Campbell, corporate communications manager at Sagicor Jamaica, conveyed the group’s continued commitment of supporting the championship.
“The Sagicor Foundation’s support of this championship over the years is one that we are proud of. As we always say – it all starts here. The next generation of athletes have given us two days of amazing track and field performances and we look forward to seeing many of them dominate the sport at the international level years from now,” she expressed.
The much anticipated sprint relay finals saw St Andrew dominating with a win in the boy’s under 11 and a sweep in the under 13 category. St. Thomas won the boys’ sprint medley open while St. Elizabeth won Final A of the girls’ equivalent with Final B going to St. Andrew.
This year’s staging of the meet was also sponsored by the JTA Co-operative Credit Union, Seprod, Catherine’s Peak, National Baking Company and TIP Friendly Societies.