Cloudy skies and intermittent showers did not prevent St Elizabeth from getting off to a bullet start on the first day of the 38th staging of the JTA/Sagicor Athletics Championship, recording 44 points after six finals.
Trailing behind them is Kingston in second with 28 points and Portland in third with 25 points. Defending champions St. Andrew ended the day in eighth place with 14 points.
The first half of the day saw nail biting heats in the 1200M under-15 boys and girls, as well as sparking clashes in the 80m, 100m, 200m and 400m boys and girls races. Off the track, the students continued to shine in field events – including Portland’s Yashima Sutherland who won the Girls’ shot put with a throw of 9.00 metres.
St Andrew’s Sanique Watt took the gold in the girls’ high jump open finals with a mark of 1.49 metres. “This is not my first gold, but I am proud of myself and very excited about competing at the high school level come September. I worked so hard and I came out and did my best by doing what my coach taught me,” shared Watt.
The boys’ high jump open finals were equally competitive and saw Orain Perkins from St. Thomas rising to the top of the field. The heats of the much anticipated sprint medley did not disappoint, with spirited performances in the girls’ and boys’ open.
Rejeanne Campbell, manager of group corporate communications at Sagicor Group, praised the students for their drive, passion and determination to push through in all the day’s events.
“This is the true launch pad for track and field in Jamiaca; this is where our top sportsmen and women who make Jamaica so proud at the Olympics Games and World Championships are really born. It was a wonderful first day of events and I’m looking forward to an even more exciting day tomorrow,” she shared.
A Champion Boy and Girl will be selected from the roster of primary and all-age athletes. These two students will also receive an academic scholarship to the secondary school they will be attending – courtesy of the Sagicor Foundation.
This Saturday, June 10, will be the final day of competition.