Calabar High School roared loudly on the final day to successfully defend the Mortimor Geddes trophy — symbol of schoolboys’ track and field supremacy — when they strolled to an easy victory on yesterday’s final day of the 103rd ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships at the National Stadium.
After entering the day in third place, on 110 points, behind Jamaica College (JC) on 115 and Kingston College (KC) on 113, Calabar wasted no time in asserting their dominance on the track, as they gradually pulled away from the pack, piling up points in almost every event on the final day of the five-day championships.Calabar made a mockery of predictions that Champs would be a close affair with less than 10 points separating the top two schools.
Coming into yesterday’s 24 finals to be contested, Calabar were represented in all but one — the 5,000m — and in all the relays, one more than KC, and they had two runners in 12 of the 20 individual finals. After a quiet first three days, the excitement that started building on Friday’s fourth day reached boiling point yesterday with the infamous KC cheering section leading the way with drums, horns and cheering from the first event in what is arguably the greatest Champs ever.
At the end, Calabar High amassed 299, followed by JC on 258.5, KC on 247.5, Wolmer’s Boys, 121, St Jago, 107, Munro College, 98, STETHS, 49, Holmwood, 48, Petersfield, 34, and Manchester High on 29 to round out the top 10. A full two hours before the end of the championships, just after 6:00 pm, and with over 40 points clear, Calabar’s coaching staff was still working hard, leaving nothing to chance.
Omar Hawes, an assistant coach and the team spokesman, told the Jamaica Observer, “we are going to be resolute and try to defend our title as best as possible and continue to manage until the 4x400m relays”. He added that they were not worried when JC led early, and even when they would slip to third at some stages on Friday’s penultimate day. “We had no worries then, our confidence was still high.”
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