April 2024 Volume 20

Boys and Girls Champs 2024

Dr. Cedric Lazarus
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As was predicted by those who closely follow track and field in Jamaica, KC and Edwin Allen High came out victorious at the ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls Championships 2024 held at the National Stadium in Kingston from March 19-23.

On the boys' side, KC scored 335 points, followed by JC with 278 points, while Calabar was third on 194 points and XLCR fourth on 122 points. Among the girls, it was a much closer affair between the top two schools with Edwin Allen High scoring 335.5 points followed closely by the defending champions Hydel with 326, while St. Jago came third with 171 points and Holmwood Technical High fourth on 149 points.

Champs 2024 was as thrilling as ever with many close and exciting races and field events as well as several mishaps, injuries, and disqualifications. For many fans, the girls’ class two 200m was a classic event with the previously unbeaten Theianna-Lee Terrelonge from Edwin Allen High tasting defeat for the first time all season when she was beaten by Shanoya Douglas of Muschett High who was also the class two 400m winner. Terrelonge had won the class two 100 m on the Wednesday of Champs beating the talented Sabrina Dockery from Lacovia High. (Interestingly, at the CARIFTA Games in Grenada held the weekend after Champs, Dockery beat Terrelonge for gold in the under 19 100m finals). Another stand out among the girls was the very fast Natrece East of Wolmer’s Girls School who was dominant in winning both the class three 100m and 200m races in convincing fashion. Interestingly, in both the girls’ 100m and 200m races, the class two winners ran faster times than the class 1 winner.

Among the boys, the class one 200m will be long remembered by those who saw it. KC fans were hoping for a 1-2 but the Wolmerian Gary Card was favoured having recorded the fastest time coming into Champs. Two days earlier Rose had prevailed in the 400m finals with Glasgow a close second. In the 200m finals, a dramatic late surge by Card had his fans in ecstasy as he took the lead with meters to go only for him to be pipped on the line by Glasgow with Rose a step behind for third. It truly was an amazing race. An interesting fact for track and field fans is that Rose became the first KC athlete to run sub 46 seconds in the 400m and sub 21 seconds in the 200 m at the same Championships. KC fans will no doubt also remember the dominance of Brian Kiprop who won both the boys' class one 1500m and the 2000m steeplechase open and Ethan Gioko who easily won the 5000m.

Of course, Champs would not be Champs without mishaps of which KC had its fair share. The team was disqualified in the class 3 sprint relay while the class one long jumper Javar Thomas fractured his ankle during a preliminary jump and had to withdraw from the competition.

The Champs crowd was fantastic, especially on the final two days, and as expected the KC students and their fans occupied what seemed like a quarter of the bleachers on the final day while entertaining the crowd with their female cheerleaders, drums, bugles, and trumpets. For KC the curtains came down for a successful defence of the title with the KC 4x400m team convincingly winning the final event in a fast time of 3.07.65. We expect more fireworks from these four runners in the upcoming Penn Relays.

There has been a lot of chatter on social media about strategies our main rivals are plotting to deny us victory next year - our centenary year. Of course, the Fortis family is not deterred by this and we will be there fighting until the very end as befitting our motto, Fortis cadere cedere non potest!

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