Photo: Holmwood Technical team captain and triple gold medalist Lisa Buchanan
With the curtains, now down on another thrilling and spectacular, staging (105th) of the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships, fans and track and field lovers the world over are still trying to catch their collective breaths after being witnesses to some very outstanding moments over the five days and 15 records set at Champs 2015.
As it is always said, you have to win it on the track and not on paper. Some athletes did just that while for others it was simply shock and surprise. Spectators that were glued to their TV sets at home, those inside the National stadium, those in the Diaspora and foreign nationals who have become avid lovers of Jamaica track and field were waiting with bated breaths to see what the final outcome would be.
The pundits and predictors all made the calls, and at minutes after 9pm on Saturday night, those who made the right picks were smiling ear to ear as the “ the Champions retained their title. The Michael Clarke, Boys team of Red Hills Road, Calabar High, (280.5 points) made it a four-peat, as they ambushed their perennial rivals of North Street, Kingston College (265 points) to secure a 15.5 points victory.
The top five was rounded out by Jamaica College (200 points), St Jago (183 points) and St. Elizabeth Technical High School (132 Points).
The Queen pins of Frankfeild, Edwin Allen High school, wrapped up their third hold on the female crown tallying a final score of 321 points, to surprised second place team Hydel High School, 221 points, with third spot going to the expected top challenger St Jago Girls team 219.3 points.
Former champions Holmwood Technical had to settle for fourth best with 206 points, while the most victorious girls team in champs history Vere Technical High rounded out the top five female teams (136 points).
Some schools, despite not having the depth needed to win Championship managed to make their presence felt right through championship. These Included St Andrew Technical High school, St Catherine High school, Green Island High School, Bellfield High school, Albert Town High, Mona High, Buff bay High, Petersfeild High and Greater Portmore High School.
Top Moments 2015!
Kingston College’s Akeem Bloomfield, becoming the first Jamaican schoolboy to run the 400 metres under 45 seconds, clocking a new national junior and champs record of 44.93 seconds to win the Class One race, in the process becoming the fastest Jamaican Quatermiler this season. The previous record was held by Former Calabar star athlete Javon Francis 45.00 seconds set in 2014.
World Junior 400m hurdles champion Jaheel Hyde of Wolmer's Boys was also in top gear when he won the 400m hurdles open in a new national junior record of 49.01 seconds (world number two ranked time 2015) on the penultimate day of Championship.
Peta-Gay Williams of St. Jago clocked a new class one sprint hurdles record 13.56 seconds erasing other St Jago alumni Melanie Walker 13 year old record of 13.68 seconds hurdles semi-finals.
Relay Records were smashed to pieces as Edwin Allen Class 4 Girls team ran a superb 46.90 seconds to win their heat, before turning up the speed a notch to win the final on Saturday in 46.65 seconds.
Their Class Two female sprint relay team anchored by Shellece Clarke was also in record breaking mood, clocking the first ever sub 45 seconds time, to cross the line in 44.88 seconds.
Calabar High mile relay team set a new record of 3:06.76, bettering the mark of 3:08.31 set by St. Jago 2014 in the last event of the championship.
“Class “amongst the different classes!
Some athletes were just making their debut at the High School Track Festival but were resolved to stamp their names in the book of the stars, while others sought repeat success and others tried to make up for the disappointments of past years.
Joanne Reid of St. Jago won the sprint double in times of 12.00 seconds and a scintillating run of 24 21 seconds respectively. The latter erased teammate Kimone Shaw Record set in class four in 2013.
Shaw, second year class three athlete, was in a Shelly-Ann Frazer- Pyrce mood, securing the double in the class three sprints in 11.81 seconds and 24.60 seconds.
Anna-Kay Allen of St. Catherine 53.46 was very impressive in securing class three 400m finals.
Taiwane Garriques of St. Jago High rocketed to the Class Three Boys crown with a time of 11.26secs and Javier Johnson Green Island 22.63 capturing the 200m for Class Three Boys, to go with his silver medal from the 100m.
Shellece Clark of Edwin Allen High spoiled the St Jago’s quest for a clean sweep in female sprinting, winning the Class Two event with a time of 11.81 second and 24.12 seconds. Junelle Broomfield of STETHS ( 2:08.65) secured the class two 800m.
It was a double for Calabar’s Dejour Russell (10.67) in the 100m and 13.78 ( 110 m hurdles).
Christopher Taylor Calabar High 21.04 in the 200m and 47.04 in the 400m was bang on the double for his team as well.
Natalliah Whyte (11.77) placed St Jago back on track with blistering run to secure gold in the Class One 100m finals, and followed up with a 23. 56 seconds to secure the double.
Tamara Moncrieffe of Holmwood Technical was in immaculate form snatching the Long jump 6. 25 metres and triple jump in a massive 13.92m, despite being supported by strong wind on her final jump. Her first attempt 13.63m was good enough to secure the gold and erase Kimberly Williams record of 13.52 m set in 2007.
Shot put Ayesha Champagnie of St. Andrew Technical High School secured a wonderful triple victory for herself and her school, topping the field in the girls Shot Put Class One Girls (14.27mR), the Javelin Open with 47.73m and the Girls open Heptathlon amassing a score of 5172.
Representing the East, Fiona Richards of Buff Bay High (42.37m) Discuss Class Two and (15.21m) Shot Put Class Two was also a double winner.
Team Captain of Holmwood Technical Lisa Buchanan was in a “Dibaba Mood”, with three excellent runs to secure Gold in the 3000m open, (10:17.84) ,1500m ( 4:37.88) and the 800m ( 2:14.44) in Class One.
Michael O’Hara 100m (10.42) , 200m ( 20.59 secs) and 110 metres hurdles (13.49 secs) also secured three gold medals.
Jamaica College's O'brien Wasome, won the event with a leap of 16.24m in Triple Jump action and Class One Long Jump with a mark of 7.71m.
It was another double for JC with young Class Two star, Paketo Dudley, Long Jump 7.21m and Triple Jump 14.51m
Lushane Wilson of St. Jago High soared to 2.10m to equal Christoff Bryan's Class Two High Jump record to secure the gold medal.
Moments of Disappointments!
While some athletes were living in their dream moment, others were still wishing that the hands of time could be turned back, and for others they had to accept the fact of injuries.
The likes of one of the pre-race favourites, Junelle Bromfield not finishing her heat in the 400m Girls Open, Andrenette Knight who finished at the back of the field in the final of the same event.
Sqaukine Cameron, false starting in the Girls Class One, 100m heats and getting beaten in the 200m finals. Jevaugh Matherson and Taj- Rojae Scott both of Kingston College suffering Injuries that derailed their champs hopes. Calabar High crashing out of the heat of the Class Two Sprints relay, after dropping the baton on the third exchange are stand out moments.