St. Catherine is the new champion of the Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA)/Sagicor National Athletics Championships after amassing 304 points to take the title at the National Stadium on Saturday, June 3. St. Catherine’s effort was 54 points better than second placed St. Andrew who was able to garner 250 points. This was the third time that the St Catherine team was winning the championships, having won the inaugural edition in 1989, and their second title in 2014. They were runners-up to dethroned champions St Andrew in 2015 and 2016.
Portland, who had a strong opening first day, finished third overall with 233 points followed by St. Elizabeth with 202.5. Kingston had 143.5 and St. Thomas rounded out the top six with 129 points.
St Catherine also captured the Girls' Section with 173 points ahead of Portland with 117 and St. Elizabeth 115 points. St Andrew came out on top in the Boys' Section with 136 points ahead of St. Catherine 133, and Portland 116 points.
Winning coach, Oral Whilby, praised the efforts of his young team who started the day in third following strong starts by St. Andrew and Portland who finished the opening day in first and second respectively.
“This victory means so much to me as a coach. This year has been great so far in terms of previous competitions, but I didn’t expect to win by such a huge margin, and this is just a testament to all the hard work that has gone into preparing this team,” said Whilby.
In the meantime, Ziele Wallace of Kingston walked away with the overall Champion Boy title having racked up 18 points, the same as St. Catherine’s Christopher Scott who won the Under-15 Champion Boy title. Scott ran a blistering 25.01 seconds to win the hotly contested Boys' Under-15 200 meters final ahead of Garth Henry of Clarendon who clocked 25.27 seconds.
Ingrid Card, Vice President Sagicor Group Marketing was elated with the action over the two days and proud of the organization from the parish teams; “We saw excellent performances over the two days with several athletes posting times that are above average within their age group. I am very proud of the job done by the parish coordinators and their support staff to get the students organized and ready to compete as we believe these championships have a vital role in the continued development of Jamaica’s track and field programmes,” said Card.
The overall female champion was Karee Tape of St. Elizabeth following her 25 points tally. Second went to Bianca Peterkin with 22 points and Cheyenne Bennett third with 18 points.
The Under 15 champion girl crown was won by Portland’s Brianna Grant who chalked up 16 points for her team. Vanessa Sewell had to settle for second place with her 16 points, while Maya Williams came in third with 11 points.
In other events on the day, Assanya Tomlin of St. Catherine won the Girls' Under-13 400 metres in 1:01.43 minutes ahead of T-Wanna Cunningham of Kingston in 1:03.25 minutes. Ronaldo Reid of St Andrew won the Boys' Under-13 400m in a time of 58.21 seconds, while the Under-15 Boys' 400m was won by Derrick Grant in 56.11 seconds ahead of Akeem Weir of St. Catherine with 56. 92 seconds.
The Girls' Under-15 1500 metres final was won by Shanoya Smith of Manchester in 5:20.88 minutes ahead of Britannia Willis of St Catherine in 5.20.92 minutes. A thousandth of a second separated Darnell Edwards of Kingston and Kimanie Reid of St. Ann in the Boys' Under-15 1500 metres open final. Edwards won in 4:54.03 with Reid clocking 4:54.04 minutes.
About Sagicor Group Jamaica
Sagicor Group Jamaica is a financial services conglomerate. The Group offers products and services in the areas of Banking, Insurance, Investments, Real Estate, Asset Management and Retirement Planning. Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited is the leading Life and Health insurance provider in Jamaica. The Company commenced operations in 1970 as Life of Jamaica Limited, the first locally owned life insurance company andthe first life insurance company to be listed on the JSE. The Sagicor Group own one of the largest bank in Jamaica and one of the top Investments Company. Sagicor Group Jamaica is a member of the wider Sagicor Financial Corporation. Sagicor Financial Corporation operates in over 20 countries and its operations date back to 1840.