Western News

Black River Primary wins third western Primary champs

PAUL A REID
Observer Writer

Thursday, July 11, 2019

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SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth - Black River Primary are, for the third straight time, winners of the Western Primary Schools Athletics Championships, having amassed 339 points at the end of the two-day meet held at the St Elizabeth Technical High Sports Complex in Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth.

The St Elizabeth school topped the boys and girls sections with 141.5 and 197 points, respectively, to beat Corinaldi Avenue Primary of St James into second place in both categories. In the boys' section, Corinaldi Avenue scored 108, while Brompton Primary came in third on 72; Corinaldi, who finished on 81.5 points in the girls' section, edged Glen Stuart on 80, into third place.

In the overall section, Corinaldi were second with 189.5 points, followed by Glen Stuart-149, Barracks Road Primary- 139.5 and Brompton- 112.

Brompton Primary's Jahrod Laird, who won three gold medals, winning the Class 5 sprint double and who also set a record in the long jump with a new mark of 5.47m, was the overall champion with 27 points. In addition to winning the long jump, Laird ran 12.73 seconds in the final of the 100m after running 12.46 seconds in the semis; and won the 200m in 26.00 seconds having clocked 25.82 seconds in the semi-final.

Black River Primary's Crystal Salmon scored 22 points for winning the Class 5 long jump, placing second in the 200m and third in the 100m.

John Rollins Success Primary's Shemonique Hazle won the Class 5 sprint double in impressive style. She was in a class of her own in the girls Class 5 sprints, running 13.06 seconds to win the 100m, after running 12.91 seconds in the semis and 12.97 seconds in the preliminaries. She won the 200m in 26.19 seconds.

Corinaldi Avenue's Tyrone Lawson was also impressive on the first day, running 2 minutes 24.63 seconds to win the 800m Open.

The western campionships were staged in June.

Davian Elliot, the coach of the Black River Primary team, was beaming after his team's success and told the Jamaica Observer that it was the result of all-round talent.

“Some would say the field events are our strong areas, but we did not lead after the first day. We did not do as well as expected, but we dominated the relays. We have no so-called strong areas but a strong team that we worked to build; a strong all-round team,” he explained.

Elliot said the third straight win was no surprise, but it was no less amazing.

"It's amazing! Hard work and dedication went into it and we are reaping the rewards,” he said.

"It was not a surprise, it was something planned for, organised for and worked for, so we are just reaping the rewards now," he told the Observer West.

The programme started seven years ago Elliott said.

“We built it from scratch and have been seeing rewards about four years now,” he pointed out.

In the short time, the Black River Primary programme has produced a number of top athletes, including the likes of Nkrumi Bouwahjgie who is now at Kingston College, and Sachin Dennis who is at St Elizabeth Technical.

“Like every other institution, it is full of talent. It just needs coaches who are willing to work with the athletes, listen to them, spend time with them, cater to their needs and work with them and I try to do that as much as I can,” Elliott said of Black River Primary.

The trick, he said, is to "get them early, teach them the basics and the mind-set of a track and field athlete, [teach them] that it takes hard work and determination".

The GC Foster graduate who hails from St Elizabeth, started out at Ballards Valley Primary before moving to Black River.


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