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Champs 2024
A Little History And The Highlights!

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ISSA Boys and Girls Champs (image source: nationwide90FMChamps 2024

by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

The ISSA Grace Kennedy Champs 2024 recently concluded, and what a performance we saw from our athletes this year. Absolutely remarkable! Champs has always been a great platform for highlighting our upcoming track and field superstars, and this year did not disappoint.

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Champs began a long time ago, more than a century, as a modest sports day for six of our oldest high schools, including Potsdam (now Munro College), St. George's College, Jamaica College, the Wolmer's School, New College, and Mandeville Middle-Grade School.

It was spearheaded by an organising committee chaired by William Cowper, headmaster of Wolmer's and emerged as a platform for young athletes to showcase their talents, following in the footsteps of British public school athletics.

The inaugural Boys' Champs took place on June 29, 1910, at Sabina Park, following a format loosely modelled after British school sports. Over the years, Champs grew in popularity, not just because of the exceptionally talented teens but also because of its electrifying atmosphere and the fierce competitive spirit of the patrons.

Although the Boys' Championships were a great success, there is evidence that the Girls' Athletics Championships date back to 1914. They went through multiple changes until being overseen by the Games Mistresses Association in the 1960s.

Champs has experienced incredible successes and strong rivalries over its lengthy history. There are only sixteen schools that have won championships, with Kingston College having the longest winning streak among boys and Vere Technical leading the girls' division for more than ten years.

Because of the intense competition at Champs, it is still impossible to win both the boys' and girls' divisions in the same year. At least, that has not yet been seen.

Champs 2024: The Highlights

Letโ€™s fast forward to the most recent staging of Champs from March 19-23, 2024, which was held at the National Stadium and was the 113th staging of the Championship!

Edwin Allen High reclaimed the girls' title, edging out defending champions Hydel High in a closely contested battle. On the boys' side, Kingston College defended their crown with a dominant performance, securing their 35th championship victory.

Champs 2024, however, was characterized by exceptional performances and remarkable achievements beyond the podium finishes. Like most years, this one saw athletes rewrite history, set records for championships, and set personal bests. The track saw moments of pure brilliance and determination, from Theianna-Lee Terrelonge's world U18 leading 100m dash to Damor Miller's historic victory in the U19 boys' 100m.

Hydel High's Alliah Baker, who serves as the team leader, gave up her 400-meter specialization to secure the U18 girls' racing double. As the team's leader in the 4x100 and 4x400-meter relays, Baker earned four gold medals.

As the sprint double winner in the girls' 10โ€“12 division, Baker's partner Texiera Johnson was equally unmatched. Other winners of the uncommon double were Mario Ross of Wolmer's Boys, who won the 100 and 200 meters while setting personal records, and Demarco Bennett of Excelsior High, who earned career-best times to win the U15 boys' 400 meters and 400 meters hurdles.

After defeating Terrelonge, the winner of the 100 meters, in the 200 meters, Muschette High's Shanoya Douglas went on to win the U16 girls' 400-meter championship.

Kenyan-born Brian Kiprop, competing for Kingston College, turned in a standout performance to capture the U15 boys' 1500- and 2000-meter steeplechase titles.

Zavien Bernard, a 15-year-old from Hydel High, set a new championship record in the U16 girls' high jump at 1.83m, while Kimeka Smith from St Jago High set a record in the U16 girls' shot put at 16.44m. In the U19 girls' triple jump, Jade-Ann Dawkins from St Jago High soared beyond the 13m mark, narrowly securing victory, narrowly surpassing Jaeda Robinson of Immaculate Conception High and Celine Riddle of Holmwood Technical High.

Let's honour the athletes, coaches, and supporters who make this event possible as we bring another incredible Champs season to a close. Young Jamaican athletes have been motivated to aim high by their enthusiasm, commitment, and sportsmanship, which embodies the true essence of champions. With the sport's enduring ability to bring people together, inspire, and change lives, Champs' legacy will continue till the following year.

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Return to Athletics In Jamaica from Champs 2024
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References & Sources For Champs 2024

  1. #CHAMPS2024: Edwin Allen Reclaim girlsโ€™ champs title; Kc win 35th in boysโ€™ section (2024) Jamaica Observer. Available at: (Accessed: 07 April 2024).
  2. (No date) The Issa Boys & Girls Championships. Available at: (Accessed: 07 April 2024).
  3. Quality performances highlight Jamaican High School Championships: Report: World Athletics (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 07 April 2024).
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