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School Visit: Excelsior Boys & Girls


Chillin & Chips for Champs - School Visit 
Excelsior Boys & Girls

Interview by: Sherie Ranston
Photos: Ryan Hohn 

 

Maurice Harrison
16 years old
Class 1 - Decathlon
Favorite Grace Product: Vienna Sausage

Maurice earned a track and field scholarship to Excelsior while attending Windward Road Primary and Junior High. At 12 years old Maurice was accidentally chopped on the right knee when his friend wielded a machete. Since then he has struggled with muscle tearing at the hip due to the immense pressure that is placed on the leg during training sessions. Warned by his physiotherapist at to the dangers of competing, Maurice skipped the High Jump and only competed in the 400m for Class 2 at Champs last year, but failed to make the finals. This year his coach is preparing him for the Decathlon which he knows he has the potential of doing well and considers himself a strong contender. Even though this will be his first time ever competing at field events, he is hoping to fall in the top 3 placement with satisfactory training especially in the pole vault and javlin. Maurice admires his cousin Javon Francis from Calabar, whom he also shared the position of favorites to win at the Junior High School Track & Field Championships in 2007.

Kemar Mcnish
17 years old
Class 1 - Medley
Favorite Grace Product: Baked beans

Kemar reflects on Champs 2011 with mixed feelings, as due to a mix up with his team's match card shortly before their race, the team experienced chaos throwing them off their game in the medley. They placed 3rd in the heats and 9th overall with Kemar running the 400m leg of the race. This year Kemar will be doing the 800m leg to hopefully make the finals with the goal of securing a medal. Kemar's love for track developed after watching the televised ISSA Boys Championships some years ago and realizing that he could be one of those athletes, tried out for the school's team in third form and has been competing ever since. Kemar admires Germaine Gonzales who currently represents Jamaica in the 400m. Failing a career in track, his second choice would be Engineering.

 

Jonah Morgan
16 years old
Class 1 - Medley
Favorite Grace Product: Chunky Tin Mackerel

Jonah has been representing Excelsior since 2nd form. This now 5th form student made the finals last year for the 400m placing 5th, he also competed in the 200m for Class 2 but only made it to the semi-finals at Champs last year. Despite not medaling the last three years Jonah's says the various challenges has made him more determined to keep his focus. Being the first leg of the Medley this year, he would love to run .47-.48 seconds so as to give his team a good start. Both his coaches, Mr. Gavin James and Mrs. Natoya James along with fellow teammate Kemar Mcnish, are all constant motivating sources for him. Jonah is optimistic that this year will be better for Excelsior as a team. They are going to Champs with more athletes and an increased level of competitiveness. He feels they will no doubt offer more of a challenge to their fellow competitors for Champs 2012.

 

Dabarie Spence
17 years old
Class 1 - Long Jump & Triple Jump
Favorite Grace Product: Tropical Rhythms

Dabarie started jumping while attending his former school Mico Junior High, then transferred to Excelsior in 2009 after being courted by the coach. Last year he represented Excelsior in the Long Jump and placed 7th in the finals. This will be his first time competing in the Triple Jump for Class 1. He is hoping for a 7.45m in the Long Jump to secure his spot in the top 3. Oddly, he feels more confident about the triple jump as he placed 8th overall in the Carifta Trials this year. Dabarie remains a loyal supporter of Asafa Powell who he reminds us was the first Jamaican to break the 100m record prior to Usain Bolt, who he also admires.

 

 

Corey Ormsby
17 years old
Class 1 - High Jump
Favorite Grace Product: Tropical Rhythms

Corey passed for Excelsior and had all intentions of joining the football team. He failed to make the team his first year but did so successfully in 2nd form. In his first practice match against Campion College, Corey fractured his left arm and had to sit out the rest of the season. A year later he made the team for the second time but sadly tore a ligament in his left knee. Determined to play on the team Corey attempted the tryouts a third time and made the team. It was this same year that Excelsior won the Colts Cup for under 16. With a victory under his belt Corey admitted to a decline in his interest for football so in Grade 11 he decided to give High Jump a try. Corey qualified for the team at the B standard but with the support of his coach was sent to Champs last year, where for the first time he achieved the qualifying A standard which was also a personal best of 1.85m. With improved training his objective for Champs 2012 is to make the top 8 and earn some points for his school. Corey has worked hard this year and even earned the title of Team Captain for the first time.

 

Shantal Williams
19 years old
Class 1 - Triple & Long Jump 
Favorite Grace Product: Tropical Rhythms

Shantal transferred from Vere Tech. to Excelsior 2 years ago. This will be her first time representing the school. Shantal is yet to medal at Champs even after representing her former school. Against her Coach's wishes, Shantal is insistent on competing in the Triple Jump event. She explains that on a small few of her teammates were willing to step up to compete in this event so she saw it as an opportunity to challenge herself and hopefully gain some points for her new school. Shantal recalls her first meet being the Grace Jackson Invitational doing the Triple Jump where she placed 3rd in the open event. For her, this was just the start as her competition was not very stiff and feels ultimately Champs 2012 is where she will no doubt feel the pressure from he fellow competitors. Despite an ankle injury, Shantal is bringing her "A" game and is hopeful for a medal position.

 

Tsahai Ricketts
17 years old
Class 2 - Discus
Favorite Grace Product: Corned Beef


Tsahai was originally a sprinter at Suthermere Prep where she earned her first medal for the 4x100m placing second. With an overall average of 89% in her examinations Tsahai was disappointed when she was placed at Excelsior by default and admits to not knowing about the school prior to attending. This comedian says she thought she would be selling crackers! And had all intentions of opting for a transfer once the opportunity presented itself. Tsahai eventually warmed to the school. She was first introduced to Discus and Shot-put by her mom who is a police officer and competes at the Police International Sports Track Meet annually. It was at a Sports day at Excelsior that Tsahai threw 27metres for the first time and impressed who coach, who immediately recruited her, to the delight of her mom. Due to a broken are this year, Tsahai is determined to compete in the Discus but will be sitting out Shot-put at the insistence of her Coach for Champs 2012. Fighting the flu and suffering from asthma, Tsahai placed 9th overall last year. She is throwing 38.93m now but is hoping to make it at least a 41m to medal this year.

 

Jody Petrie
14 years old
Class 3 - 100m, 200m, Long Jump, 4x100m
Favorite Grace Product: Tropical Rhythms

Jody is no stranger to medals, having earned silver in primary school and a bronze at Champs last year in Class 4, the exact event, she cannot remember, but thinks it was either for the 100/200m. The relay however, did not go very well due to a mishap with the baton. Jody sees the 200m as being the one she would really like to medal in at Champs 2012. With a time of 25.66m Jody is optimistic she can qualify for the finals and then go on to medal. This will be her first time doing Long Jump and despite being a newcomer she is equally optimistic of doing well at this event. Jody admires Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce and Veronica Campbell for their impressive performances over the years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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