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All systems go for a successful staging of the East Coast meeting

Hydel High’s Alliah Baker charges to victory in the Championship of Americas high school 4x400m race during the 128th Penn Relays at Franklin Field Stadium in Philadelphia, United States, on April 26, 2024. (Photo: Collin Reid courtesy of Courts , Jamaica Tourist Board and Team Jamaica Bickle)

MARYLAND, United States – Hydel High’s track star Alliah Baker, and Muschett High’s Shanayo Douglas will lead the contingent of Jamaican athletes competing in the third leg of the East Coast International Showcase championships today at the Prince George Sports and Learning Complex.

The championships, which will feature more than 1,200 competing athletes, will feature 120 Jamaican junior athletes competing alongside their American counterparts. The event starts at 9am (8am Jamaica time).

Baker, who has had an excellent season, will compete in the 100-meter event.

“I’m just going out there to do my best and follow my coach’s instructions,” Baker said. “I have prepared well for this race, so now it is up to me to go out and hopefully run a very fast time on Saturday.”

Baker earned four gold medals at the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association/GraceKennedy Girls’ Athletics Championships in March, including the Girls’ Class One sprint double and gold in the 4x100m and 4×400 relay events.

16-year-old Douglas, the reigning Carifta Under-17 200m champion, will compete in the 200m and 400m events. Douglas expressed her readiness for the East Coast International Showcase.

“I have prepared well for the competition because I heard that the competition will be very tough because everyone is going hard to win, so I will be ready on Saturday,” she said. “I’m going there to do my best because I’ve prepared myself mentally and physically, knowing that many will be looking forward to me doing well there. I have been running well all season – from Champs to Carifta Games – so I want to continue with this race and make my coach, school and family proud.

Sanjay Ayre, chief organizer of the meet, said all is set for a successful staging.

“All the plans are in place and the kids are ready to go. We had a fantastic week at training camp and the athletes I spoke to said they are feeling really good and ready,” said Ayre.

“All the officials are present as we have a technical meeting at the stadium on Friday to go over the timing system and scoreboard controls. So from a technical point of view the race is ready to start,” he concludes.

Some of the Jamaican schools that will be participating in the competition include Hydel, St Jago (both boys and girls teams), Excelsior High Boys, Jamaica College, Wolmer’s High School for Girls, Muschett High and St Elizabeth Technical.