The Champs trophy has rarely made a trip to the western end of Jamaica. In fact, it has only done so due to one institution – the Mannings School of Savanna La-Mar, Westmoreland. Here are some more facts about the school.
- Mannings has won Girls’ Champs on three occasions – 1965, 1966 and 1969.
- In the second year of class four competition, Mannings was led to its second victory by 12-year-old Carol Surgeon, who won the 100 yards in 12.4 seconds; cleared 4ft 7 inches in the high jump and leapt 15ft 7 inches for the long jump title.
- Mannings’ third hold on the trophy was secured only after Ardenne and Vere were disqualified in the class 1 4×110 yard relay. The school was upgraded to fourth place from sixth, which saw them snatch the title from Montego Bay High by a mere two points.
- The school’s most successful alum is Kaliese Spencer. She finished way down the field in the class two 800m and 1500m finals in 2003, but redeemed herself the following year in the 800m. She went on to become the World Junior Champion in the 400m hurdles in 2006 and has since claimed two Diamond League titles in that event, along with silver medals in the World Championships and World Indoor Championships, as well as the Commonwealth Games title.
Source: Champs 100: A Century of Jamaican High School Athletics 1910-2010 by Hubert Lawrence