The National Sports Council’s Secondary Schools Cross Country relay races took place today at the National Stadium and the question on everyone’s lips related to the whereabouts of defending champions Springer Memorial.
The queens of track and field in Barbados, along with Combermere and Harrison College, were noticeably missing from this year’s relay competition. Efforts to reach the physical education teachers at the schools were unsuccessful.
Despite the absence of the big three, the relays were very exciting. Indeed the schools present took advantage of their no-show, primarily The Lodge School which won two out of the six races on the day.
In the most anticipated race of the day which required running six laps around the Stadium, the Lodge School commanded the senior boys’ race with some exceptional running from Wade Garner who ran a brilliant second leg to bring the St John boys back into the race after Coleridge and Parry had a good first leg lead but were unable to contend with Garner’s long strides. From there on it was all over as The Lodge School never looked back to the delight of their fans. Not even a brilliant final leg sprint by Lester Vaughan’s top athlete and CARIFTA gold medallist Rivaldo Leacock could stop The Lodge boys from finishing off the race in great fashion.
Earlier in the day, the new crop of Lodge School girls sent a strong message to all competitors in the Under-13 division; that they were the ones to watch out for in the future. They won quite comfortably ahead of The Alleyne School and Coleridge and Parry. The Lodge School got off to a slow start in the race which was led by Lester Vaughan and The St Michael School from the outset. The Lodge girls, however, picked up speed and slammed the field coming on to the final three legs of the race.
St Leonard Boys’ pulled off a terrific win in the Under-13 race ahead of Queen’s College and Coleridge and Parry. Coleridge and Parry had a few good starts in today’s cross country but were unable to win any of their races. The Under-13 boys race was no different as the St Peter boys were out front in the race but the Richmond Gap boys came back strong on the fourth and fifth legs which were run beautifully by Todd Miller.
Christ Church Foundation won the Under-15 girls race thanks to a superb run by Rosette Hoyte who has transferred from Springer Memorial. They beat the likes of Coleridge and Parry and the Lester Vaughan School. In the Under-15 male division, Alleyne School clocked a time of 19.44 to win quite easily over Coleridge and Parry in 20.01 and Queen’s College in 20.06.
The senior girls’ relay was another surprise of the day after The Lodge School and Foundation commanded the first three legs of the relay and St Michael School came from behind and took over the race. The Martindale’s Road girls saved their best for last and Ayanna Morgan and Jariah Hoyte did not disappoint.
Morgan received the baton on the second last lap of the race and passed most of her competitors to hand over the baton to Jariah Hoyte who was anxiously waiting on the line. Hoyte showed why she is indeed one of the top secondary school female athletes in Barbados when she produced an outstanding turn of speed to finish the race very strongly for her team.