Finally the Burger King-sponsored Lester Vaughan have the right to call themselves kings of schools’ athletics in Barbados. And the queens –– Scotiabank Springer Memorial –– can simply call it just another day at the office.
The Cane Garden, St Thomas school won their first ever Powerade-sponsored Barbados Secondary Schools Athletics Championships with 276.50 while the Springer Memorial juggernaut tallied 391 points to make it 16 titles on the trot at the National Stadium today.
Lester Vaughan could not contain their joy this evening when the curtains came down on the championships and inspirationalcoach Alwyn Babb was an extremely happy man. Speaking to Barbados TODAY Babb praised his athletes for their hard work and dedication.
“We tried and tried and finally we have done it and it feels great,” Babb said.
The school fended off stiff competition from Christ Church Foundation School who came second with 238.50 points and Harrison College who just pipped The Lodge School by half a point with 209.50 to 209 for third and fourth positions respectively. St Leonard’s Boys also did well to round off the top five with a tally of 205 points.
The defending girls’ champions on the other hand were the favourites to win, perhaps since the start of this millennium, and that they did by a large margin with the St Michael School second with 238 points, while Foundation came third with 206 and Coleridge and Parry and Lester Vaughan tallied 180 and 163 respectively for fourth and fifth spot.
Enrique Babb of Coleridge and Parry was declared the 2015 top male performer with 40 points but the stakes were shared among the girls with Mary Fraser of Darryl Jordan and Akayla Morris of The Lodge School both tallying 40 points. Babb won the under-15 boys’ shot put, discus, javelin and the junior boys 100m hurdles. Meanwhile Fraser in the under-17 division won the 3000m, 1500m, 800m and 400m while Morris in the under-15 was in a class by herself when she showed lots of heart to win the 100m, 200m, 400m and long jump.
There were at least six records broken today with five from the boys’ open pentathlon won by Antonio Weekes of Lester Vaughan with 3480 points. Weekes set a new time of 4:42.63 in the 1500m. But that was outdone by Coleridge & Parry’s Darian Scantlebury who actually won the race and went faster at 4:40.93. Three individuals broke records in the boys open pentathlon long jump. Josiah Beckles of Combermere leapt 6.70m, Micah Shepherd of Harrison College jumped 6.48m and Sadrian Ward of St. Leonard’s made 6.37m.
In the 400m hurdles Rivaldo Leacock of Lester Vaughan clocked 51.64 to shatter the 52.03 record once held by Kion Joseph of St Leonard’s.
Today featured several big guns who came out to give it their all and accumulate some much needed points for their schools. Mario Burke of Harrison College sprinted 21.31 seconds to win the battle against Ramarco Thompson of Combermere who did 21.34 in the under-20 boys 200m showdown. Harrison College also grabbed gold in the 200m thanks to Asha Cave who clocked 24.23 to take the gold with both Tristan Evelyn and Sada Williams missing through injury. The under-17 girls’ 200m went to Tiana Bowen of Lester Vaughan who stopped the clock at 25.19. Tramaine Smith of The Lodge School won the boys’ equivalent in 21.57.
Most of the day’s excitement came from the juniors on the track and in the under-13 girls 400m Kayla Cummins of Foundation clocked 64.57 to vanquish her opponents. Aren Spencer of Harrison College had a good run in the 400m when he finished in 62.19 seconds to take that event. Meanwhile in the under-15 girls 400m, Rhea Hoyte of St Michael stamped her authority with 58.08 which was the fastest time while Quamie Neblett of Lester Vaughan took the boys 400m in 53.94.
Springer Memorial captured one and two in the under-13 girls 100m which was won by Khadeja Straughan who ran 13.40 with second place going to Julisa Jones-Smith in 13.43 seconds. Julie Phillips, coach of Springer Memorial, told Barbados TODAY they felt elated to win again.
“We were just concerned about making it to the final but the girls knew what they were supposed to do and we take each day one at a time,” Phillips said.
Mario Linton secured the under-13 boys’ 100m for Lester Vaughan when he crossed the line in 12.78. Meanwhile Julian Forde of Harrison College ran 11.40 to take the under-15 boys 100m for Harrison College.
The 800m went to Jonathan Jones of Coleridge and Parry who won in 1:56.21. Combermere grabbed gold in both the under-20 boys and girls 800m thanks to Raheem Skinner who made it look easy when he clocked 1:52.81 which is a CARIFTA qualifying time and Akelia Knight who claimed the girls’ in 2:15.84. The junior girls and boys 1500m went to Ashley Weekes of St Michael (5:19.84) and Nathan Thornhill of Harrison College (4:31.94) respectively.
In the hurdles Jumulah Estwick of St Leonard’s ran 42.76 and won the under-15 boys 300m, while Hannah Connell of Foundation ran 44.84 to win in the under-17 girls equivalent. The under-17 boys 400m hurdles went to Rasheeme Griffith of Coleridge and Parry who clocked 54.16. Under-20 girls’ division champion Sada Williams (30 points) of Coleridge and Parry won the girls 400m hurdles in 62.90.
Another CARIFTA qualifier today was Ashantia Phillips of Graydon Sealy in the under-20 girls’ high jump. She sailed over the bar at 1.74m to book her passage. Her schoolmate Rashad Burton won the under-20 boys javelin with a throw of 48.99m. In other field events Aaron Worrell of St Michael jumped 1.91m to take the under-20 boys’ high jump, Triston Gibbons of Coleridge and Parry threw the shot put14.04m to take the gold while Shamar Barker of The Lodge School leapt 5.72m to win the under-15 boys’ long jump. Romancia Odwin picked up her second gold medal when she won the under-17 girl discus at a distance of 29.92m.