The Lodge School and Christ Church Foundation School [CCFS] won the senior boys and girls respectively, but it was Queen’s College [QC] who dominated at the Barbados Secondary Schools Athletic Championship Cross Country event held today at Deighton Griffith Secondary School.
The athletes from Husbands represented well by winning the day’s final three races, which included the first form girls, Under-15 and first form boys races respectively.
The distance for all six categories was 6×1000 metres and QC did well to finish third behind eventual winners Lodge and second placed CCFS in the seniors boys event. There was no stopping Lodge’s six-man team of Akeem Marshall, Wade Garner, Romario Marshall, Tremaine Maloney, Shem Forde and Jermaine Johnson, though, who running in that order, delivered a mouth watering performance.
Following a blistering first leg from Marshall, Garner went out like Usain Bolt on receiving the baton on the second leg.
In fact, Lodge had such a big advantage on the third leg, by the time Romario Marshall passed the baton to Shem Forde, Rivaldo Leacock of CCFS was at least 150m behind.
CCFS however got their revenge in the senior girls race, which they led from start to finish.
The team of Rosette Hoyte, Krista Maloney, Cheyanne Cummins, Tiana Bowen, Hannah Connell and Elizabeth Williams comfortably sped to victory, over Harrison College, who came second and third placed Springer Memorial.
There were no official times provided for both the senior boys and girls, but there were times however for the Under-15 girls and boys races.
In the girls, Lester Vaughan came out on top in 25:28, followed home closely by Springer Memorial 25:51 and Alleyne 26:01.
Shemia Odane had actually given Alleyne the lead early on, but on the second leg Leslie-Ann Gaskin was hunted down with 300 metres to go by Vivica Addison of Lester Vaughn and from there it was all over, even though Springer chased them relentlessly.
It was at this point QC stamped their dominance, beginning with the Under-15 boys. Kemar Jordan, Samuel Alkins, Jahlarni Toni, Niel Skinner, Mario Lavoie and Ethan Bryan won in a time of 21:25, ahead of Lodge 21:33 and St Leonard Boys’ 21:35.
QC’s first form girls then followed up that performance by winning ahead of Springer Memorial and Harrison College.
That particular race was a scary one for QC, who were in the lead on the fifth lap when reserve Jaimee Branson stopped to catch her breath.
But with Springer hot on her heels, Branson summoned the energy to pull away and kicked for home, thanks to encouragement from her five other teammates; Talitha Bartlett, Alysha Mascoll, Jenna Franklyn, Ti-Juna Welch and Zuri Connell.
QC’s first form boys then showed what they were made of, with commanding runs on all six laps propelling them to victory over CCFS and Princess Margaret respectively.
It seems QC’s athletes trained under the guidance of physical education teachers Brian Holder and Tanya Oxley have something special among this crop of juniors.
Oxley described the juniors as ‘little with big hearts’ and said she was happy with the school’s overall performance, especially the Under-15 boys.
“To be quite honest our juniors are really good this year and it is a shame that we don’t have seniors…but we have some very good juniors. We have some swimmers who are naturally good at long distance.
“The Under-15 [boys] run was pretty good, but what I worried about was our strategy, because we kind of changed up the order last night and went back to the drawing board a little and when we got here we decided we should have gone the way we had it originally, but it worked out in the end,” Oxley said.