A whopping 20 records came tumbling down at Christ Church Foundation School’s sports day and 2016 might just be the year when the Church Hill team reign supreme at the Barbados Secondary Schools Athletics Championship (BSSAC).
The class and talent displayed on track by Foundation’s athletes today at the National Stadium have certainly sent a statement for all rivals at the upcoming track and field championship.
After the day’s proceeding Talma ‘Purple’ House completed the hat-trick with 983 points ahead of Wellington ‘Red’ House with 855 and Inniss ‘Blue’ House third on 847. Skeete ‘Yellow’ House and Lynch ‘Green’ House were unable to keep up and came fourth and fifth on 621.50 and 556.50 points respectively.
The last time Foundation won anything at BSSAC was back in 1989 when they captured the girls title and with six to seven more weeks to go before BSSAC, physical education teacher Seibert Straughn was impressed with the high quality seen in all events by his athletes both on and off the field.
“Foundation is a school that is known for being strong on the track and they were eleven records set at the school and I think that is what was pleasing to us in terms of our preparations including the field events. Today in the four hundred meters they were four records broken and two in the one hundred meters. So I think it is a good start to the track season for Foundation School but we still have a lot of work to do,” Straughn said.
He noted that this year BSSAC will be split into two zones and they will feature in zone one with Springer Memorial who are the queens of secondary school track and field but Straughn made it clear they will not be intimidated by anyone and this year they have the all-round team needed to win the championship after placing second to the Lester Vaughan School in the boys and third in the girls last year.
“We don’t fear anyone and I mean Springer will want it just as bad as us and we will want it just as bad as them or any school for that matter. Springer have been the champions for a lot of years and we will show them that respect but we will not be intimidated by no one.
“If you want to do well at any championship you got to have an all-round team and we have Gabrielle Yearwood and Kobe Hutson in the juniors along with Hannah Connell, [Kevin Briggs] and Rivaldo Leacock in the seniors and it is very unfortunate what happened to Rivaldo today but we will do everything possible to make sure he recovers well,” Straughn explained.
A total of 11 records were already broken heading into the sports meet and another four went down at the start of the day’s proceedings in the 400m. Victrix ludorum Hannah Connell of Inniss House with 79 points in the under-17 division was among the record-breakers. She was like an inferno all day with two smashing performances in the 100m and 400m. Running out of lane six Connell replaced Tiadana Belle’s mark of 59.04 with a new time of 58.81 but that time was second best to Rosette Hoyte of Lynch who ran 58.78 in the same race that went down to the wire. Connell then returned in the 100m and produced a powerful run of 12.39 to better the 12.40 once held by Dana Rock. Connell also won the 200m, long jump and javelin, she was second in the triple jump and third in the 800m.
The junior victrix ludorum title went to Chiara Chase of the victorious Talma House with a tally of 70 points in the under-15 age group. Chase won the 1500m, 3000m and javelin but came second in the 800m and discus throw while placing third in the long jump.
Junior victor ludorum Nathan Crawford-Wallis of Skeete House was like a runaway train in the under-15 boys division with his tall strides as he destroyed the field in the 400m, 200m and was second in the 100m behind Jean Pierre- Hinds. In the field events held at the school, Crawford- Wallis equalled the high jump record of 1.73m and also won the long jump, discus throw, javelin and shot put.
There was a tie for senior victor ludorum between the fastest boy at the school Kevin Briggs of Skeete House in the under-20 division and Laquan Trotman of Talma in the under-17. Both tallied 56 points.
The former Lester Vaughan top athlete went over to sixth form at Foundation last year and will play a crucial role in their success come BSSAC. Briggs ran a swift 10.87 in the 100m to erase 10.90 once set back in 1994 by Andre Estwick and also claimed the long jump record with a distance of 7.01, he also won 200m which was a bitter sweet race when teammate Rivaldo Leacock impressively won the 400m earlier in the morning but pulled what was said to be his hamstring and did not finish the race. The 17-year-old Briggs was also second in the triple jump. Meanwhile Trotman in the under-15 category won the 400m, 100m, long jump and was second in the high jump.
Other records were set by Gabrielle Yearwood of Lynch House in the under-13 girls 400m with a time of 1:03.90; Lelani Haddock of Talma in the under-15 400m in 1:01.03 and the high jump with a leap of 1.50m. Tiana Bowen of Skeete House reduced her time from 57 this past weekend at the Joseph Payne Memorial Classic to 56.62 today when she competed in the under-20 age group, Ashantia Phillips of Inniss cleared 1.70m in the under-20 girls high jump and Elizabeth Williams also in the senior division broke two records in the 800m with 2:27.38 and clocked 5:17.34 in the 1500m. Kofi McColin of Wellington ran 2:02.87 in the under-20 boys 800m and Kobe Hutson of Talma competing in the under-13 boys registered a new record time of 1:01.97 in the 400m.