A total of 14 records were broken today at Christ Church Foundation School sports, as the reigning track and field queens look set to defend their title at the Barbados Secondary Schools Athletics Championship (BSSAC).
The girls from Church Hill created history last year for the first time in 27 years, when they dethroned perennial champions, Scotiabank Springer Memorial, and from the look of things today on the Ryan Brathwaite track at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex, Foundation look ready to defend their girls title at BSSAC and prove last year was no fluke.
Talma ‘Purple’ House retained their title with 838.5 points, ahead of Skeete ‘Yellow’ House who scored 700 and Wellington ‘Red’ House who followed closely for third with 690.5 points. Inniss ‘Blue’ House took fourth place with 686.50 points, ahead of Lynch ‘Green’ House on 356 points, under the prevailing heavy windy conditions.
When a school has as many top junior national athletes at their disposal as Foundation, one can expect great rivalry on track and that was exactly the case especially in the Division One Girls showdown between senior victrix ludorum Tianna Bowen of Skeete House and last year’s victrix ludorum at BSSAC, Hannah Connell of Inniss House.
It was a never-ending battle between Bowen and Connell, two of Barbados’ CARIFTA athletes. Bowen tallied 71 points for victrix ludorum honours and showed excellent form on track today after picking up an injury last year that did not afford her the opportunity to execute at one hundred percent. Bowen equalled her own record of 56.62 in the 400m this morning. In the 200m it was neck and neck between Bowen and Connell running out of lane five and six respectively and it was Bowen with a time of 24.41 that edged Connell’s 24.42 on the line. Connell had her moment to shine when she powered her way to a new record time of 12.18 in the 100m, shattering a 14-year-old record of 12.40 held by Sharon Larrier since 2003. She also won the girls long jump with a 5.18m distance.
The senior victor ludorum also hailed from Skeete House and that was perhaps no surprise because Nathan Crawford-Wallis with a whopping 82 points today, was also the reigning victor ludorum champion at BSSAC and a lot will be expected of him particularly in the field events as Foundation seek to dethrone Lester Vaughan and take a clean sweep this year. Competing in Division Two, Crawford- Wallis who represented Barbados at the 2016 Caribbean Union of Teachers Games in Tortola equalled his own mark of 36.25m in the discus. He also won the javelin with a throw of 29.26m and putted 10.40m to capture gold in the shot put.
Despite an outstanding performance in the field events, Crawford- Wallis was no match for Raheem Taitt-Best of Inniss House who made a superb return to track after picking up an unfortunate hip injury last year that forced him out of competition. Taitt-Best who trains with Pacers club slammed the field in the 200m clocking 23.10, in the 400m he had no problems doing likewise with a winning time of 52.29. At school in the 800m, Taitt- Best was large and in charge, crossing the line in 2:21.10 to send a message that he is ready to perform at BSSAC and hopefully book his place on the CARIFTA team.
Kyla Cummins had no competition when she competed in Division Three for Wellington House and scored 76 points to claim the junior victrix title. Cummins started the day by breaking the 400m time of 1:01.03 once held by Lelani Haddock of Talma House and set 1:00:97. Cummins looked in good form winning the 100m in 12.80 and the 200m in 26.03.
Meanwhile Talma House had reason to shout when their star athlete Kobe Hutson of Division Three captured the junior victor ludorum title. Hutson dismissed the field with a 57.07 clocking in the 400m, he ran 2:35.56 for another comfortable win in the 800m and was not finished there as he took a liking for the distant races having won the 1500m in 5:51.23 and 3000m in 22:51.34. He also took top position in the boys’ long jump event where he had an effort of 5.24m. Hutson however was unable to get past housemate Anthony Alleyne in the 200m where he placed second and in the 100m where he was third.
In Division One Boys, there were many top contenders, including Rivaldo Leacock of Lynch House who represented Barbados at the World Youth Championship, facing off against Deshon Trent of Skeete House who last represented Barbados at the 2015 CARIFTA Games. It was Trent, who came out on top winning the 400m in 49.97 and 200m in 21.87. Josiah Atkins of Inniss House broke the Division One Boys 100m record in 10.73.