Defending girls champions Christ Church Foundation School have so far set the pace but reigning kings Lester Vaughan are trailing the St Michael School in the boys’ competition.
The two-day Powerade Barbados Secondary Schools Athletics Championship finals ran off Thursday at the National Stadium with Foundation accumulating 181 points, ahead of Scotiabank Springer Memorial on 150.20 and Harrison College with 131 points in third position. The St Michael School girls are in third position on 113 points and Lester Vaughan sponsored by Burger King have so far tallied 90 for fifth place.
Going into Friday’s second and final day beginning at 9a.m., the boys from Martindale’s Road lead by 14 points after finishing the day on 130, Lester Vaughan are on 116 and Harrison College have 98 points. Foundation tallied 77 points for fourth place and Alleyne School with 74 points round out the top five.
There were six record-breaking performances on the day and Layla Haynes of Harrison College was among them in the Under-13 Girls 800m when she replaced the 1994 record of 2:29.76 set by Nikkisha Maynard with a new standard of 2:79.65. Haynes was also second in the Girls 3000m open behind Mary Fraser of Daryll Jordan Secondary. Coleridge and Parry captured two gold medals in the Under-17 Division when Enrique Babb threw the discus a distance of 49.89m to remove the previous record of 48.96m set by Sheldon Roach and Shanice Hutson putted 12.04m for the girls’ shot put record. Meanwhile, Aren Spencer produced 14.51 in the junior boys 100m hurdles and Josh Newton of Princess Margaret made 1.64m in the Under-13 Boys high jump. John Jones’ record distance of 47.01m in the discus went through the window with a throw of 49.64m from CARIFTA athlete Triston Gibbons of Harrison College.
There were several races that attracted lots of attention but none more so than the 100m sprints which took the spotlight with last year’s CARIFTA bronze medallist in the 200m, Matthew Clarke of the St Michael School, stamping his authority with a Usain Bolt-like run of 10.56 seconds and announcing himself as the fastest schoolboy in Barbados. The closest to that time was the 10.74 by Kentoine Browne of The Lodge School and the 10.82 ran by Kuron Griffith of Alleyne School.
There were a few unfortunate events occurring in that said 100m showdown when Tremaine Smith of Lodge School false started and was removed, followed by another favourite, Josiah Atkins of Foundation, pulling up at least 50m from the finish line.
Hannah Connell of Foundation delivered two powerful runs in the Under-20 Girls 100m and 100m hurdles. A member of Velocity Management Track And Field Club, Connell ran 14.01 which was under the CARIFTA required time of 14.35 in the 100m hurdles and outside the 13.88 which she ran a few Saturdays ago. The 17-year-old athlete clocked 12.11 in the 100m but was unable to trouble Yolande Straughn’s long-standing record of 11.64 set in 1985.
The Under-17 Girls 100m was just as fast and only the photo-finish was able to determine the winner when Jaliyah Denny and Akayla Morris of Harrison College both finished in 12.04. The boys’ equivalent was determined by a split second between Darian Clarke of St Michael School (10.82) and Julian Forde of Harrison College (10.83).There were at least four CARIFTA athletes in the Under-20 Boys 400m and it was a huge disappointment to see 2015 double CARIFTA gold medallist Jonathan Jones of Harrison College being disqualified after a false start.
It would have been interesting to see how Jones came up against last year’s CARIFTA silver medallist Antoni Hoyte-Small of the St Michael School who eventually captured gold in 47.56 after convincingly dismissing the field unchallenged. Hoyte-Small continues to creep closer to that 2001 record of 47.18 set by Foundation’s Wilan Louis and has already booked his ticket to Curacao in the 200m and 400m.
The lads from Martindale’s Road earned themselves another gold medal in the Under-17 Boys 400m when Kyle Gale pulled away from the field while running 50.29 to take the glory from Raheem Taitt-Best of Foundation who went out hard in the first 300m but was unable to keep up that pace on the home stretch and finished in 51.20 for silver while third place went to Tafari Bishop of Coleridge and Parry who was timed at 51.75.
The Girls 400m final was also exciting and Tianna Bowen pulled out all the stops to be victorious in Under-20 Division, running a time of 55.33 for Foundation. Jaria Hoyte with a time of 56.18 for St Michael and Shonita Brome of Alexandra School in a time of 56.74 finished second and third respectively. Meanwhile, in the Under-17 Girls 400m, Shemia Odaine gave Alleyne School every reason to shout with a beautiful run which earned her gold in 57.56, Rhea Hoyte of St Michael (58.03) was second and Sarah Belle of Foundation (59.76) placed third. Odaine, competing in the long jump event, landed at 5.43m for second place behind the 5.75m reached by Morris of Harrison College. The latter was two centimeters short of Akela Jones’ record of 5.77m.
Alleyne School ran away with top honours in the Under-13 Girls and Boys 200m compliments Brieanna Boyce (26.58) and Achilles Browne (26.01). Boyce was also second in the Girls 800m behind Haynes of Harrison College. The Under-15 200m race went to Frederick Smith’s Aaliyah Agard in a time of 25.46 and St Michael’s Nathan Roett won the boys equivalent in 23.48 seconds.
The St Michael School took gold in three of the four 4x100m relays on the day winning the Under-17 Girls and Boys and Under-20 Boys. Foundation won the Under-20 Girls.