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Springer, Ellerslie rule

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Springer, Ellerslie rule

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SPRINGER dominated the girls and Ellerslie took home a distance relay in near record time.
   Sounds like another  run-of-the-mill day in schools’ athletics.
   Twelve-time Interschool Sports champs Springer Memorial took two of three girls’ races on offer before Nicholas Deshong capped Ellerslie’s thrilling finish in the senior boys’ event as part of yesterday’s six-man relay championships at the Botanical Gardens course.
   About the only mystery surrounding the day was Harrison College’s inexplicable absence, as Springer comfortably defended both their first form and under-15 titles prior to finishing third in the senior open.
   So dominant were their performances in the two victories that the only time the Government Hill girls trailed was after the opening leg of the under-15 race.
  And Vanessa Hyman easily made up the deficit in her second leg, giving a comfortable cushion to Jade Searles before Shoncarra Clarke, Stephanie Pilgrim and Tanisha Stanford sealed the deal in 22 minutes and eight seconds.
St George finished a further 30 seconds back for second and St Michael were third in 22:48.
    This coming after Springer led from wire to wire in the first form equivalent, following a strong opening leg from Danielle Pollard and an even more domineering run from Kaya Clarke.
   It didn’t leave much left for Leesha Robinson, Nayah Wilson, Symphony Griffith and Narissa Chase to do when they crossed the line in 24.18, ahead of Foundation (24.34) and St Michael (24.48).
   Deshong didn’t find his last leg as easy though, having been forced to come from behind to edge Lodge’s Wendell Davis in a nail-biting sprint to the finish.
   With 4×400 record breaking team-mates Anthonio Mascoll and Roderick Best on hand, Deshong probably thought his task was just to anchor yet another mark-setting relay.
This wasn’t the case, not after Clive Thomas ceded the early lead before a weak third leg from Malvi Valloza dropped the Black Rock boys one minute and three spots behind then leaders Lodge.
    However, Mascoll swiftly made up the stagger, putting Ellerslie in second behind St Leonard’s via a breath-taking fourth leg.
    Final showdown
But Justin Nicholls outduelled Best on the penultimate stage, giving Lodge back the lead and setting up the final showdown between Deshong and Davis.
    And the battle lived up to expectations right up to the line, with Deshong overtaking his Lodge counterpart at the final turn for home before holding off Davis by a nose in the sprint to the finish.
    Ellerslie posted a winning time of 17.11, one second better than Lodge, while St Leonard’s were third with 17.25.
    Just moments earlier, Combermere handed Springer their first defeat of the day to win the senior girls open in 22 minutes, relegating Queen’s College (22:14) to second and the Government Hill lasses (23:03) to third.
    And like Deshong before her, Cindy Forde came from behind to secure the win on the last leg after Shakera “First” Barrow kept Combermere in the hunt on the penultimate lap.
    Shae “Bubba” Nurse’s impressive three-minute sprint in his third leg gave the Lodge team (19:14) of Ross Jordan, Shem Forde, Gregory Vanderpool, David Yearwood and Tamal Atwell a victory in the under-15 boys.
    Alleyne (19:22) were second and St Leonard’s (19:26) finished third.
    This after Deighton Griffith (21:27) took the first form boys relay on the heels of Emery Elfise’s resounding second leg performance, as St Leonard’s (22:18) and Alleyne (22:39) came in second and third respectively.