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HC, QC rule pool

Sherrylyn A. Toppin

HC, QC rule pool

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Both Harrison College and Queen’s College successfully defended their respective titles in the 2010 Powerade Secondary Schools’ Swimming Championships, but in contrasting fashion at the Aquatic Centre yesterday.
Long before Michelle Dowell touched the wall to win the Girls’ 15 and over 200M medley relay, Harrison College had already wrapped up their ninth straight title. With a commanding 75-point lead going into the final event, Harrison College amassed 302 points, followed by Queen’s College (223), The St Michael School (154), Combermere (93) and St Ursula’s on 71.
The boys’ event was much more competitive. Five points separated Harrison College (162) and defending champions Queen’s College (157) at the break, but QC had narrowed that to one with 213 going into the final event.
With the team of Callum Wright, Jonathan Blackman, Jamal Forte and Kamal Seale, Queen’s College proved to be stronger, blowing the race wide open on the second leg. They went on to win their second straight title and third in four years with 263 points.
To add insult to injury, Harrison College’s relay team was disqualified after one competitor wore ankle-length bottoms. They finished with 246 points, followed by Foundation School on 119.5 and The St Michael School just half a point adrift.
The Lodge School were a distant fifth on 63, 54 of them from Boys’ 15-and-over champion Russell Oliver. Special mention must be made of Akeem Nurse who gained all 43 of St George Secondary’s points and their seventh place.
Nurse caused the upset of the meet when he beat pre-race favourite Christian Selby of Queen’s College in the 11 to 12 Boys’ breaststroke. It’s hard to tell if Selby underestimated Nurse since he had been beating him all day, but it was Nurse who touched the wall first in 35.04 seconds, just off the 34.00 set by Raymond Edwards four years ago.
Selby did yeoman service for Queen’s College and accounted for three of the five records which were broken. In the 50M fly, he set a new national and meet record of 28.75 seconds, replacing the 28.87 and 29.38 respectively, set by Bradley Ally in 1997.
In the backstroke, Selby erased Ayrton Bannister’s 2002 time of 32.02 with 31.42 and just missed Ally’s national mark of 31.39.
After he was beaten by Nurse in the breaststroke,  much to the delight of a group of onlookers, Selby set a new meet record of 25.48 seconds, inside the 25.82 held by Martyn Forde since 1998.
His strategic placing on the third leg of both the medley and freestyle relays was key to the Queen’s College victory.
Deandre Small of Harrison College set a new national, age group and meet record of 1 minute 10.50 seconds in the Girls’ 13 to 14 100M Individual medley, shattering the 1:11.68 set by Andrea Ferguson at the 1998 schools’ meet and the old national mark of 1:11.65 by Alexis Jordan which stood since 2002.
The final record was set by Zabrina Holder in the 50m freestyle in the same age group with 28.05 seconds, erasing Olympian Leah Martindale’s 1993 time of 28.28. Holder was just short (30.56) of Simone Kirton’s 1996 time of 30.52 in the 50 fly.
The Sherry sisters, Inayah and Sariyah, shared the spoils of the 11 to 12 age group with Combermere’s Kimberley Willoughby and Lodge’s Alhea Williams; while Tristan Ward of Harrison College won the competitive boys’ 13 to 14 age group.
Lee-Ann Rose of Queen’s College stepped up to the 15 and over division, making light work of competition from the Harrison College pair of Lani Cabrera and Zhane Padmore. 

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