Springer rule relays
THERE’S JUST NO beating Springer – inside or outside the National Stadium.
Inter-schools sports’ reigning 13-time queens gave no indication that the end to a dynasty is nigh, winning two of the three girls’ events to sandwich a second-place finish as part of yet another dominant showing at yesterday’s six-man cross country championships in Waterford.
Not even a shift of venue from the customary Botanical Gardens to a course going around the outside of the National Stadium could slow Springer’s armada, which extended their streak of winning multiple races to three years.
It wasn’t just that they crossed the line first more so than the manner in which they did it, having lapped at least one rivalling school in each of those three relays.
The girls of Government Hill didn’t waste any time doing it either, as they predictably defended their under-13 title following a dominant performance from Rosette Hoyte, Drew-Ann Clarke, Samantha Parris, Sierra Coward, Ashley Marshall and Naygia Bradshaw.
And that wasn’t even the best girl band they had on show.
The searing midday sun had nothing on the senior girls’ pace for heat, with Tanisha Stanford opening up a lead on the first leg that Springer never relinquished. At one point, they led second-placed Queen’s College by as many as 400 metres following blistering runs by Vanessa Hymen, Nika Tappin and Gabriel Williams.
Queen’s College eventually settled for second while The St Michael School strolled in one spot behind.
But the Lodge weren’t wanting for dominant performances either.
Led by another inspiring third leg from Shae “Bubba” Nurse, the men of St John successfully defended their Under-15 crown after crossing the line more than two minutes ahead of nearest rivals Alma Parris and Lester Vaughan.
This was after Alleyne held a slim advantage despite an impressive second leg from Lester Vaughan’s Rivaldo Leacock. But just like last year’s effort, Nurse made up the stagger less than 100 metres into his 1200- metre leg before giving Lodge a clear ten-metre advantage on Alleyne.
And that gap more than quadrupled by the end of Shem Forde’s run before Hakeem Clarke and Tamal Atwell duly put the finishing touches to what became a comfortable victory.
It was a near identical script to Queen’s College’s victory in the senior boys’ equivalent as Tre Hinds’ strong second leg allowed the men from Husbands to overcome a slow start.
There were some nervous moments in that relay though, even after Jamali Toney extended the lead in the third leg, as St Leonard’s Kion Joseph closed the gap on Jerome Stuart in the ensuing fourth.
But Ken Mason squashed any doubts surrounding QC’s dominance before Joshua Greene provided a solid anchor leg for the win.
John Haynes powered The Lodge to a surprise second-place finish, running a stunning 3:21 split to move his new school from a distant fourth at the start of the last leg.
St Leonard’s were third.
Earlier, St George Secondary handed Springer their only loss of the day when the team of Adrianna Sobers, Reshunna Dawson, Shaquanna Went, Jeal Williams, Karen Trotman and Anya Williams relegated the Government Hill girls to second in the under-15 category.
Led by opening leg Shem Boyce, McFarlane brothers Mikael and Michael, along with anchor Izaiah Cornibert, Alleyne cruised to victory in the under-13 boys ahead of Grantley Adams and St George.