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Hot action at Relay fair

Sherrylyn A. Toppin

Hot action at Relay fair

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Everyone who missed the 2013 Barbados Relay Fair might have missed the only chance to see the schools’ teams in action this year.
Many of the athletes were aware that this show at Kensington Oval may be the only one they get to put on – unless vying for national selection –?and from the youngest to the oldest athlete seemed to enjoy the chance to run.
And given the depth of both eventual champions, Springer Memorial and The Lodge School, it also gave a glimpse of who this year’s secondary champs might be or might have been.
Defending primary school champions West Terrace fielded one of the most outstanding teams in the Under-13 boys’ 900 metres (100x100x200x300) relay featuring Tristan Scantlebury, Jason Broomes, Ajani Haddock and Keshawn Haynes.
Haddock blew the race wide open on the third leg and Haynes brought them home in 2 minutes 17.21 seconds. They were even faster than The Lodge School, who were second overall in 2:17.36.
St Leonard’s, boasting Johnson Leriche and the exciting Jumulah Estwick, were third in 2:18.67. West Terrace were also third in the 4×100 in 56.52 behind St Leonard’s (55.39) and Lodge (55.86), proving some primary teams are even more competitive than those in secondary school. St Leonard’s took the 4×300 in 3:15.37.
Lodge’s Under-13 girls’ combinations of Jordean Eli-Shepherd, Japhia Lucas, Charise Mason, Aleah Alleyne, Len-Lisia Cave and Akayla Morris ran undefeated, taking the medley in 2:22.41, the 4×100 in 56.86 and 4×300 in 3:23.48.
Ellerslie have not had a girls’ team of note for many years, but the quartet of Tiffini Alleyne, Yuriko Harewood, Toriann Alleyne and Shonte Rochester won the 900 medley in 2:10.60 from Foundation (2:13.08) and also won the 4×100 (53.01), again from Foundation (53.04).
Foundation finally got the victory in the 4×300 where Kiera Forde-Richards, Cheyanne Cummins, Tyiesha Warner and Natisa Tempro got gold in 3:09.03 over Lester Vaughan with 3:10.15.
The Under-20 girls’ division is not as strong as it has been in the past, but Combermere won the 1200 (100x200x300x600) by almost six seconds in 3:06.66 from The St Michael School (3:12.62), while St Michael clocked 49.54 over Harrison College’s mixed team which was second in 50.78 in the 4×100.
UWI Black Bird Black team won both the women’s (3:10.76) and men’s (2:40.18) 1200 medley for clubs and institutions, while Freedom Striders (50.86) and Black Bird Yellow (44.28) took the respective 4x100s.
Freedom Striders’ women also won the 4×400 in 4:08.75 and Pacers, as expected, won the men’s race in 3:33.11.
In the Over 45s, BAMSAC women held sway with victories in the 900 medley (2:39.62), 4×100 (63.95) and 4×400 in 3:35.09, while Bright Spark men won the medley and 4×400 in 2:07.97 and 3:05.38, respectively. The BAMSAC men won the 4×100 in 55.19.
Finally, while Kensington Oval may have fantastic facilities, offering comfortable single seating, great overhead views of the track from the upper deck, adequate bathrooms and concession areas, it is unfortunately not the ideal place for athletics.
Spectators were not as close to the action, given the placement of the track, and are no doubt looking forward to returning next year to the National Stadium, as old as it might be.