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The Lodge rule cross country


JUSTIN MARVILLE

The Lodge rule cross country

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LODGE aren’t fighting back anymore.
The boys and girls from the St John school proved they’re very much among the elite in schools’ athletics after registering a pair of victories, including the coveted senior boys’ event, during yesterday’s six-member one-mile Secondary Schools’ Cross Country Championship at Blenheim.
It was just the latest confirmation of Lodge’s long road to recovery, which showed signs of life about five seasons ago following a near decade-long fall from grace.
And nowhere was their ascendancy more prominent than in the senior boys’ relay where the men from the east led right from Ross Jordan’s opening lap down to Shem Forde’s anchor leg in a victorious 16-minute clocking.
Coleridge and Parry and The St Michael School provided an early challenge before David Yearwood and Ramar Henry blew the race wide open in the second and third legs, respectively.
Akeem McCollin and Darian Alleyne then helped maintain the advantage before Forde slammed the door shut on second-placed Alleyne (16:26) and The St Michael School (16:38), who finished third.
It was rather unlike the Lodge’s stunning upset of defending under-15 girls’ champs Springer?Memorial, who seemed certain of retaining that age group crown after Jaiden Clarke gave them the lead on the back straight of the second leg.
But standout first-form distance runner and swimmer Ashley Weekes quickly made up ground on Shaquona Scott and passed her midway through the race before Scott regained Springer’s slight lead over the last 30 metres.
However, Dailan King subsequently put the race to bed, floating past Kayla Turney in a torrential downpour to open up a huge advantage that Chara Grimes-Perch added to on the next handover.
Andreina Mason then sealed the deal on the last lap, completing the win in 20:49 ahead of a hard-charging Rosette Hoyte, who ensured Springer came second with a time of 21:44. Foundation placed third after clocking 21:18.
Springer did manage to retain their senior girls’ crown, though, despite trailing Parkinson for the first two laps following strong legs from Tia Lewis and Rachelle Jackson.
But Parkinson’s third leg collapsed on the course midway through the lap, allowing Springer sprinter Tristan Evelyn to take a comfortable lead on St Michael’s and Foundation.
Tricia Phillips and Kylia Smith easily maintained the sizeable gap before Jade Searles capped Springer’s run of 20:12. St Michael’s were second with 21:17 while Foundation (22:13) placed third.
It was one of five podium finishes on the day for the consistent Church Hill squad, who also won the first form boys’ event in 20:05 after Raheem Taitt-Best hauled back in St Leonard’s on the second leg to give Foundation a lead they would never surrender.
Deighton Griffith (20:12) made a run at Shakeem Burrowes on the anchor leg but had to settle for second while CP (20:13) were a close third.
The lads from Kingsland went one better in the under-15 equivalent, though. Shaquon Atwell held off a fast-closing Rio Williams, who got the baton about 100 metres behind on the last lap to win in 17:05 and edge Foundation by one second.
Earlier, Jaliah Tyson put Coleridge and Parry ahead for good in the third lap before the Ashton Hall girls won the first-formers’ event in 22:08 ahead of Deighton Griffith (23:32) and Foundation (23:40).

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