Springer grab early lead
THE?QUEENS?of track and field in?Barbados are already looking royal again while Lester Vaughan made a bright start to their bid for a maiden boys’ crown when the Powerade Barbados Secondary Schools Athletic Championships (BSSAC) started at the National Stadium, yesterday.
Perennial girls winners, Springer?Memorial jumped to an early lead in the girls’ championship with 30 points but The St Michael School also gave notice that they could be worthwhile challengers by collecting 26 points.
Wonder girl Tristan Evelyn moved from the track, where she qualified with the fastest time in the Under-17 Girls’ 100-metre hurdles by leaping to a CARIFTA?Games qualifying distance of 5.67 metres, to triumph in the long jump.
St Michael School’s Kali Grant (5.55) got the silver and Keyla Harewood (5.19) of Harrison College the bronze.
“I feel really good because I wasn’t getting any long jump opportunities and to just come out here and put it together, I feel proud,” Evelyn told NATION?SPORT after her victory.
Springer’s early tally was embellished by silver medal performances by Jalisa Burrowes and new acquisition Rashanna Gittens in the Under-20 Girls’ long jump and Under-13 Girls’ high jump, respectively.
St Michael’s Danielle Scantlebury (5.47 metres) forced Burrowes (5.44) to settle for second place by winning the Senior Girls’ long jump with Harrison College’s Asha Cave (5.32) third.
Combermere first former Misha Nelson won the Under-13 Girls’ high jump with a leap of 1.40 metres. Gittens and Parkinson Memorial’s Dedra Deane-Mason edged Christ Church Foundation’s Dominque Wood for the silver and bronze medals by virtue of having fewer knockdowns after all three cleared the bar at 1.37 metres.
Mason also had the fastest qualifying time of 61.68 seconds in the Under-13 Girls’ 400 metres.
There was a small hint the boys’ battle could be between Lester Vaughan (13) and defending champions Queen’s College (12), who were separated by one point after the first day.
Little known Kalvin Marcus gave Lester Vaughan ten important points in the Under-17 Boys’ javelin with his surprise victory. His best effort was measured at 50.99 metres, forcing Harrison College’s Micah Shepherd (49.73) and Adam Niles (46.07) of Queen’s College to settle for silver and bronze.
Frederick Smith first-former Keshawn Haynes won the Under-13 Boys’ high jump, sailing over the bar at 1.44 metres to edge The St Michael’s Kyle Gale, who also cleared this mark, but had more known downs. Queen’s College’s new boy Ajani Haddock (1.35) was third.
There were no finals on the track with athletes seeking qualifying spots but Lester Vaughan showed their strength in the boys’ sprint hurdles. Hasani Lowe (11.89) and Antonio Farrell (12.01) had the two fastest times among the Junior Boys’ 80-metre hurdles.
Rivaldo Leacock also qualified for the Under-17 Boys’ 110-metre hurdle (14.66) and 400 metres (51.01) and 400-metre hurdles (54.09) with the fastest times.
The Lester Vaughan pair of Michael Nicholls (14.89) and Juwan Augustin Mayers (14.98) also led the qualifiers for the final of the Under-20 Boys’ 110-metres hurdles.
Stephen Griffith also had the fastest times in the Under-20 Boys’ 400-metre hurdles (54.29) and the flat 400 metres (49.00) while Nicholls (55.92) was the third fastest in the distance hurdles.
Combermere’s Romarco Thompson (49.62) and Queen’s College’s Tre Hinds (49.89) were the only sub-50 finishers in the 400 metres event which saw Mario Burke easily winning his heat in 51 seconds after shutting down with 100 metres left.
Queen’s College had the two fastest Under-13 Boys’ quarter-milers in Samuel Alkins (61.97) and Jahlarni Toney (63.23).
The St Michael’s Akeim David was the busiest athlete on the day, taking part in five events. He took an early lead in the Open Boys’ pentathlon with 2075 points over Lester Vaughan’s Antonio Weekes (1917) and Combermere’s Josiah Beckles (1906) after the first three events – the 110-metre hurdles, discuss and 200 metres.
David, formerly of St Leonard’s Boys, also had the second fastest time in the 400-metre hurdles (55.13) and also qualified for the final of the Under-20 Boys’ 110-metre hurdles.
Coleridge and Parry’s Jonathan Jones caught the eye as he qualified in both the 400 and 1500 metres (4:23.55).
His former schoolmate Raheem Skinner, who is now wearing Combermere colours, was also impressive with 4:14.57 in the Under-20 Boys’ 1500 metres.
That time was faster than St?George’s new recruit Dario Grandison (4:21.57), who previously competed for Deighton Griffith, and Foundation’s Pius Emilien (4:21.84), the ex-Alleyne schoolboy.
On the girls’ side, St Michael’s Xhane Greenidge (12.93) will be favoured to take the Junior Girls’ 75-metre hurdles.
Coleridge and Parry’s Sada Williams qualified for the Under-20 Girls’ 100-metre hurdles (15.06) and 400 metres (57.60) with the fastest times.
Lester Vaughan’s Tiana Bowen (59.51) and Springer’s Rosette Hoyte (59.63) were the quickest among the Under-17 and Under-15 Girls in the quarter-mile.
A mouth-watering showdown could come in the Under-15 Boys’ 400 metres after Queen’s College’s Antoni Hoyte-Small (52.98) threw down the gauntlet at Lodge’s Tramaine Smith (54.89).
Grantley Adams’ Roneldo Rock (4:52.49) and St George’s tinymite Luke Hinkson (4:53.08) had a riveting home-stretch battle to set up what should be a close Juniors Boys’ 1500 metres final.
It was a similar situation in the Junior Girls’ 1500 metres final where Lodge School’s Ashley Weekes, a CARIFTA?swimming qualifier, clocked 5:31.62 minutes, to edge Springer’s Jaiden Clarke (5:31.67) in their heat.