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Tigers, Cougars dominate NAPSAC

Randy Bennett

Tigers, Cougars dominate NAPSAC

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THE SKY PROVED TO BE the limit for Skye Spencer-Layne yesterday.
West Terrace’s eight year-old darling dazzled before a packed National Stadium yesterday, where she produced a perfect performance to bring the curtain down on the National Primary School Athletic Championships (NAPSAC).
And while Spencer-Layne wowed the sell-out crowd with an unbeaten showing, it was heartbreak for Sarah Belle, after injury ruined her eagerly anticipated battle with Indica Kellman-Wall.
Amidst all the excitement and drama, Williams Industries West Terrace Tigers produced a gutsy performance to retain the boys title, while St Stephen’s Cougars predictably picked up their first ever girls’ title with a dominant performance.
Not expected to be in the running to defend either of the two titles which they won back in 2012, West Terrace were led to the title by joint-victor ludorum, Iyobosa Iyare, who starred among the Under-9 boys.
In a closely contested boys division, the Tigers’ 91 points were just enough to hold off Charles F Broome, who finished second with 87 points and favourites MQI Ford Ranger Luther Thorne, who ended on 83 points.
“The critics told us that we were going to be dethroned . . . but we knew that we had a firm grip on everything,” physical education teacher Allistair Greaves told MIDWEEK SPORT shortly after the result was announced.
“We had a good strategy and we came out and executed on the track.”
It wasn’t as close among the Girls, though, where St Stephen’s Primary continued from where they left off in the Patsy Callender Zone, winning their maiden title by a comfortable 47 points.
Their eventual total of 125 points were well ahead of second placed Charles F Broome (78), with Popular Discount Lawrence T Gay Memorial a further 20 points back on 58 points.
For physical education teacher Kotane Mascoll, it was a deserved victory for St Stephen’s after a season which was punctuated by hard work and determination.
“It is a really satisfying feeling knowing that it was a total team effort.
“People were saying that we were well ahead and we were the favourites to win. But many things can happen on the day, and we had to put up with some injuries and some mistakes in the relays, so it feels good to know that we could still pull through,” a relieved looking Mascoll explained.
It was an exceptionally sweet feeling for principal Colin Cumberbatch, who was present at the National Stadium from the preliminary round straight through to yesterday’s finals.
“Once you show confidence in the children and give them the support that they need, there isn’t anything that children wouldn’t do,” he maintained.
But the day belonged solely to Under-9 athlete Spencer-Layne, who won gold in all four events she competed in.
Her main rivals, CostUless Sharon Primary’s Samiya Dell and St Stephen’s Ciara Piggott, just couldn’t keep up with the cornrowed speedster, who captured the long jump (3.39 metres), 100 metres (15.62) and 150 metres (23.45), along with anchoring her team to victory in the 4×100 metre relay.
Her father, former national  football goalkeeper and CARIFTA shot put and discus athlete Carey Spencer-Layne, couldn’t contain his excitement, punching the air in delight after his daughter sped to the last of her victories.
And although Skye admitted she had a stumble at the beginning of her favourite event, the 150 metres, she was overjoyed at her overall performance.
“I feel really good. I am in a track club and I train very hard so I am happy that I won all of my races. I didn’t feel good about the 150 metres because I stumbled in my blocks, but the past is behind me, so I just moved on,” the Rising Stars athlete confidently stated.
There was no joy for St George Primary’s Belle, who suffered a hip injury after being accidentally elbowed in the day’s opening event, the open girls 600 metres, and failed to complete the race.
It meant that the highly anticipated showdown in the Under-13s with Wilkie Cumberbatch’s Indica Kellman-Wall never materialised, as after missing the 400 metres while seeking medical attention, she only managed a couple of strides in the 200 metres before pulling up and falling to the track in distress again.
Kellman-Wall duly completed victory in the 600 metres (1:51.74), but Lawrence T Gay’s Ranisha Forde-Morris was a surprise winner, coming from behind to defeat Kellman-Wall in both the 400 and 200 metres.
Deacon’s Malachi Harris wasn’t his usual dominant self, although he still managed to convincingly win the Under-11 boys cricket ball throw and 100 metre events.
However, he was disqualified in the 200 metres after running out of his lane, allowing St Angela’s Kobe Hutson to record the upset victory.
His disqualification forced a three-way tie for the victor ludorum title, as Iyare, Luther Thorne’s Shem Williams and St George Primary’s Jaquan Pilgrim all accumulated 26 points.