YOU?CAN?roll out the red carpet for the Springer Memorial girls once more. Their march to another title at the Barbados Secondary Schools Athletic Championship is virtually a done deal.
The boys’ competition, though, is far from over. Queen’s College are dictating the pace but The St Michael School are breathing down their necks while Lester Vaughan are dangerous dark horses.
Springer Memorial’s assault on another school crown is being led by Tristan Evelyn, Jalisa Burrowes, Rosette Hoyte, Shonte Seale, Jade Searles and Winmalecia Bowen.
Tomorrow and Friday will mark the last two days of what should be an intense competition that is sure to go down to the wire, at least in the boys’ competition.
There will be standing room only at the National Stadium for what has traditionally become the marquee event for track and field fans in this country.
The big guns have already made their mark on the field. Hayley Matthews, Dequan Lovell, Ashley Williams and Hakeem Clarke have all been triumphant in impresisve fashion, setting the stage for the riveting track contests.
The high jump for Under-20 boys has been one of the most compelling events thus far and few will forget the showdown between Hakeem Clarke of The Lodge School, Todd Lavine of Harrison College and Akeem Rowe of Queen’s College.
All three cleared the bar at 1.97 metres before 6ft, 3in Clarke, who hails from Workmans, St George, set himself apart by making the clearance at two metres.
The fans save their biggest screams for the sprints and the relays, paying scant attention to the field events but it is the throwers and jumpers who win most of our medals at the Carifta Games, and next month in Martinique will be no different.
Matthews and Williams are certain to come back from the French island with medals; the question is the colour. Williams, a student of Lester Vaughan, has been putting the shot 13 metres for most of the season and unless there is a marked dip in her form, the girl from Jackson, St Michael, will bring home a medal.
Last year in The Bahamas, Christine Gavarin of Guadeloupe struck gold with a throw measured at 13.04 metres. Williams has a season best of 13.96.
A silver medallist last year, Matthews knows she has to hurl the javelin more than 40 metres to win. Dominican Shanee Angol took gold with a throw measured at 43.89 well clear of Matthews (40.30).
On the track, fans are looking forward to seeing the two fastest schoolboys in the country, Levi Cadogan and Mario Burke, promising Under-15 sprinters Ashley Lowe of Combermere and Akayla Morris of Lodge.
Parkinson has unearthed a special talent in 11-year-old Dedra Deane-Mason, who has led the list of qualifiers in the 400 and 800 metres.
School coach Lennox Ellis, the 1992 Carifta Games double gold medallist, has predicted she will sweep both events.