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Battle for boys’ title


EZRA STUART

Battle for boys’ title

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TODAY’S 37 finals should go a long way in deciding whether new champions will be crowned when this year’s PowerAde Barbados Secondary Schools Athletic Championships (BSSAC) conclude at the National Stadium tomorrow.
With most of the preliminaries out of the way, and 27 finals already contested during last week’s first three days, Springer Memorial, the 14-time queens, lead the girls’ standings with 97 points.
Christ Church Foundation have jumped into second place on 54 points, 43 adrift of Springer, while Lester Vaughan are third on 48 points.
Springer, with their greater depth, should easily win their 11 consecutive girls’ crown.
But based on the athletes advancing and times recorded, the boys’ title race should go right down to the wire with a ding-dong battle between defending champions Queen’s College, who are currently leading on 82 and Lester Vaughan, now in fourth position on 52 points. The St Michael School (60) and The Lodge School (53), who are second and third, cannot be ruled out.
There are only four field event finals for girls – Under-17 Girls’ shot put; Junior Girls’ discus; Under-20 Girls’ javelin and Under-15 Girls’ high jump – on today’s programme, which will see the start of the Open Girls’ pentathlon with the shot put, high jump and 100-metre hurdles events.
The track action will get going from 10:15 a.m. with the 1500 metres finals for Under-17s and Under-20s.
Whereas Coleridge and Parry’s Jonathan Jones and St Michael’s Joseph Parris are the clear favourites among the Under-17 Boys, the Under-20 Boys’ 1500 metres is an open affair.
Grantley Adams’ twin brothers Akeem and Romario Marshall will go up against Combermere’s Raheem Skinner, Foundation’s Pius Emilien and St George’s Dario Grandison in what should be a fascinating finish.
Among the Under-20 Girls, Grantley Adams will certainly add to their 25 points as 3000 Open winner Elizabeth Williams is favoured to take this event from Springer’s Jade Searles.
Tristan Evelyn should provide Springer with two victories today in the Under-17 Girls’ 100-metre hurdles and 100 metres.
Today’s Under-15 Girls’ 800 metres could go either way between Springer’s Rosette Hoyte and Alexandra’s versatile Shonita Brome. Parkinson’s Deda Deane-Mason will be heavily favoured to beat The Lodge’s Ashley Weekes in the Under-13 Girls’ 800 metres.
Foundation will pin their hopes of challenging Springer on their strong Under-13 Girls’ quartet of Jaliyah Denny, Risaunna Padmore, Dominique Wood and Derricka Douglas.
The Under-13 Girls’ 200 metres will see Denny and Padmore challenging Lester Vaughan’s Leilani Haddock and Springer’s Ashley Jordan while the Under-15 race should be a straight battle between Combermere’s Ashley Lowe and The Lodge’s Akayla Morris.
On the boys’ side, Lester Vaughan have a definitely edge on Queen’s College and all the other schools in the Under-17 and Under-20 Boys’ 110-metres hurdles that will be contested today.
Lester Vaughan could easily get one-two in the Under-17 Boys’ 110-metre hurdles through Rivaldo Leacock and Kevin Briggs and as well as the Under-20 Boys’ 110-metre race, courtesy Michael Nicholls and Juwan Augustin-Mayers.
Hasani Lowe should also triumph in the Junior Boys’ 80-metre hurdles and get a podium finish in the 300-metre hurdles where Antonio Farrell is also in the final.
Leacock should also win the flat 400 among the Under-17 Boys while Stephen Griffith should feature among the Under-20 Boys’ quarter-mile which Harrison College’s Mario Burke is tipped to win.
Burke’s recovery will be crucial as he will also have to tackle St Michael’s Levi Cadagon, who is favoured to win the 3:45 p.m. 100 metres final for Under-20 Boys.
Queen’s College are extremely strong in the Under-13s Boys where Samuel Alkins and Jahlarni Toney should sweep the top two positions in both the 800 metres today and 400 metres, tomorrow.
They also have an outstanding Under-15 boy in Antoni Hoyte-Small, who should have a riveting showdown with The Lodge School’s Tramaine Smith in the 100, 200 and 400 metres as well as the 300-metre hurdles.
Ajani Haddock will also bolster Queen’s College’s point tally in the Under-13 Boys’ 100 and 200 metres, where he is favoured to do the sprint double.

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