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A THORNY ISSUE: The final countdown


ANDI THORNHILL

A THORNY ISSUE: The final countdown

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CHAMPIONS WILL BE DECIDED starting today in the primary and secondary schools track and field championships.

First out of the blocks will be the primary school athletes in their battle for the NAPSAC accolades in the boys’ and girls’ categories.

I think the semi-finals presented us with enough evidence to indicate who will be the real contenders if all goes well for them. I don’t believe there are any guarantees for anyone because there are variables that come with any competition that can offset absolute positions.

For instance, you have favourites who can false-start in track events and there’s no redemption until the next time – which doesn’t impact on the immediate. This is far different from what obtains in field events because you are afforded more than one attempt to stake your claim for glory.

These factors are relevant at both primary and secondary levels.

With this in mind, we can still attempt to see who can uphold our objective analysis or who can tear it to bits and leave us with egg on our faces.

St Stephen’s seem to have a splendid chance to repeat as NAPSAC girls champions. They enter the final with 14 points which were attained after the high jump, the only event contested as a final in the semi-finals.

The strongest wards of their defence will come in the Under-13 division where they have the dynamic duo of Zaria Knight and Kiara Payne. They are capable of dominating the sprints. They were the fastest qualifiers in the 100 metres and are both in the 200 metres final.

Collectively, the reigning queens have strong representation in the relays as well so they have a solid base on which to mount their defence.

I do think, though, the likes of Bayley’s and Blackman Gollop will give them pressure. The very promising Under-11 athlete Azariah Nurse will be Bayley’s beacon while Under-13 competitor Shania Gill should be the lighthouse for Blackman Gollop.

Actually, none of the three has strength across the board so some of the spoilers can influence the outcome.

Defending boys kings West Terrace are in a similar position to Stephen’s in the girls because in the versatile Raheem Archer and the competitive Jaden Leacock they have two bright sparks that can ignite the path for the others.

They are expected to make their presence felt from the opening 800 metres with a first and second a real possibility given their semi-final performances. Jahleel Armstrong of Welches can split them. However, that opening statement could pattern their performances for the entire day.

I expect that perennial contenders Charles F Brome and Luther Thorne to be the ones who will ask the champions the appropriate questions. If they respond affirmatively they can repeat.

The individual highlights among the senior boys should come from the 100 metres, where you have Archer, Savion Hoyte from Sharon, Joshua Thornhill of St Cyprian’s and the standout Jevon Burnett of Milton Lynch. Hoyte is expected to blaze the track in his pet 400 metres.

However, it looks like the biggest rivalry will unfold in the boys’ Under-9 category, where Jayden Greene of Eden Lodge and Shamari Addison of St Alban’s are on par in talent and speed. Have the water tankers on standby as they fight it out in the 80, 100 and 150 metres with Kevion Newton of Wesley Hall waiting for either to slip

NAPSAC CHAMPIONS

Year

Boys

Girls

2002

Bayley’s Primary

Christ Church Girls

2003

Luther Thorne Memorial

Bayley’s Primary

2004

Charles F. Broome

Christ Church Girls

2005

Charles F. Broome

Hilda Skeene Primary

2006

Charles F. Broome

Erdiston Primary

2007

Charles F. Broome

Hilda Skeene Primary

2008

Wilkie Cumberbatch Primary

Charles F. Broome

2009

Luther Thorne Memorial

Bayley’s Primary

2010

St Stephen’s Primary

Bayley’s Primary

2011

Bayley’s Primary

Christ Church Girls

2012

West Terrace Primary

West Terrace Primary

2013

No competition

2014

West Terrace Primary

St Stephen’s Primary

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