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Springer and Alleyne shine

Justin Marville

Springer and Alleyne shine

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Springer’s dominance of relay events is just par for the course.
The real shocker is the ascendancy of Alleyne.
The boys from Belleplaine announced themselves as men, and possible Inter-School Sports threats, after winning two of three boys’ races, while Springer also secured double wins as the highlight of yesterday’s six-leg National Sports Council’s Schools’ Cross-country Relays at Blenheim.
It was the fourth straight year the Government Hill lasses left the gruelling distance event with at least two age-group wins, this time taking both the under-15 and senior girls’ categories.
This was after the 14-time Barbados Secondary Schools Sports Athletic Championships queens had to surrender their first form crown to Christ Church Foundation following Cheyanne Cummins’ blistering opening leg.
But the real pacesetters came from St Andrew.
Led by Shaquon Glasgow’s stirring fifth-leg run, Alleyne made their intentions known from the start by coming back from the middle of the pack to win the first form boys’ age group in 20.30 minutes.
The Lodge seemingly took control of the race through a well run fourth leg by Micah Herbert but Glasgow erased all of a 100-metre lead when he handed over to Daviere Grimes, who blew away the field to win by an even more sizeable gap.
Alleyne then made it two for two when Kedane Pollard anchored yet another sensational come-from-behind win in a second race that Lodge appeared to have in their grasp.
Hanging back in second after Shem Forde made up ground behind Lester Vaughan’s early leader Rivaldo Leacock, the St John squad took over the lead on the penultimate leg behind Tremaine Smith, who gave Lodge a slight lead going into the final go-around.
Pollard was just too strong to hold off, though, overtaking Miguel Richardson on the home stretch as Alleyne clocked 17.47 for the win. Lodge (17.52) settled for second place while Lester Vaughan (18.19) were third.
However, Lodge wouldn’t let another one slip.
Inspired by a superb third leg from Ramar Henry, the St John boys overtook leaders Grantley Adams by the time Matthew Ifill got the baton, before Darian Alleyne and Romario Phillips smoked the rest of the field to give Lodge (16.20) an easy win in the senior boys’ field.
It was rather unlike Springer’s win in the girls’ equivalent, where the champs traded leads back and forth with Coleridge & Parry over the first five legs.
Tanesha Stanford gained the early advantage for Springer before Shakera Hall wrestled it back for CP on the second leg. Springer’s Tristan Evelyn seemingly did enough by reopening an advantage only to see her team surrender that lead on the very next leg. But Jade Searles wasn’t going to be denied, pulling away down the back stretch to anchor a hard-fought victory in 21.12 minutes.
Tiffany Gill crossed the line in second place for CP (21.40) while Akela Taylor ran a strong anchor leg for third-placed St Michael (22.08), whose team included former Foundation girls Tia-Adana Belle and Aisha Smith.
It proved the second of two victories for Springer, who captured the under-15 girls’ crown (21.03) with a wire-to-wire victory led by Drew-Ann Clarke, and capped by strong runs from Neviandre Greenidge, Tricia Phillips, Jaiden Clarke, Naygia Bradshaw and Rosette Hoyte.
Earlier, Foundation (22.47) also led from pillar to post after Cummins’ surreal opening leg gave her first form teammates a cushion they couldn’t surrender.