Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown is a well-known phrase that defending Inter-Primary track and field champions, Red Bay Primary will be mindful of and seek to dispel at this year’s renewal of the championships this weekend.
They run on Friday 30 March and Saturday 1 April.
Having narrowly dethroned the two-time champions Sir John A. Cumber Primary at last year’s championships, the maroon and gold standard bearers will seek to show that last year’s victory was no fluke and once again stamp their authority over the pretenders to the crown.
But it won’t be easy with stiff challenges from the likes of Prospect Primary, George Town Primary, Savannah Primary and the former champs, Sir John A. Cumber.
Red Bay brings a depth of talent, with the likes of Tori-Ann Gonez, Ashantae Graham and Valeska Bennett expecting to score heavily in their respective divisions.
Prospect Primary, fresh off their football league win will counter with Rico Bodden, Rasheem Brown and Ayodeji Oremule.
George Town Primary with the likes of Kasey Faud-Edwards, Deondre Rowe, Hannah Robinson and Anniekay Anderson are not to be overlooked while Savannah Primary’s Jordae Scott and Vinton Wedderburn are capable of laying a good foundation for their school.
Former champions, Sir John A. Cumber Primary, will field a strong presence with the likes of Mikayla McLaughlin, Cam’ron Solomon, Tahan Rice, Ricardo ‘Tito’ Damasso and DauJaughn Murray.
Division 5 Girls
Caribbean Under 11 sprint queen, Mikayla McLaughlin of Sir John A. Cumber Primary looks set to get the former champs off to a winning start as she should capture the girls 800 metres open race and then follow up with victories in 100m, 200m and long jump events.
George Town’s Anniekay Anderson and Savannah Primary’s Jordae Scott will be her main rivals in this division.
Division 5 Boys
The talent pool has not been so packed as this year’s. Prospect’s pair of Rico Bodden and Rasheem Brown provides a powerful one-two punch for that school but Sir John A. Cumber’s Ricardo Damasso, George Town’s Kino McLaughlin, Prep School’s Corey Mellaneo and St. Ignatius’ Karim Murray will make the sprint events in this division’s hotly contested affairs.
Murray has had the beating of this field over the years but could find himself having to pull out all the stops to continue his dominance. Both Bodden and Murray are amongst the favourites for the division’s long jump where Bodden Town’s Louis Gordon may well trump both of them.
Red Bay should score well in the boys high jump event but Sir John A. Cumber’s Jiffon Robinson could upset their apple cart in that event while teammate DauJaughn Murray is the hot favourite for the Boys 800m Open event.
Division 4 Girls
George Town’s Kasey Faud-Edwards will renew her engaging battle with Red Bay’s Valeska Bennett and Prospect’s Janell Dyer but on present form she seems capable of handing a comprehensive beating to her rivals in the sprint events, while Bennett has the talent and ability to take the Long Jump event over her rivals.
Division 4 Boys
George Town looks set to reign supreme in Division 4. National youth representative, Deondre Rowe is in awesome form and if he is to beaten in the sprints and the long jump by the likes of Sir John A. Cumber’s Kameron Mendez and Daujaughn Murray, his own schoolmate Matthew Forbes and Bodden Town’s Justyn Powell then Jouri Haylock’s sprint records and Karim Murray’s long jump record in this division are in danger. Daujauhn Murray is a capable high humper and when on his game will be hard to beat.
Division 3 Girls
Prospect’s Daekaeli Tulloch showed the likes of Sir John A. Cumber’s Thalia Naranjo and Bodden Town’s Dannieka Lyn a clear pair of heels last year and on present form she is likely to repeat her performance this year.
The long jump is a wide-open event but Naranjo has the pedigree to win.
Division 3 Boys
Red Bay will suffer immensely in this division with the loss of Vinton Wedderburn. Red Bay’s loss will be Savannah’s gain but Red Bay will counter with the likes of Jamal Whittaker while Sir John A. Cumber’s Tahan Rice is capable of beating both when he is on top of his game.
Prospect holds a strong hand in the long jump event and with Oremule and Lamar Reid could well take the top two spots.
Division 2 Girls
Red Bay’s duo of Tori-Ann Gonez and Ashantae Graham have ran well so far this season but George Town’s Hannah Robinson looks in top form and Sir John A. Cumber’s Thia Powell and Savannah’s Zeejah Ramoon will make sure that the standard bearers for the defending champs cannot cruise.
Division 2 Boys
Sir John A. Cumber’s Cam’ron Solomon looks in even better form than he did last year when he won the Division 1 80m but Red Bay is strong in the division through Jaevon Maxwell and Revaughn Johnson. Solomon is also a strong long jumper and could well have the beating of the field.
Division 1 Girls/Boys
The ‘newbies’ as usual present a challenging analytical group but Red Bay’s Nathaniel Williams and Sir John A. Cumber’s Luis Clarke look pretty good in the boys division while the girls looks like a wide-open affair.
Junior Girls Relay
Sir John A. Cumber passed the post first in this event last year but was disqualified for an infringement. They are quite strong again this year but so too are Red Bay, George Town and Prospect.
Junior Boys Relay
With the likes of Tahan Rice and Cam’ron Solomon, Sir John A. Cumber again hold a strong hand in the junior boys relay in defence of last year’s victory but Red Bay have the likes of Jaevon Maxwell, Jamal Whittaker and Revaughn Johnson and barring mishap should be able to take this.
Senior Girls Relay
Another event in which Sir John A. Cumber were disqualified last year. They should prove more than a handful this year with a team consisting of Mikayla McLaughlin, Thalia Naranjo, Abigail Webster and Kimberly Reve but George Town Primary and Red Bay will press them all the way.
Senior Boys Relay
Prospect Primary and Sir John A. Cumber look like the teams to beat but George Town Primary, Red Bay and St. Ignatius with the likes of Karim Murray and Kray Foster are not to be ignored.
Red Bay may not win many events at this year’s championships but they have a depth of talent right across the board that should just get them across the line and retain their title.
George Town Primary will do well on the track but may find a lack of depth in the field events to be their Achilles heel, while former champs Sir John A. Cumber are far from dead, despite the loss of so many of their top athletes from last year and will press Red Bay all the way to the final event. Should the defending champs slip then it could be a return to the glory days for the biggest primary school on the Islands.