It was not decided until near the end but Sir John A. Cumber Primary School of West Bay, for the third time in four years, are the Inter-Primary track and field champions following two days of intense rivalry and competition last Thursday and Friday at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.
John A. Cumber outlasted defending champions Red Bay Primary to recapture the title over two days of intense competition.
Leading from virtually the start of the competition and only once surrendering the lead, the West Bay aggregation, counted for dead after the loss of so much of their athletic talent following the 2010 championships, amassed 330.50 points to Red Bay’s 317.50, Prospect Primary’s 279 and George Town’s 255.50 points.
For a long time it appeared that the battle for title honours was going to be a straight tussle between Sir John A. Cumber and Prospect but once the sprint finals came around the defending champs showed their true mettle and heart and came surging forward to take a one point lead over John A. Cumber with the last three events to be completed.
They were however unable to hold on to the lead as the West Bay school showed speed and excellent baton exchange in the all important relays to ease home.
East End took the small schools’ trophy with 61 points just ahead of an impressive showing by debutant Cayman Academy (52 points).
The biggest points mover however was St. Ignatius Primary who gained 60.50 points this year compared to the paltry three points last year.
Bodden Town’s Louis Gordon – son of cricketer Stever – was the undoubted start of the championships as he broke both the Division 5 long and high jump records, ran third in the 100 metres and blazed his team to glory in the senior boys 4x100m relay where he tracked down the front running Sir John A. Cumber anchor man to secure his third gold medal of the championships.
This year’s competition marked the final one at the primary level for two of the more outstanding and dominant athletes at the championships in the past six years.
Caribbean Under-11 sprint queen, Mikayla McLaughlin of Sir John A. Cumber closed her account with victories in the Division 5 girls 100m and 200m, anchoring the senior girls relay team to victory in the 4x100m, second place in the 800m girls open and making the finals of the Division 5 girls long jump.
St. Ignatius’ Karim Murray (formerly of Sir John A. Cumber) also bowed out of the Inter-Primary Championships with stellar performances as he won the Division 5 boys 200m and was second in the long jump and 100m. Like McLaughlin he leaves behind an impressive body of work and records at these championships.
They however were not the only stand outs as an examination of the divisions reveals:
Division 1 Girls
Red Bay’s Tori-Ann Gonez returned to the division that she conquered last year and was again the dominant force as she sped to victories in the 60m and 80m events and once again crowned herself as the champion girl for the division.
Indications are that she will have a stellar career at inter-primary in years to come.
Division 1 Boys
The same can be said for Red Bay’s Nathaniel Williams. A form running youngster he impressed in winning the boys 60m and 80m and in so doing earned champion boy honours for the division.
Division 2 Girls
George Town’s Hannah Robinson emerged as champion girl with victories in the 80m and 100m events.
She too showed good sprinting form and promising power that indicates that as she develops a bright future lies in store.
Division 2 Boys
Sir John A. Cumber’s Cam’ron Solomon was champion boy by virtue of his two second place finishes in the long jump and 80m and his victory in the 100m.
Note must however be taken of the performance of Prospect’s Xavi Rivera.
Division 3 Girls
She may be small in stature but Prospect’s Daekaeli Tulloch is a big time performer.
Last year’s Division 2 champion girl took no prisoners this year in her unrelenting march to champion girl honours with victories in the 100m, 150m and long jump, earning her a share of the overall champion girl trophy.
Division 3 Boys
George Town’s Joshua O’Garro erased one of the ten records to fall when he jumped 3.92 metres to win the long jump.
Second place finishes in the 100m and 200m and points gathered in the 800m open not only ensured that he would beat Savannah’s fleet-footed Vinton Wedderburn for champion boy honours but also earned him the Victor Ludorum title.
Wedderburn again showed that he has the sprint talent to go far in years to come.
Division 4 Girls
Kasey Faud-Edwards is quite simply a phenomenal athlete in the making.
Tall, strong and fast she literally toyed with the opposition in the 100m and 200m runs and when the talented Red Bay athlete Valeska Bennett inexplicable stumbled in the Long Jump she proceeded to win that event for good measure.
These victories assured her of the Divisional Girls Champion honours and a share of the overall Champion Girl title with Prospect’s Tulloch.
Division 4 Boys
If there was an award for most improved Aathlete it would go to Sir John A. Cumber’s Daujughan Murray. He won the 100m and 200m and finished fourth in the boys 800m open and in the process became the division’s champion boy.
Injury to George Town’s Deandre Rowe and Sir John A Cumber’s Kameron Mendez (two of a number of footballers/athletes with the same type of injury) robbed the division of much of its competitiveness.
Division 5 Girls
George Town’s Anniekay Anderson gave a stellar performance but once again it was not enough to get her by her arch-rival, Sir John A. Cumber’s Mikayla McLaughlin.
Victories in the 100m and 200m and a second place in the open girls 800m was enough to stave off the persistent challenge of Anderson, who had a victory in the long jump and placed second in the 100m and 200m, for yet another divisional champion girl honours for this gifted athlete.
Division 5 Boys
This was easily the most competitive division of the championships and it all started with the first finals on Thursday morning, in the Long Jump.
After two rounds of jumping five athletes were in striking distance of each other and the gold medal – Bodden Town’s Louis Gordon (4.19m), St. Ignatius’s Karim Murray (4.18m), Red Bay’s DeAndre Thomas (4.17m), Sir John A Cumber’s pair of Jiffon Robinson (4.09m) and Ricardo DaMasso (4.06m).
Jumping first in the final rotation DeMasso improved to 4.09m. Robinson was next up and moved from fourth to a tie for first when he leapt 4.19m. Next on the runway was Murray and on his final attempt he jumped farther than any Primary School athlete had ever done, up to then, when he recorded a leap of 4.50m to take the lead.
A foul by Thomas meant that he was out of medal contention. Then it was up to Gordon. Refocused and determined the pencil slim youngster from the Islands’ first capital city answered the challenge laid down by Murray as he rewrote the record book with a massive jump of 4.67m to take gold.
On the Friday morning Murray rebounded from this loss by taking the 200m as he held off the sustained challenge of George Town’s Kino McLaughlin. Gordon, however, was not finished as he rewrote the record book again when he won the high jump over Robinson with a new record clearance of 1.40m.
Murray’s and Gordon’s drive for divisional championship honours would however be stymied by a determined run from Prospect’s Rasheem Brown in the stellar 100m event as he stormed from behind to overhaul Murray virtually on the finish line of the race.
Gordon was in third and thus both he and Murray shared the divisional champion honours. For Murray this was the fifth consecutive occasion on which he has earned divisional boys champion honours.