In another classic two days of high drama and maximum effort on the track, John Gray Blazers are the 2011 Inter-Scholastic Champions. Accumulating a massive 688.50 points, the Blazers burnt the challenges of Clifton Hunter High School (581) and St. Ignatius Catholic School (446.5), while at the same time topping the male division (339) ahead of both Clifton Hunter (304.50) and St. Ignatius Catholic (216.50) as well as the female division with 349.50 points ahead of the same two schools with respective points of 276.5 and 230 each.
Girls 11-12 Division
National youth representative Kiara McLaughlin was the undoubted star of this division. Competing for the Clifton Hunter High School McLaughlin won the 200 metres, 400m and 800m while anchoring the school’s 4x100m relay team to victory.
Boys 11-12 Division
Another national youth rep, Jeahvon Jackson, representing John Gray Bolts, took the top spot as he won the 400m and 800m events to be the only double winner in the group. Blazers’ Geovani Foster may not have won any events but he gave an all round sterling performance with second places in the 100m, 400m, 800m and long jump.
Girls 13-14 Division
Blazers’ Olivia Samuels, St. Ignatius’ Shenelle Stewart and Blazers’ Tiffany Cole were all double winners in this division. Samuels took the sprint double while former national rep Stewart won the discus and long jump and 2011 CARIFTA Games rep Cole won the 800m, 400m and also the Open 3000m, which was jogged at snail’s pace by the three competitors.
Boys 13-14 Division
The injured Jouri Haylock was absent so there were no multiple event winners in this group but the sprint finals threw up two of the more engaging races of the meet. Pre-meet favorite Javon Taylor of Clifton Hunter in the 100m final narrowly edged Cayman International’s Reno Jackson to take the event. Jackson also featured in a nail biting finish in the 200m where he was again beaten into second place by the narrowest of margins by Blazers’ Trenwick Coleman. Coleman had a good championship, as he was third in the 100m and second in the division’s high jump.
Girls 15-16 Division
The Cayman Brac duo of national rep Amelia Gillespie and Amanda Nelson made their division their own. The powerfully built Gillespie toyed with the competition in the sprint finals as she cruised to victories in the 100m and 200m events before taking gold as well in the shot put. Nelson was the middle-distance queen as she outlasted the field in the 400m, 800m and 1500m.
Boys 15-16 Division
Top billing belonged to St. Ignatius’ Tyler Lee and Jacob Shultz. Lee who was impressive in winning the 400m and long jump, also won a bronze in the highly competitive high jump where Blazers’ Denniston Thompson out duelled his school mate and Justin Nalty to take the gold. In a riveting competition Thompson had to clear the Under-17 CARIFTA Games qualifying mark of 1.80m to beat Nalty for the gold. Nalty returned however to take gold in the 800m in another closely contested event over St. Ignatius’ Shultz, who was seeking the middle-distance double and an overall treble having won the 1500m and javelin earlier in the championship. CARIFTA 2010 rep Dimitri Chambers was in impressive sprinting form as he summarily dismissed the challenges of the other athletes in the 100m and 200m events. He however spoiled his performance with a display of unnecessary petulance when he tossed the relay baton to the ground in anger after his team crossed the line in second position in the 4x100m relay. His conduct earned his team an automatic disqualification in the event. Another bit of petulance earning another athlete a disqualification and his team the loss of invaluable points was shown by Anfernee Wright in the 1500m event where after losing a gallant home stretch run he stopped running, kicked the track in frustration and then was pushed across the line by another competitor.
Blazers’ Ashleigh Nalty and Cayman Islands Future Education Centre’s Shanique Yen gave good account of themselves in this division. Yen won the 200m and 800m events and finished second to Nalty in the 400m. Nalty was runner-up to Yen in the 200m while winning the 400m and long jump. Bolts’ Marlena Smith reminded those who have seen her compete over the years at the Inter-Primary Championships as to just how good an athlete she is when she won the 100m while finishing third in the 200m.
Wesleyan’s 2010 CARIFTA Games representative Lloyd Barker was the speediest athlete at the meet, winning the 100m and 200m events. National Youth athlete Mauricio Terry won the high jump and took second in the javelin behind another national rep in Clifton Hunter’s Alex Pascal.
The 3000m Open for female athletes could hardly be called a competitive race as from the start it was clear that the three competitors had decided amongst themselves that they were going to jog the event together. In the end they all crossed the line at virtually the same time almost 18 minutes after the event began with Blazers’ Cole being awarded the victory over Bolts’ Ashley McLean and Blazers’ Guisha Smith.
The male 3000m on the other hand saw the athletes giving a true performance with St. Ignatius’ Andrel Harris racing away to an easy victory leading from start to finish. Cayman Brac’s Nicholas Laurendo was second some 20 seconds behind Harris with Bolts’ Jimonie Lawson 22 seconds further behind.
Clifton Hunter captured six of the ten relays with an exhibition of good baton passing as they captured the 4x100m relay titles in the boys and girls 11-12 Division, the boys 13-14, girls 15-16 and the men’s 17+ divisions and rounded off the championships with victory in the men’s Open 4x400m relay.