The inaugural Private Secondary Schools Track and Field Championships held was unique in a number of instances; it was staged at an unusual time of the year for such championships.
Held on 2 December, it was also the first championship to be completed in less than the allotted time and also there were no overall champions crowned. The neighbouring schools of Cayman Prep and High and St. Ignatius High battled each other in an intense but friendly rivalry but at the end neither school could declare itself a victor as the organisers had already determined that the emphasis would be on participation rather than on competition.
Competing with these two giants in the private schools sector were Triple C, Grace Christian Academy and Cayman International School, with the competition divided between year groups rather than on an age basis.
In the year 7 girls, Valeska Bennett of Cayman Prep and Stephanie Boothe of St. Ignatius were the stand out athletes. Bennett copped the sprint double in winning the 100 metres in 13.81 seconds and the 200m in 29.81secs as well as the long jump (4.09 metres), while Boothe toyed with the opposition in outpacing them in the 300m (47.65) and in the 1500m (6 minutes 16.74 seconds) and finishing second in the Long Jump (3.58m). Other winners in the division were Cayman International’s Megan Ehman who won the 800m in the smart time of 3.04.21 and St. Ignatius’ Jayde Solomon in Shot Put (6.82m) and the Prep 4x100m Relay team (1.02.02).
In the year 7 boys St. Ignatius’s Karim Murray continued where he left off at the inter-primary level as he won the 100m in 13.09secs and the 200m in an impressive 26.81. In both instances he was pressed all the way by Prep’s Corey Mellaneo (13.20 and 27.09) who easily won the 800m in 2.44.96. Cayman International’s Jonah Pierre won the 400m in 1.10.17 while Prep’s Alex took home the 1500m title in 5.46.66 and St. Ignatius’ Daniel Manderson won the long jump (3.50m). Prep’s 4x100m relay team outdistanced the competition in a time of 58.58secs.
Prep’s Amirah Gallow took the sprint double in times of 13.31 and 27.86 amongst the year 8 girls, while St. Ignatius’ Aliyah Nelson won the 300m (50.43), Prep’s Thia Millward the 800m (3.04.16), Triple C’s Alicia Turner took home the 1500m title (7.17.96), Prep’s Hayley Wilkom the Long Jump (3.86m) and the Prep girls the 4x100m relay (58.94).
Prep’s Ahmaree Piercy was head and shoulders above the competition in winning the 100m (12.28), 200m (25.18) and the long jump (4.70m) of the year 8 boys before anchoring his school’s 4x100m relay team to victory (57.17). His team mates Amari and Leyton James contributed to the dominance of division by winning the 400m (1.00.86) and 800m (2.38.22) respectively while St. Ignatius’ Vincent LaChance won the 1500m in 5.41.75).
In the year 9 girls Ciana Hedge of St. Ignatius continued the trend of double sprint winners as she easily handled the competition in her grouping winning in the respective times of 13.64 and 28.72. Other victors were Prep’s Nikki Whittaker in the 300m (52.56), St. Ignatius’s Lesli Tatum in the 800m (3.01.52), team-mate Hannah Myrie who won the 1500m in 7.00.88, Prep’s Catriona McCrae in the long jump (3.68m), team mate Maya Grant in the shot put (7.68m) and the St. Ignatius girls in the 4x100m relay (59.98secs.)
Victories for Prep’s Riley Walton in the 100m (12.46), Josh Hew in the 400m (1.00.72), Dimitri Ritch in the 800m (2.48.09), Michael Matthew in the long jump (4.20m) and the 4x100m relay team (54.19) in the year 9 boys established the dominance of that school in the division, where other victories were secured by Triple C’s national youth rep Leo-Isaiah Ebanks in the 200m (27.98) and St. Ignatius’ Andrew Antronyraj in the 1500m (5.35.98).
Grace Christian’s Chante Smith-Johnson secured her schools only victories when she won the 100m (13.57) and long jump events (3.76m) in the year 10 girls division. The other dominant athletes in the class were St. Ignatius’s Kaylah Johnson who won the 200m and 300m and Prep’s Hannah Parchment who won the 800m and 1500m. The shot put was won by St. Ignatius’ Shenelle Stewart, who anchored the school’s victorious 4x100m relay team (59.15).
Year 10 boys saw Triple C’s Jean-Paul South run impressively in taking the 100m in 11.92. St. Ignatius’s Codi Whittaker took the 200m in 25.16, while team mate Alex Moroney copped the 1500m title in 5.27.78. Prep’s trio of Ennis Ramoon, Jonathan Walmsley and Brayton Chavez won the 400m (1.02.09), 800m (2.30.44) and long jump titles respectively. Triple C won the 4x100m relay (51.38).
In the year 11 girls division St. Ignatius’ Sydonie Barrett was a triple individual winner and team mate Courtney Couch was a double winner. Barrett won the 100m (13.41), 200m (29.31) and shot put (7.76m) titles, while Couch nabbed the 300m (52.63) and 1500m (6.46.80) crowns. The 800m title went to the Prep school’s Jetina (3.33.42). St. Ignatius’s Kenya McDermott copped the long jump crown (4.08m) while her team mates won the 4x100m relay gold (48.61).
National youth cricketer, Paul Laidlaw, turned sprinter at the championships and produced two impressive runs in copping the 100m (11.94) and 200m (24.76) for Triple C, whose Reno Jackson and Peter Chamberlain took the 400m (58.10) and long jump (5.90m) crowns respectively. Prep’s Elliott Vernon was another double winner with wins in the 800m (2.50.15) and 1500m (5.16.28), while his school’s sprint relay team won the 4x100m relay in 51.16secs.
Highlights of the years 12 and 13 girls saw St. Ignatius’ Hannah Tatum turne in eye-catching performances in winning the 100m (12.81) and the 200m (27.59). Team mates Richelle Hew won the long jump (3.90m) and Shinead Ebanks the shot put (6.93m), while Tatum returned to winning ways in anchoring her school’s 4x100m relay team to victory (57.10). Triple C’s Alora Davis took the 800m title (3.41.29).
Years 12 and 13 boys highlights included former CARIFTA representative, St. Ignatius’ Rejaun Henry recovering from poor starts to handily win the 100m (11.55) and 200m (23.85). His CARIFTA teammate, Tristan von Kirchenheim of Cayman International used his experience to coast to wins in the 800m (2.22.74) and 1500m (5.00.01). Prep’s Tom Mann won the 400m (53.01) beating pre-race favourite Tyler Lee who won the long jump (5.70m) over Prep’s Willie Cruz (5.37m). The St. Ignatius boys won the 4x100m relay (47.18).