A new era of track and field excellence was launched with the Inter-Secondary Schools Championships last week at the Truman Bodden Complex.
After a few poorly attended meets in previous years, Minister of Sports Mark Scotland and new Cayman Islands Athletic Association president Dalton Watler decided that the meet needed better support to make it a showcase event and inspire the next generation of track stars.
Well that was certainly achieved last Monday and Tuesday. Big sponsors were brought in, including DART and Maples. Over 300 athletes from eight of the 12 schools participated and it was well attended too. Next year the intention is to get all 12 secondary schools involved and on the strength of this showing it will happen.
John Gray Blazers dominated throughout, winning the combined team, female team and male team categories with ease. Clifton Hunter were second in each and the Cayman Brac team from Layman Scott placed well too.
Amongst the girls, sprint and middle distance champions included Rochel Gardner, Amelia Gillispie, Annie-Ka Anderson, Pearl Morgan, Chante Smith-Johnson, Jordae Scott, Kiara McLaughlin, Amarri Bodden. Tatiana Harris, Tiffany Cole, Kerry-Ann Simpson and Akinita Thomas, In the girls field events gold medals were won by Shannon Thompson, Chineme Ezema, Choloe Powery, Mikayla McLaughlin, Rhonique Bodden, Ashley McLean, Briana Whittaker, Abigail Ebanks, Lacee Barnes, Tanisha Scott, Ann-Marie Wilson, Deondre Kelly, Sashant Lawrence, Ashley Ebanks, Briseida Moya and Chemisha Jackson.
The boys gold medallists in the running events were Rasheem Brown, O’Laro Waite, Kyle West, Demetri Chambers, Rasheem Brown, Jouri Haylock, Troy Long, Javier Johnson, Tevin Yen, Dwayne Anglin-Folkes, Michael Peart, Jeavhon Jackson, Tahj Lewis, Kirk Williamson, Jordan Bellwhite, Roger Ebanks and Tristan Von Kirchenheim. In the field events, the boys champs were Louis Gordon, Jouri Haylock, Jacob Scott, Denniston Thompson, Ronaldo Morrison, Roger Ebanks, Peter Chamalian, John Smith, Mateo Lazzari, Jonathan Frederick, Roshaun Frederick, O’Laro Waite and Alex Pascal.
Next year Minister Scotland hopes to get all 12 schools participating and if so the schedule should really stretch over three days, not two like this time. The finals night went on till around 11pm which was extremely late for many families, especially ones with small kids.