The 2013 Inter-Primary Track and Field Championships will long be remembered for the close tussle between the defending champions, Red Bay Primary School and arch rival Prospect.
Red Bay may have been favourites, but it was Prospect who emerged with the championship trophy aloft as Red Bay watched in dismay and wondered how close they had come.
The event was at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex on 21 and 22 March.
A mere nine points separated the top two teams and it may have all been different had the Red Bay senior boys 4×100 metres team not been disqualified.
The team had looked invincible in the semifinals and looked capable of shattering the existing record time of 56.23 seconds, set by Sir John A. Cumber in 2010.
With the victors assured 12 points, it may well have been the difference between victory and defeat.
The new champions led from the outset of the two-day competition and, up until lunch on the second day, had a 20-point advantage over the former champions.
With each of the afternoon’s events on the final day, however, Red Bay closed the lead and seemed on their way to eking out a narrow victory. But it was not to be as Prospect won the senior boys 4x100m relay in a driving finish against Sir John A. Cumber and with the disqualification of Red Bay in the event finally triumphed.
The battle between the top two schools was a mirror image of the battle within the divisions.
In Division 1, the competition was close but the performances of Jehnique Russell of East End and Devonte Howell of Prospect were impressive and led to both athletes topping the standings in the respective sections of their division.
In Division 2, Kayla Pinckney of Savannah edged out her teammate Renia Smith for the top spot in the girls section, while speedy Bradley Erskine of Red Bay topped the male section.
In Division, 3 Tori-Ann Gonez of Red Bay continued her march through the Inter-Primary Championships by once again outclassing the field. Gonez possesses all the traits of a major national athlete in the making.
Red Bay’s Nathaniel Williams had his similar march halted in the finals of the boys 100m. This meant that he had to share divisional championship honours with Angelo Forbes of Prospect, who won the long jump and was third in both sprint finals.
In Division 4, Ashantae Graham of Prospect was easily the class of the field among the girls as she won the sprint double and bronze in the long jump.
The boys section was highly contested with no one winning multiple events. In the end, Caleb McFarlane of Savannah emerged as the top male athlete.
KC Gordon of Cayman Academy and Joshua O’Garro of George Town Primary topped the lists of performers in Division 5, but special note must be made of the performances of Cayman Academy’s Kejonay Lemmont and Red Bay’s Lamar Reid.
Lemmont demolished the field in the girls sprints, while Reid rewrote the record books in both the long jump and high jump.
A total of seven new records were established at the 2013 championships. George Town’s Joshua O’Garro dismantled the boys 800m Open with a new record clocking of 2 minutes and 36.20 seconds.
Red Bay’s Tori-Ann Gonez set a new Division 3 girls long jump mark with a leap of 3.76 metres.
Prospect’s Hannah Welcome set new milestones in the Division 4 girls long and high jumps with a clearance of 1.30m and a 3.82m in the pit, respectively.
Cayman Academy’s Amelia Lammie bettered the girls invitation long jump record with a leap of 4.25m, whilst Lamar Reid was the toast of the championships with remarkable records in both the Division 5 boys long and high jumps.
He erased the 4.67m of CUT Champion Louis Gordon with a leap of 4.81m in the long and returned to break another of Gordon’s records in the high when he cleared 1.47m.