Catholic a class ahead of Prep

The new track season began in earnest at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex with the third staging of the Private High Schools Track and Field Championships. 

A total of 35 records were broken during the meet, which saw Cayman Prep and St. Ignatius Catholic in a tussle for the top places.  

Overall, St. Ignatius garnered 42 first places, 31 seconds and 36 third places to Prep’s 35 firsts, 25 seconds and 31 thirds.  

In a meet at which there is no declared winner, Triple C had 11 firsts, 10 second and 6 thirds; Grace Christian Academy had 3 firsts 4 seconds and 5 third place finishes; Wesleyan Christian had 3 firsts, 4 seconds and 4 third places; Cayman International had 1 first, 15 seconds and 9 thirds; with Hope Academy having 1 first and 2 seconds and five thirds, while first entrants Montessori By The Sea had 1 first, 1 second and 1 third-place finish.  

In Year 7, St. Ignatius’ Dante Baptiste won the 100 meters and 200m and set a new mark of 67.66 seconds for the 400m.  

The youngster added a second place finish in the long jump where his teammate Kai Robinson set a new distance of 440 meters.  

Prep’s Joshua O’Garro was also in record-setting mood as he eclipsed the 800m mark with a new clocking of 2:42:25. In the girl’s section, Jade Pitcairn of Prep established a new record of 7.49m in the shot put.  

As expected, Prep’s Justin Sairsingh dominated the Year 8 boys with compelling victories in the 100m, 200m and 400m and a blistering final leg in the 4x100m relay finals. In the process, he established new marks for 400m (59.10 seconds) and led his relay team to a new record of 55:21 seconds in the 400m relay.  

His teammate Victor Maghaelas ran 2:29:75 over 800m for a new record while St. Ignatius’ Azuka Obi now holds the long jump mark of 4.75m. 

St. Ignatius’s Karim Murray was probably the meet’s top athlete. Injury- and pain-free for the first time in three years, the tall striding youngster reminded all who saw him during the years he dominated at the Inter-Primary Championships with a scintillating all round performance in the Year 9 events.  

Expected to face stiff competition in the sprints from Prep’s Corey Mellaneo, the St. Ignatius ace blew away the challenge in the 100m from the start when he bolted out in front of the field and ran going away in the impressive record time of 11:59 seconds. He easily won the long jump with a record leap of 5.63m. Fresh off his own record victory of 57.67 seconds in the 400m, Mellaneo laid down the expected challenge in the 200m and at the top of the straight had a slight lead over the former West Bay athlete.  

The two battled for about 20 meters before Murray stamped his authority and moved away to set a new division record time of 24:34 seconds.  

Murray’s records were outstanding as his 100m time is faster than the record for the Year 10 division, his 200m time is marginally outside the record for the Year 10s and equals the record for the Year 11 and his long jump distance is equal to the existing Year 10 record for the same event.  

He later anchored his school’s 4x100m relay team to an easy victory and in the process established a fourth record for the age group in 53.75 seconds. 

Murray and Mellaneo did not have it all to themselves however as Prep’s Alex Loginov shattered the existing 1500m mark with a new record run of 5:01:99. 

Murray’s team-mates Bianca Meghoo and Stefanie Boothe also turned in first-class performances. Meghoo finally turned the tables on Prep’s Valeska Bennett when, in the closest finish of the day, the tall youngster held off the late challenge of Bennett to win the 100m.  

The anticipated clash between the two in the 200m did not materialize as Bennett was left in the starting position and Meghoo romped home in the event. She also established a new mark for the high jump with a clearance of 1.30m.  

Boothe is simply in a class all of her own. The swimmer-athlete captured the top honors in this grouping’s 1500m, 800m and 300m events in record times of 5:49:54, 2:52:13 and 46.74 seconds respectively. 

Not to be outshone, Valeska Bennett made her mark with a new record jump in the long jump with 4.34m. 

Prep’s Ahmaree Piercy was again a triple winner in the Year 10s with wins in the 100m, 200m and long jump and anchoring his school’s 4x100m relay team to victory.  

In the process he established new records for the 200m (24.10 seconds), long jump (5.63m) and in the 4x100m (50:55 seconds).  

Schoolmate Haley Willkom was also in record-breaking mood winning the long jump with a leap of 4.11m, while Triple C’s girls lowered the 4x100m record to 58:21 seconds. 

In Year 11, Prep’s Franz Manderson Jr. did not disappoint in winning the shot put with a record toss of 11:41m.  

Prep’s Josh Hew established new standards for the 200m (24.34 seconds) and 400m (57:62 seconds). Grace’s Jacob Scott established a long jump record with 6.15m, while St. Ignatius’s Andrew Antonysraj and Josh Sperando accounted for the smashing of the 1500m (5:02:35) and 800m (2:26:75) respectively. 

St. Ignatius’s Hannah Myrie accounted for the only female record to fall in this division when she posted a new record time of 6:37:52 for the 1500m event. 

Whereas only one female record fell in the Year 11 grouping, a total of six new ones were established in the Years 12 and 13 bracket.  

Leading the way was St. Ignatius’s Rochelle Gardiner who captured the 100m (12:38 seconds), the 300m (45:75 seconds) and led her school’s 4x100m relay team (56:40 seconds) all in record times. Team-mates Chante Johnson-Smith rewrote the long jump record (4:68m), Coral Tomascik the 800m (3:00:22) and Kenny Huizinga the 1500m mark (6:29:78). 

The only two records to fall among the boys went to St. Ignatius’ Javdon Nelson, who had to hold off strong challenges from Hope’s Paul Laidlaw Jr. in the 100m and Grace’s Jacob Scott in the 200m before winning in new record times of 11:09 seconds and 22:89 seconds respectively. 

Overall, St. Ignatius garnered 42 first places, 31 seconds and 36 third places to Prep’s 35 firsts, 25 seconds and 31 thirds.  


Valeska Bennett, left, and Bianca Meghoo in the Year 9 girls 100 meters.