Clifton Hunter conquered all before them in taking the championship at the Inter-Secondary Track & Field Championships last Thursday.
Cheered on, serenaded and supported by their track savvy teachers and schoolmates, they were proud winners of the seventh staging of this three-day event at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex
The Frank Sound-based school finished with a total of 710 points, ahead of second placed John Gray High (677), UCCI (153), Cayman Prep (149), Layman Scott Jr. (128), Cayman Academy (107), CIFEC (75), St. Ignatius (62), Grace Christian (55), Triple C (32), Cayman International (17) and Hope Academy (16).
The athletes were divided in four categories, Under-14, U-16, U-18 age groupings and an Open Division.
In the U-14 girls division, the highly improved Gabriela Ritch of Cayman Brac’s Layman Scott Jr. High School, ran out as champion girl with impressive victories in the 100 meters, 200m and long jump.
Cayman Prep’s Jasun Sairsingh repeated his performance at the Private Schools Championships by winning the 100m, 200m and 400m races and becoming the division’s champion boy.
In the U-16 girls, the champion was shared between Tatayna Martin of John Gray, with victories in the 200m and long jump and a second place in the 100m, and Kiara McLaughlin from Clifton Hunter who won the 400m, 800m and a second place in the 1500m.
In the boys section, St. Ignatius’s Karim Murray took top honors by winning the 100m, placing second in the 200m and third in the long jump.
In the U-18 girls, Clifton Hunter’s Pearl Morgan turned in outstanding performances in the 200m, 400m and high jump to earn the champion girl award. St. Ignatius’s Javdon Nelson took the equivalent male award by winning the 100m, the 110m hurdles and taking second in the 200m.
In the open category, UCCI’s Olivia Samuels took top honors by winning the 100m and placing second in the 200m in the female Division. In the male Division Grace’s Jacob Scott won the 100m, 200m and was second in the high jump to be crowned top male in the division.
Other outstanding performances came from Denniston Thompson who cleared 2.00m in the open male high jump and leaped 6.94m to take the open long jump.
Clifton Hunter’s Rashaun Connolly had victories in the U-18 boys 200m in 22.52 seconds and 400m (50.88secs).
Although running into a fair head wind on the final day, the athletes produced credible results on the recently relaid track on the last evening of the championships.
Road running specialists Tahj Lewis, Delano Callender and Tiffany Cole were in great form on the track, picking up vital points for their respective schools.
Dalton Watler, president of the Cayman Islands Athletics Association, said, “The three days went well. We had a little hiccup on the second day when the start of the high jump was delayed, besides that we were on time with the other field events.”
Watler added that he was particularly pleased with the performance of Daneliz Thomas in winning the girls U-16 javelin with a throw of 39.18m, Thompson’s high jumping and Lacee Barnes who won the girls U-16 shot put and discus.
“There were some great performances and it was a great meet without any major hitches and much better than last year, and we are elated,” said track technical director Kenrick Williams. “Denniston Thompson clearing two meters was very impressive and Daneliz’s throwing as well as Lacee Barnes in the shot. Those were some of remarkable performances.”
Williams was also delighted with Rashaun Connolly’s sprinting and Gregory Duval’s time of 59.08 seconds in the boys open 400m hurdles.
“This was a better meet than last year and its participation is growing,” added Williams. “We hope for an even better one next year with more people coming out to support these kids.”
Track queen Cydonie Mothersill helped with the timing and general organizing. She said, “Inter-primary are for the parents and inter-secondary are for the peers so we have to give more attention to the inter-secondary because they’re the ones that go over into seniors to fill the shoes of people like myself and Kareem Streete-Thompson and Kemar Hyman.
“We should pay them more attention because they are the crop of athletes who are going to compete at the world championships, Olympics, CAC, Pan Ams and so forth.
“I’m glad to be a part of it and hopefully next year we’ll have more schools involved and we sort out all the issues and we make everyone happy.”
Local track and field attention now turns to the CUC Championships this Friday and Saturday and the big one the following Thursday and Friday with the 2014 staging of the new look Inter-Primary Championships.