The Cayman Islands High School Track & Field Championships are always keenly contested, and the staging of the seventh annual three-day event last week had another close finish.
Although the Truman Bodden Sports Complex had few spectators, high school students produced some scintillating displays from Tuesday to Thursday, and the championship was not decided until the final session.
Clifton Hunter High School emerged champions for the third consecutive year, edging out perennial arch-rival John Gray in a closely fought battle.
The champions amassed 804 points to John Gray Blazers’ 795. John Gray Bolt was third with 177 points, followed by Layman Scott High (167), Dual Enrollment (151), Cayman Prep (150), Cayman Academy (98), CIFEC (76), Cayman International School (65), St. Ignatius (57) and Wesleyan Christian Academy (13).
A total of 37 new marks were set at these championships across all divisions.
In the Under-14 girls division, six new marks were established. John Gray Blazers’ Ashante Graham, with times of 13.31 and 27.68 seconds, set new standards for the division’s 100 meters and 200m sprints, respectively.
Teammate Erica Burke also set double records in the discus (20.10m) and shot put (9.10m), while another teammate, Sabrina Suberan, set the mark for the 1500m in 6 minutes 29.10 seconds.
The Clifton Hunter 4x100m team set a new record time of 54.22 seconds.
John Gray Blazers’ Taj Yen accounted for all three new marks in the U-14 boys, winning the 400m (58.47), 800m (2:27:94) and the 1500m (5:14:53).
Claudina Morgon’s (John Gray Blazers) 1500m run of 5:37:26 set the bar for the event in the U-16 girls.
Alex Cameron (John Gray Bolts) set records in the U-16 boys’ shot put (10.51m) and discus (28.39m).
Clifton Hunter’s triple gold medalist Kashief Dawkins erased the 100m mark and established a new standard for the event when he sped over the 100m in 11.75 seconds. His teammate Javon Watler (1.85m) set new heights in the high jump, while John Grey Blazers’ Daujaghn Murray won the 1500m, clocking 4:54:09.
The U-18 girls were quite simply in fighting trim. Nine old marks gave way in this division. Pride of place belonged to Clifton Hunter’s Shalysa Wray, who dismantled the old sprint records in 12.46 and 35.06 in the 100m and 200m, respectively.
John Gray Blazers’ Tatyana Martin and Clifton Hunter’s Lacee Barnes also established double records. Martin won the 400m and long jump and posted new records of 59.57 seconds and 4.95m in those events.
Barnes tossed the shot 13.07m and the discus 41.67m. Other record setters were javelin specialist Daneliz Thomas (40.75m), Kiara McLaughlin in the 1500m (5.08.49) and the Clifton Hunter 4x100m quartet in 53.16 seconds.
Isaiah Robinson was in blistering form for John Gray Blazers, winning the 100m and 200m in a storming finish to nip ahead of Karim Murray (St. Ignatius) in record times of 11.16 and 22.33 seconds, respectively. His teammate Leighton Thomas also beat Murray in the long jump with a new record leap of 5.96m.
Clifton Hunter’s Delano Callender set the division’s 1500m standard in 4:36:43, while Layman Scott High’s Matteo Lazzari made Cayman Brac proud by winning the shot put with a record heave of 12.11m.
Rochel Gardner (St. Ignatius) ran the 100m in 12.81 seconds in the open and 18-plus division, a record. Claudina Morgon’s 13:57:11 run in the girls 3,000m established the mark for the event, while Clifton Hunter’s 4x400m girls stormed to a new time of 4:28:28 in the metric mile.
Four schools were responsible for the new marks in the 18-plus boys’ open division.
Academy’s Jeahvon Jackson in the 400m hurdles (55.79) and their 4x400m quartet (3:39:79) set two of the record times. Clifton Hunter’s Rasheem Brown in 100m hurdles (15.70), Cayman Prep’s Will Edwards (10:20:77) in the 3,000m, and Cayman International’s David Lee in the 800m (2:28:82) were the other division’s record setters.
Ashantae Graham (John Gray Blazers) won the U-14 girls division champion, and her teammates Greg Bennett and Taj Yen shared the boys equivalent.
Clifton Hunter’s Deajra Tulloch took the U-16 girls division award, and her teammate Kashief Dawkins earned the division’s champion boy award.
Clifton Hunter’s Shalysa Wray and John Gray Blazers’ shared the U-18 girls award, while St. Ignatius’ Karim Murray copped the coveted U-18 boys top award.
Rochel Gardner (St. Ignatius) took the 18-plus girls top spot and CIFEC’s Jacob Scott captured the boys’ award.
Greg Bennett, Taj Yen and Kashief Dawkins shared the Outstanding Male Athlete trophy, and Ashantae Graham, Shalysa Wray and Tatyana Martin did likewise with the Outstanding Female Athlete trophy.