Sunday, April 21, 2024

The good and the sad


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IF BLOOD, sweat, tears and heart exemplified Queen’s College’s repeat as boys’ kings in the PowerAde Barbados Secondary Schools Athletic Championships (BSSAC), no one can blame perennial queens for scripting on their school hall, “Springer Memorial, Home of Champions.”
Queen’s College emerged boys’ champions with 313 points, staving off the challenge of second-placed Lester Vaughan, who ended with 278 points.
While Springer Memorial were on fire, marching to an 11th consecutive crown and 15th overall with 348 points, their margin of victory wasn’t as large as in the past.
The St Michael School, with their strong Under-20 Girls’ division, came within 100 points, ending second on 248.
Whereas Levi Cadogan, Tristan Evelyn and Rivaldo Leacock predictably won their events, Shonita Brome emerged as one for the future, earning a share of the victrix ludorum title.
Sada Williams also continued her improvement while there were a number of unheralded athletes who came to the fore.
It was encouraging to see the performance of St George, led by their new recruit Dario Grandison, who won the Under-20 Boys’ 1 500 metres and the gruelling Open 5000.
In Anya Williams, Jeal Williams, Luke Hinkson and Sasha Lorde, St George have a core of athletes that can continue the resurgence.
Grantley Adams also made their mark through distance runners Elizabeth Williams, Roneldo Rock and twin brothers Akeem and Romario Marshall.
On the flip side, it was totally unacceptable that a school like Ellerslie, which has produced some of Barbados’ best athletes, could not win, place second or third in a single boys’ event, ending dead last on just four points.
It was the same situation for Princess Margaret girls and the boys from Daryll Jordan (formerly St Lucy) with no podium positions. Princess Margaret boys could only manage 11 points.
Happily, Parkinson and Frederick Smith (formerly St James) were able to win a few events.
But it is unbelievable that at some schools, there is not a single boy or girl in any age group, who can run fast enough, clear the hurdles, make a long jump into the sandpit, jump high enough or who are strong enough to throw a javelin, discus or put the shot to a distance to get a medal.   
There were also heartening performances from St Michael’s Jaria Hoyte and Combermere’s lion-hearted middle distance runner Akelia Knight, who won the Senior Girls’ 800 and 1 500 metres.
I was also impressed by Coleridge and Parry’s middle distance runners Jonathan Jones and Rasheene Griffith as well as Deighton Griffith’s Kentoine Browne, who did the sprint double among the Under-17 boys.
The Under-20 Boys’ 800 metres victory by Tre Hinds of Queen’s College among some more seasoned competitors was one of the key moments.
Antoni Hoyte-Small, with an excellent Under-15 400-metre run, also ended the aura of invincibility of The Lodge School’s Tramaine Smith, who swept to victories in the 100, 200 and 30-metre hurdles.
Christ Church Foundation’s Jaliyah Denny also won some new admirers by beating Leilani Haddock in the Under-13 Girls’ 100 metres, while Parkinson’s Dedra Deane-Mason, who ran faster than the Under-13 Boys in the 400 metres, is definitely one for the future.
There were some extremely close finishes throughout the five days of competition which required the photo-finish cameras to decide the winners.


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