Monday, April 22, 2024

Fight for glory

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NEW CHAMPIONS COULD be crowned at today’s Pine Hill National Primary Schools Athletics Championships (NAPSAC) as Charles F. Broome Primary and West Terrace Primary may be toppled.

All roads will lead to the Usain Bolt Complex in Black Rock as this country’s best primary school athletes vie for supremacy in the highly anticipated day of finals.

Based on the number of athletes advancing to the finals, 2015 boys’ winners Charles F. Broome and reigning girls champions West Terrace Primary are likely to find it tough  to retain their titles.

Charles F. Broome have advanced to just five individual event finals, while West Terrace have six individual entries in the boys’ finals.

The fight for the girls’ title is shaping up to be an intense one, with a number of schools boasting some of the best athletes in their events.

Look out for Roland Edwards’ Tiara Stewart in the Under-13 Girls’ division. Stewart’s eyes are fixed on winning the long jump and has broken the NAPSAC record in that event twice before. She jumped an amazing 4.96 metres in the semi-finals and said that she was aiming to clear five metres.

Stewart, a member of the Elite Distance Programme, is also going into the Under-13 Girls’ 400 metres, with the second fastest time of 1:05.81 and the fourth fastest time of 28.29 seconds in the 200 metres. She was also instrumental in ensuring her team secured a slot in the final of the Under-13 Girls’ 4×100 metre relay.

Most keenly contested

The Under-11 Girls’ Division is one of the most keenly contested this year with the likes of West Terrace’s Skye Spencer-Layne, Arthur Smith’s Kelescia Downes and Sharon Primary’s Samiya Dell leading the way. They are three evenly matched athletes and it will be interesting to see how they fare against each other.

Dell has the fastest qualifying time of 29.33 seconds in the 200 metres, while Downes leads the list of finalists in the 100 metres with 14.16 seconds. Dell also leads the list in the long jump, with 3.83 metres but Spencer-Layne is just three centimetres behind her with 3.80 metres.

The Applewhaite girls of St Giles’ Primary will be a force to be reckoned with. St Giles’ have lost the services of Tania Applewhaite but sisters Tiara and Tia will still provide valuable points for the Ivy school.

Twin sisters Tania and Tia were proving to be almost unstoppable in the Under-9 Girls’ division, but disaster struck in the quarter-finals. While crossing the line in the 150, Tania fell awkwardly and broke her hand, ensuring that she would take no further part in the championships.

Tia is still there and has the fastest qualifying times in the 80 metres (12.16 seconds) and 150 metres (23.78 seconds) and is second fastest in the 100 metres (15.47 seconds).

Big sister Tianna has advanced to the finals of the Under-13 Girls’ 400 metres and will lead the St Giles’ charge in the 4×100 metres.

Like the girls, there is no one school that is totally dominant in the boys, but the performances of St Stephen’s Primary in the Under-13 division are noteworthy. Chaz Searles and Achilles Browne have been hard to beat in this division.

Sizzling last leg

Searles has the fastest qualifying time in the 100 metres (12.89 seconds) and 200 metres (27.03 seconds) and ran a sizzling last leg in the 4×100 metres relay to ensure St Stephen’s advanced with the fastest qualifying time of 53.85 seconds.

Amir Gustave of Bay Primary, Josh Newton of Bayley’s and Luther Thorne Primary’s Yazid Daniel are also tipped to perform well in this division.

Newton leads the list of qualifiers in the Open Boys’ 800 metres, with a time of 2:29.34, while Gustave has the fourth fastest time of 2:39.06. Newton ran the fastest qualifying time of 1:02.06 in the semi-finals of the 400 metres last week, while Gustave was second fastest with 1:02.18. Daniel is third fastest with 1:02.69.

Gustave is also going into the 200 metres finals with the second fastest time of 27.17 seconds. He also ran a sizzling last leg in the Open Boys’ 800-metre sprint medley and the result was that Bay Primary was the fastest qualifier with 1:58.83.

Heading into today’s final day of competition, Bayley’s lead the girls with ten points, while Hilda Skeene Primary are out front in the boys, also with ten points.

The first race of the day will be the Open Girls’ 600 metres and that is scheduled for 11 a.m.

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