(SNO) — There were double victories for Jayeed Norbal, Krista Rene, Laura Lyn Limery, Ethan James, and Jola Felix, as the Sir Arthur Lewis Track and Field and Cheerleading Championships were concluded at the Mindo Phillip Park recently.
The island’s premier learning institution continues to struggle with participation, however, with a new format not seeming to help a great deal.
In many races, there were four or fewer athletes, when each of the four competing houses is eligible to enter at least two in most events.
In the “staff” division, it was a sadder story still, with literally one male and one female competitor taking to the track for the three listed events.
Whereas SALCC has multiple campuses and the biggest student population from which to choose, it is clear that talent iddentification, recruitment, and engagement need work. It would not have helped that the annual school road race was scheduled to have been held after the track and field events. Student athletes, especially casual student athletes, typically use the road race to gauge their readiness for competition on the track.
As it stood, there were some competitive events, and a decent crowd, but a lot better ought to be expected at this level.
Jola Felix was the 100m and 200m champion in the Under-18 division, Division 3, running 13.5 and 28.0 seconds, respectively.
Ethan James topped the D1 medal rostrum in the 100m and 200m boys, clocking 11.3 and 22.7 for his two events.
Just five boys entered the D1 400m. National atthlete Jayeed Norbal, representing Thomas House, was a convincing winner in 51.0 seconds, over Jeannick Asson. Norbal had earlier won the open 800m in 2:09.5 over Leantus Alexander of Francois.
Lewis House’s Tonisha Hilton took the girls D1 400m gold in 1:13.0, ahead of Francois’s Merlisa Degazon, in an identical time. Both young ladies are aiming for a return to club competition this season.
In D3, Sanjay Jean coped the boys’ 400m for Walcott in 54.0 seconds, beating Leantus Alexander and Lewis’s Walter Emmanuel.
Krista Rene took two gold medals in D3, capturing the 400m (1:17.0) and the 800m (3:11.1) for Lewis House.
Laura Lyn Limery copped double gold for Francois, topping the 3000m open (14:02.3) and the 1500m open (6:32.1). In the former event, Bernelle Joseph (Francois) was a distant second. In the latter, her sister, Bernet (Walcott) was a distant second.
The men’s open distance / middle distance combo was split between two east coast rivals, though both run for the same club team, and for the same house, Walcott. Kaheem Gaston of Mon Repos won the 5000m run, with Newton Marshall taking second, whilst the roles were reversed in the 1500m.
The staff, students, parents, board members, and supporters were rewarded with a 1.90m personal best and gold medal high jump clearance by Adagio Greene of Thomas House.
At the end of the day, Lewis House emerged Track and Field Champions amassing 446 points, with defending champions Thomas House in second with 367 points, Francois third with 304 points and Walcott fourth with 248 points.
In the cheerleading competition, Thomas House received first place recognition from the judges with a total of 397 points. A very crowd pleasing and creative performance attained a 376 point second place for Walcott House while Lewis and Francois were third and fourth respectfully with 313 and 308 points.
The track and field season continues on March 1st with the staging of the Road Race, Field Events and victor and victrix awards at the Morne Campus.