By Terry Finisterre, SNO Sports Correspondent
Final results in terms of point standings are set to be released to the schools on Wednesday, but the 19 schools and well over 1,000 athletes enjoyed a competitive meet, despite having to deal with a substandard running surface, and a 300m track.
As expected, thousands of children, teachers and parents came out to Beausejour Stadium last Friday (20 March) to support the meet, but only on the final day of five. The venue had been virtually empty on the first two days of track, and the George Odlum Stadium might as well have been doubling as a mausoleum instead of a hospital during the two days of field events.
The stars of the show on the track were – as expected – CARIFTA hopefuls Julien Alfred and Kamillah Monroque.
Julien, a student at Leon Hess Comprehensive, won the 100m and 200m in the under-16 (Division 3) girls, and did so in grand style. In the century, she ran a breezy 12.1, with club teammate Desray Desir – representing St Joseph’s Convent on this occasion – over half a second behind. Kimani Alphonse of Vieux Fort Comprehensive took bronze, Mijan Augustus of Castries Comprehensive was fourth.
The young Hess speedster, who is still not confirmed on Saint Lucia’s team for April’s CARIFTA Games in St Kitts-Nevis, won the 200m in 26.6, nearly a second and a half ahead of Alphonse, and nearly two seconds ahead of silver medallist Nysa Pierre of SJC. Julien set a new national junior record for the women’s 200 at this year’s CARIFTA Trials.
As for Kamillah, also competing in Division 3, she took three gold medals. On Wednesday, she won the 1500m for Babonneau 5:24.2, holding off the challenge of Vide Bouteille’s Dayna Felix. On Friday she doubled in the 800m and 3000m, which latter event she will contest in Basseterre, after finishing fourth last year in Fort-de-France.
Julien and Kamillah combined for all five individual track titles on offer in their division.
There were several other multiple champions, including Jean Michael Etienne of Choiseul, who won the under-16 boys 100 and 200. SJC’s Pierre, meanwhile, added the 400m gold to the long jump title she captured the week prior. She then teamed up Desir, 400m bronze medallist Jermiah Evariste, Gibba Edward and Neema Leon to capture both relays in that age group. St Mary’s College won the boys counterparts.
Amongst the under-18′s, the youth category, or Divison 2, there was just one double winner. Nick Joseph captured the 200 and 400 in 24.8 and 54.1, each time consigning a CCSS student athlete to silver, 100m champion Najeem Jean in the shorter race and Jervonne Agard in the latter. But CCSS would have the last laugh, as Jean, Agard, Anton Paul and 100m silver medallist Bradley Cyril combined to win the sprint relay. Vieux Fort Comprehensive – with CARIFTA-bound 800m champion Ibed Sealy, silver medallist Curt Herman, Junior Footballer of the year, Nyrone Winter, and 400m bronze medallist Calibbe Erysthee – took the mile relay.
For the girls, Shonet Joseph of Soufriere Comprehensive and Curtisia Herman of Piaye split the 800 and 1500, Shonet beating Curtisia by four seconds in the metric mile on Wednesday and Curtisia repeating the favour by one and a half seconds in the shorter race on Friday. Allana Paul was a double silver medallist for CCSS, losing to Mechaela Hyacinth of Hess (12.3 seconds) in the 100, and Sherlan Jules of Ciceron (27.7) in the 200. But Tonisha Hilton, after a thrilling 1:04.6 win for VFCSS in the 400, led an even more thrilling come-from-behind win for her team in the 4×400. If it wasn’t quite Floria Guei on the anchor leg for France in the 2014 European Championships, it was pretty close.
The 18-plus Division 1 had the thinnest competition, dominated by Sir Arthur Lewis Community College. SALCC’s Janille Greenidge won the 100 from his twin brother Shaquille, inseparable as they have been from birth, both crossing in 11.3 seconds.
Janille got a tiny bit of breathing room in the 200, winning by two tenths of a second from his twin. The very busy Marvric Pamphile of the Post Secondary Programme won the 40 and 800, and got a bronze medal in the 200. Daniel Eugene of VFCSS was a double winner as well, taking the 1500m and 5000m, along with a silver in the 800.
On the senior girls side, Samara Edward may have turned her talents to football of late, but she added two more gold medals to her javelin throw crown from a week prior. She won the 400 in 1:05.2 and then the 800 in 2:41.3 for the Post Secondary Progamme. She also led Post Sec to a memorable mile relay title, denying SALCC a sweep of the relays in that division.
Back in the juniormost division, Thomyka Valcent won the Under-14 600 and 1000 for Hess, whilst Lizzie Alexander won the 300 and 150 for Anse Ger. The latter was an especially exciting prospect, as Alexander was running against Entrepot’s 80m champion, Zoey Dorville.
Unfortunately the challenge never materialised, as the two were in separate heats for a timed final.