By TENAJH SWEETING
Tribune Sports Reporter
THE CH Reeves Raptors and CR Walker Knights won the junior and senior division titles at the Government Secondary Schools Sports Association (GSSSA) Cross Country Championships.
The one-day long distance meet was hosted in front of the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium on Saturday and saw competition between hundreds of athletes across the GSSSA senior and junior age groups.
Varel Davis, president of the GSSSA, said the level of competition on display over the weekend was impressive.
“I was very impressed with the level of competition this morning [Saturday] at our GSSSA cross country meet. Each year the competition is getting better and better. Hats off to all the hard working coaches who train and develop their athletes,” Davis said.
The Knights claimed the overall senior division bragging rights for the second straight year on Saturday.
The senior school won two out of four division titles, including the under-20 (U20) girls and under-17 (U17) boys divisions.
Anatol Rodgers High School earned the division title for the U20 boys and the CV Bethel Stingrays won the U17 girls division title.
The Stingrays’ Marquell Newbold finished way ahead of the pack with a time of 13:38.18 in the U20 girls event.
Raynia Russell, who competes in multiple disciplines for the Knights, came in second with 14:12.20.
Tarell McPhee, of Government Senior High School, finished third among competitors. The 12th grader, who specialises in sprints and hurdle events, was happy to get a win at the cross country meet another year.
“The race was kind of tough for me at the beginning. I went out kind of fast, I feel like I went out too fast and I just had to maintain my pace, run smart up and coming down the hill and finish strong,” Newbold said. She added that she put extra pressure on herself because she was trying to beat her time from last year’s cross country meet of 13:27. Although she came up short, the now 17-year-old said the meet served as a great help for conditioning for the 400m and 400m hurdle events.
The RM Bailey Pacers saw Lataji Moxey place first with a time of 9:57.08 in the U20 boys event. Fabian Saintil, of Doris Johnson Senior High School, was right behind with 9:57.78. Raywind Winder, who recently competed at the William “Knucklehead” Johnson Cross Country meet, grabbed the third podium spot for the Mystic Marlins with 10:45.83.
“It was a little hard I pushed through, I am a little unfit with a little back problems but I got through it. At the end of the day I am very happy to come out with the win. I showed out for my school,” Moxey said.
For the U17 boys event, Shanton St Germaine ran through the finish line first at 10:15.79 for the Stingrays. Vincent Alerte, of Anatol Rodgers, picked up second place after he stopped the clock at 10:16.44. The Knights’ Gabriel Johnson collected third place in 10:36.78.
Bernichia Nelson, of the Pacers, emerged victorious on Saturday with a time of 12:27.85. Theresa Edouard placed second and Stacy Hummes of the CI Gibson Rattlers wrapped up third with 15:11.99.
For the juniors, the Raptors won three out of four divisions to hoist the trophy. They won the under-13 (U13) boys and girls divisions, and the under-15 (U15) girls division. DW Davis Junior High School came away with the final division title to win the U15 boys group.
Davis, who also serves as the Raptors head coach, was happy about their performance.
“CH Reeves’ cross country team has been practicing everyday since September. I am so proud of these kids. Their dedication and willingness to practice and train hard everyday is unbelievable,
“I am very happy and would like to say a special thanks to Mr Thurman Johnson, one of our coaches as well. We put a lot of time in our practices and with that comes great results,” she said.
The DW Davis Royals’ Melvens Simeon concluded the U15 boys event in 6:56.45. The Raptors’ Javon Cherime capped off with 7:03.34 for second and Deontay Rolle, of LW Young, got third place for the Golden Eagles.
Lendrea Davis, of the Raptors, won the U15 girls event in 8:19.92. Dina Risque, of the AF Adderley Tigers, notched 8:48.12 and Kevenna Bain got the third spot for the Raptors as well.
Travon Moncur led the group of competitors in the U13 boys event. He came first for CH Reeves with 7:04.88. The second and third positions went to Kaiden Newbold and Jaynez Pratt of the Golden Eagles. The duo earned times of 7:23.27 and 7:56.34 respectively.
The Royals’ Haleel Munnings got the victory for the U13 girls. She came through the finish line at 8:09.09. Esmaella Pauleon, of CH Reeves, trailed behind in 8:19.08. Meanwhile, her fellow schoolmate, Tirara Wallace, took home third in 8:38.66.
Action continues for the GSSSA on November 20 when the basketball season begins.