: Newsday : Jelani Beckles : 05.02.2023
ALL those involved in the Secondary Schools Track and Field Relay Festival praised the decision to invite schools from outside TT, bringing a more competitive atmosphere to the meet and allowing local athletes to gauge their progress.
Toco Secondary, Queen's Royal College (QRC) and Bishop Anstey High School were the top-performing local schools at the Relay Festival at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo on Thursday.
However, the Jamaican schools that were invited proved Jamaica is in a class of its own in track and field in the region.
Toco Secondary, the top co-ed school, got the most points overall, ending with 222 points.
QRC were second best, but the most dominant boys' school, with 182 points.
Bishop Anstey High School showed its quality in the among the girls, leaving the stadium with 120 points, which was also enough to finish third in the standings.
Holy Cross College and St Benedict's College tied for fourth overall with 100 points.
Edwin Allen High (girls' division) and Kingston College (boys' division) travelled to Trinidad with small teams, but demonstrated precision in their baton exchanges and speed that could not be matched.
In some of the 4x400-metre events the Jamaican athletes lapped their opponents, which is not often seen in 4x400m races.
The St Michael's School of Barbados and a combined team from Guyana also delivered strong performances during the meet. This was the first time schools from outside TT were invited to compete.
President of the Secondary Schools Track and Field Association Joseph Brewster said bringing schools from the region is the beginning of a larger-scale event.
"It is a start and we really and truly want to grow the event, make it a real regional affair," Brewster said. "We can see some distance between the schools from outside. Some people will look at it and say we are real far behind, and a lot of people saying we will get discouraged by it.
"I am encouraged by it, because now it tells us what we have to do."
The event did not end until 9 pm. Brewster apologised for the late finish, but was grateful that many schools stayed until then.
The St Michael School coach Gabriel Burnett commended the initiative to invite schools from outside TT.
"It was a pretty good (experience). It was just looking to see how we could get ready for our high school championships and they performed how we expected," Burnett said.
"It is a good initiative. I like the idea and the competition and if we are invited again, I am pretty sure we will come back."
Burnett is confident some of his athletes will be selected for the Barbados team which will compete at the Carifta Games in April.
"We have a couple athletes we expect to make the Carifta team. We will go back home to Barbados and we will do some fine-tuning and we will be ready for our High School Championships and Carifta."
QRC athlete Jordan Pope was satisfied with the effort of the school and knows it must set the standard for the younger athletes. He is also aware of the rich history of QRC in the sport. Richard Thompson, Deon Lendore and Wendell Mottley are among former national athletes who attended QRC.
Pope enjoyed competing against regional schools.
He said, "It was definitely useful (to test yourself against other schools)...to get additional international teams here was really good and competitive...I think we should do it more."
RESULTS (all finals)
Girls Under-15 4x400m
Bishop Anstey - 5:07.02; Toco Secondary - 5:16.35; Holy Name Convent, Pt Fortin - 5:23.65
Boys U-15 4x400m
QRC - 4:24.54; St Benedict's - 4:28.06; Toco - 4:28.09
Girls U-17 4x400m
Bishop Anstey - 4:52.83; Toco - 5:32.77; St Joseph Convent, San Fernando - 5:34.11
Boys U-17 4x400m
QRC - 3:59.47; Fatima - 4:01.70; Toco - 4:02.96
Girls 17+ 4x400m
Holy Name, Pt Fortin - 4:45.85; Mason Hall - 5:01.02; Speyside High - 5:11.88
Boys 17+ 4x400m
QRC - 3:22.48; St Francis - 3:23.34; Trinity College East - 3:28.88
Girls U-17 4x60m shuttle hurdle
St James - 53.66; Cunupia 1:01.24; Toco - 1:09.97
Boys U-17 4x60m shuttle hurdle
Cunupia - 41.35; Toco - 41.98; St Benedict's - 43.53
Girls 17+ 4x60m shuttle hurdle
San Juan North - 52.41; Cunupia - 54.23; Sangre Grande - 57.16
Boys 17+ 4x60m shuttle hurdle
Toco - 38.78; St Benedict's - 39.20; Holy Cross - 40.95
Girls U-13 4x100m
St Joseph Convent, San Fernando - 1:18.35
Girls U-15 4x100m
Toco - 55.56; Bishop Anstey - 57.15; Holy Name, Pt Fortin - 57.74
Boys U-15 4x100m
QRC - 52.84; Holy Cross - 53.73; St Anthony's - 53.79
Girls U-17 4X100m
Holy Name, POS - 56.00; Malabar - 56.33; Bishop Anstey - 56.74
Boys U-17 4x100m
QRC - 46.51; El Dorado East - 47.40; San Fernando West - 48.36
Girls 17+ 4x100m
Edwin Allen High (Jam) - 47.45; Guyana Schools - 47.74; St Michael (Bar) - 50.10
Boys 17+ 4x100m
QRC - 42.11; St Benedict's - 44.34; Fatima - 45.19
Boys 4x800m Open
Signal Hill - 8:58.34; QRC - 9:01.58; Toco - 9:31.49
Girls U-15 4x200m
Bishop Anstey - 2:02.44; Holy Name Convent, Pt Fortin - 2:03.36; Toco - 2:05.40
Boys U-15 4x200m
QRC - 1:49.44; St Benedict's 1:54.74; St Anthony's - 1:56.11
Girls U-17 4x200m
Bishop Anstey - 2:01.49; Toco 2:07.48; Holy Name, Pt Fortin - 2:08.64
Boys U-17 4X200m
QRC - 1:38.40; San Juan North - 1:43.13; Cunupia - 1:43.13
Girls 17+ 4x200m
Holy Name, POS - 1:53.25; Tranquillity - 1:57.15; Bishop Anstey - 1:57.85
Boys 17+ 4x200m
St Benedict's - 1:33.32; Trinity - 1:34.11; St Anthony's - 1:34.70
Girls Distance Medley Open
Toco - 1:57.22; Tranquillity - 2:00.76; El Dorado East - 2:01.61
Boys Distance Medley Open
Presentation, San Fernando - 2:10.48; El Dorado East - 2:14.64; Pentecostal L&L Foundation - 2:15.72
Burnley - 50.62
Men 4x100m Clubs
Pt Fortin New Jets - 41.57; Appaloosa Athletics - 41.75; Elite Red - 41.88
Men 4x400m Clubs
Appaloosa - 3:18.22; Elite 3:18.34; Pt Fortin New Jets - 3:21.80