Runners-up the CI Gibson Rattlers.
#By BRENT STUBBS
#Senior Sports Reporter
#COACH Tia Rolle and the CR Walker Knights celebrated their fifth straight Government Secondary Schools Sports Association Track and Field Championship title on Friday at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium.
#They did it by winning three of the four divisional titles en route to accumulating a total of 626.67 points, well ahead of a close showdown for second and third place by the CI Gibson Rattlers, who edged out the CV Bethel Stingrays by just half a point.
#“This was my first time as the head coach, but I worked under the best Ednal Rolle, Floyd Armbrister and Antonio Saunders, so I feel great,” said Rolle as her team celebrated on the track.
#“It’s a great feeling. Team work makes the dream work and we are still using the four Ds (discipline, determination, desire and dedication).
The third placed CV Bethel Stingrays.
#“I trained under Floyd Armbrister and I trained under Ednal Rolle and I worked also with Antonio Saunders, so it feels good to win one as the new head coach.”
#The Rattlers came from behind to secure the second spot with 479.50 as the Stringrays dropped to third with 479.
#The Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins got fourth with 394, the RM Bailey Pacers was fifth with 273.50, Anatol Rodgers Timberwolves sixth with 235.50 and two former champions, Government High Magic and CC Sweeting Cobras, brought up the rear with 149 and 81.50 respectively.
#“It was awesome,” said CI Gibon’s head coach Kenton Burrows. “We came into the first day we fell down into a deep hole in third place. But we regrouped and I told them this was not the position that we should be in. We got together over the next two days and we scrapped our way into second place.”
#Burrows said the Knights were a well-oiled machine and so it was a little difficult to dethrone them.
#But he pointed out that this was a morale booster for the Rattlers, whom he feels will be a threat to strike in the future.
#Meanwhile Stingrays’ head coach John Mills was still trying to grasp how second place got away from them.
#“The kids performed well. I take my hats off to CI Gibson, but somewhere along the line, I have to re-check the scores because I still believe I am in second place,” Mills said.
#“The points spread going into the relays, we were up by 20 points and I don’t believe they beat us by 20 points. I have to check the scores again, But if they beat us, I will settle for it.”
#For the Knights, Rolle said their strategy for the meet was a simple one.
#“We wanted to make sure that we had somebody in every event,” she pointed out. “We had somebody participate in every event. We believed that once we got into the children’s heads that we are the defending champions and we have more to lose than anyone else out here, we could do it.
#“On the first day, we got out to a slow start, but on the same day, we redeemed ourselves and on the final day, they went for it.”
#With a plan for a motorcade for the team to celebrate this year’s victory, Rolle said the Knights will focus on the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations’ Nationals later this month before they start to prepare for a sixth straight next year.
#The final day of competition concluded with all final events. There were no records broken, but the majority of the winners were quite pleased with their performances.
#Leading the way was Abaco’s Quincy Penn, now attending Government High. She pulled away from the rest of the field to snatch the title in 25.88. CR Walker’s Vashawna Bastian could not catch her and had to settle for a distant second in 26.96. CI Gibson’s Jasmine Mackey was third in 27.24. “It was good. I just took my time. When I reached the 100m mark, I stride. I did it for Abaco,” said Penn, a 14-year-old 10th grader who came from Spring City after Hurricane Dorian. “I had to do it for all the people on the island. I want them to know I’m still doing my thing.”
#After a false start to re-adjust his blocks, CI Gibson’s James Delia redeemed himself from a second place on the 100m to capture the under-17 boys’ half-lap race in the 200m for CI Gibson in 23.10.
#He held off CR Walker’s Daniel Ermilus, who followed him through the line in 23.41. Doris Johnson’s Dashawn Newbold was third in 23.57.
#“I had some problems with my blocks,” said Delia, who celebrated his 16th birthday on Wednesday. “After I got it together, I pushed out, came off the curve relaxed and I just went for it on the home stretch. I saw the guy coming close to me, so I just kept my knees high.
#Government High’s Brianique Strachan emerged as the winner of the under-20 girls’ 200m in 26.40 as she added to her triumph in the 100m. She was challenged by CR Walker’s Sierra Higgs, who came in second in 26.95. Doris Johnson’s Kimoya Blake was third in 27.02.
#“It was good. I had to step it up my last 20 metres. Other than that, it was good,” said Strachan, an 18-year-old 12th grader, who improved on her dismal showing from last year by devoting her time to training this year.
#And RM Bailey’s Litnov Delhomme completed the meet as the top under-20 boy, winning the 200m in 22.32. CR Walker’s Brandon Brown was second in 22.35 and RM Bailey’s Twain Davis was third in 22.70.
#“It was awesome. I did what I had to do, which was to execute off the curve and then run my straight, which is my strongest path of the race,” said Delhomme, an 18-year-old 12th grader as well. “It was a good comeback. After I got second in the 400m, my coach told me that I had to go for it coming off the curve and I did.”
#The 400m hurdles also took centre stage on the final day.
#CR Walker’s Kaiya Cambridge came from behind to win the under-17 girls’ 400 metre hurdles in a winning time of one minute and 18.35 seconds over Doris Johnson’s Anthonique Brooks, who did 1:20.99. CR Walker also got third from Samara Achille in 1:21.01.
#“It was a bit of a challenge because this was my first time running in the government schools and the hurdles is not just running the 400m,” said Cambridge, a 14-year-old 10th grader.
#“You have to run and jump. When people running on the side of you, you just have to keep your same pace and push to the end.”
#Her sister Keianna Cambridge repeated as the under-20 girls’ champion, clocking 1:09.68 to out-distance the rest of the field. Shaniah Brown completed a sweep for CR Walker with second place in 1:15.48. CI Gibson’s Kenisha Moss was third in 1:19.63.
#“On the back stretch, I was just focusing on what my coach told me,” said Cambridge, a 17-year-old 11th grader.
#“He said to run the curve, ease up on the back stretch and bring it home with your all. I gave it my all. I give credit to my coach and my parents for pushing me hard to run this race.”
#Doris Johnson’s Peter Tilusnord of Doris Johnson was the under-17 boys’ champion in the 400m hurdles in 1:01.57. He beat out CI Gibson’s Darius Dean (1:02.31) and his Doris Johnson’s team-mate Clinton Brennen (1:02.67).
#“It was great. My coach motivated me when he talked,” said Tilusnord, a 14-year-old 10th grader, who competed in the event for the first time. “I now have some experience for next year. I hope to do even better.”
#And Malik Newbold, rebounding from a disappointing fourth place in the 110m hurdles, was crowned the under-20 boys’ 400m hurdles champion as he crossed the finish line in 59.53.
#He was followed by RM Bailey’s Javanno Lamm in 1:00.94 and CI Gibson’s Latrell Forbes in 1:02.60.
#“In the preliminaries, I had the fastest time so coming into the final, I knew what I had to do,” said Newbold, a 16-year-old 11th grader.
#“I just executed and chased the person in front of me. I waited until I came on the home strength and I beat him.”
#On the field, CV Bethel’s Jalen Cadet emerged as a double winner in the under-20 javelin with a toss of 43.59m (143-0) and the discus with 31.64m (103-9).
#Don Stuart of Doris Johnson won the under-17 boys’ high jump with a leap of 1.67m (5-5 3/4), Dion Desamours of CR Walker pulled off the under-20 long jump with a leap of 6.53m (21-5 1/4), Fabian Storr of CI Gibson took the under-17 discus with 32.23m (105-9), Jeff Esterlin of Doris Johnson was the winner of the under-17 triple jump with 11.26m (36-11 1/2) and Donte Whymns of CV Bethel took the under-20 high jump with 1.80m (5-10 3/4).
#On the girls side, Ashanti Arahana of CC Sweeting clinched the under-17 shot put with a heave of 9.75m (32-0), Destiny Bridgewater of Anatol Rodgers won the under-20 long jump with a leap of 4.60m (15-1 1/4), Sheronika Simeon of CR Walker won the under-17 triple jump with 9.50 (31-2) and CI Gibson’s Judea Rahming threw the under-20 shot put 10.01m (32-10 1/4) for the win.
#The Knights joined the CH Reeves Raptors, who won Thursday, securing their second straight title in the junior segment of the meet. The Raptors, coached by Rashad McKenzie, accumulated a total of 559 points.
#The AF Adderley Fighting Tigers were second with 380.50 and the SC McPherson Sharks came in third with 269.