Add another National Schools Cycling, Swimming and Track and Field Championship trophy to the cabinet of Upper Demerara/ Kwakwani (District 10).
Led by a sprint treble by star athlete, Deshana Skeete, along with double gold medal performances by middle distance star, Ronell Newton along with the meet’s fastest man, Shane Haynes, the Linden-based outfit was successful in once again defending the ‘Champions of Champions’ trophy…a symbol of supremacy for the longstanding fixture.
The black and gold clad outfit came, saw and conquered to retain the coveted piece of hardware when the curtains came down on the 58th edition of the prestigious championship last evening at the National Track and Field Centre.
On the backs of several champion athlete performances by some of the nation’s budding swimming, cycling and track stars, District 10 amassed 66 points to relegate former champions, District 11 and District 13 both first runners up tied with 54 points.
The host, District 3 (West Demerara) placed fourth overall, close behind with 50 points.
The athletes, swimmers and cyclists from Region 10 earned their fourth consecutive title and 17th overall.
While the team honours went to District 10, Skeete, Haynes, Newton and Tonya Rawlins (District 3) were some of the individual stars who shone the brightest during the six-day fixture.
Yesterday, Skeete won her third gold of the meet, emphatically winning the Girls U-18 400m event. The 400m bronze medalist at this year’s CARIFTA Games breezed to victory in 57.73s.
After winning the marquee 100m race and the 200m event, the feat was the latest of Skeete’s dominant outings at these championships. She also recorded a sprint treble at the event last year during her coming out party. The MacKenzie High School pupil then brought back the 4x100m relay team to the front after her third leg but Rawlins played spoiler.
The meet’s fastest woman ran a blistering anchor leg to earn her third gold of the championships. Earlier in the week, Rawlins, 19, from the Leonora Technical Institute, powered to commanding victories in the U-20 Girls 100 and 200m races. While District 10 was pipped on the line in a photo finish in the Girls 4×100 event by Rawlins, the boys would have none of it. Anchored by Haynes, the team comfortably won the event as he earned his third gold.
Newton was also a model of consistency in the middle distance races. He placed first in the 800 and 1500m events. Another standout athlete was 11 year old DeJuan Grant. After raising the bar in the U-12 High Jump event on Wednesday, the District 4 standout took his talents to the track yesterday and won the quarter-mile race.
The well-attended event concluded under the floodlights in the presence of Minister of State, Joe Harmon, President of the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU), Mark Lyte, Marcel Hutson (Chief Education Officer) and other notable attendees.
Yesterday’s proceedings were going smoothly until athletes and students from District 5 stormed and sat on the track in the form of protest during the penultimate event of the day which held up proceedings for almost two hours.
They were allegedly not informed that their Boys Open 4x100m relay team was disqualified during the heats for a takeover zone violation. Upon realization that the team would not be contesting the event owing to miscommunication, the all-red clad athletes and teachers stormed the track. The situation was eventually resolved.