By Mike Baptiste
Perhaps the one of the best kept secrets in the local sports this year has been the role played by one of Grenada’s newest and youngest track clubs in some of the more profound moments at this year’s athletic meets. The South City Rising Stars with their Head Coach Lee Cuffie along with Kevon James and Nicholas Benjamin have been the driving force behind the resurgent St. Joseph’s Convent St. George’s preparatory division win at Intercol along with the Grenada Boy’s Secondary School overall win at Intercol as well the establishing of new records this year.
The membership of the Club includes High Jumper Kenny Horsford who succeeded in breaking the Senior High Jump Record at the GBSS with a jump of 2.05m. He then broke the meet record of the Ariza National Junior Championships with a jump of 2.06m and again at Intercol he broke the meet record for his age category with a Jump of 2.04m. Another record breaker from the club was Kalvin La Crette from the Happy Hill Secondary School who broke the Intercol Junior Discus Record with a throw of 51.50m. Trent Simon (GBSS), another member of the club placed third in the same competition with a throw of 44.68m. Cameron Thomas (GBSS) established Prep Records in the Boy’s Javelin (43.23m) and Shot Put (12.37m).
Gemmol Noel has not only reset the GBSS Prep 100m record but has managed to earn gold both at the Ariza National Junior Championships and Intercol respectively and was part of a 4 x 100m team which broke the Intercol record for that relay twice in one day. He has also won the 200m at every major local meet in his age group. Also being a part of that teams was Shammol Mitchell who along with being Gemmol’s strongest rival in the 100m and 200m sprints, has begun to make a name for himself in the 400m by claiming the top spot and meeting record at the National Junior Champs and also breaking the record at Intercol, albeit with a second place finish.
The club has made history by having Grenada’s first representative in the Pole Vault at the Carifta Games in the person of Nicolas Stanislaus, a former student of the St. Andrew’s Secondary School. Gamali Felix, Grenada’s number one U20 triple jumper is also a fast developing 400m runner within the ranks of the Club as well as distance runners Tyrone Jacob and Romeo Bastaldo. A wide variety of promising sprinters in all divisions such as Akiel Francis, Deron Sharpe, Josiah Cooper, Cinque Noel, Adriel Mc Millan and Nathaniel Mark all proudly call the SCRS their home club.
The young ladies in the club have also been making themselves as well. Leah Lawrence has secured victories in the Prep (U14) 100m and 200m sprints and has anchored St. Joseph’s Convent (St. George’s) 4 x 100m relay team which was victorious at the National Junior Champs as well as Intercol. Her 100m and 200m times were both New Records at National Champs. Princess Whiteman from the Anglican High School has been the best locally based female sprinter in the senior division. She had the top spots for Grenada at the National Junior Champs in the 100m, 200m and 400m. At Intercol she secured the top spot in Long Jump, 100m, 200m, 400m hurdles while placing third in the 400m.
Darlyne Evans-Lambert of the Anglican High School established herself as one of the leading throwers starting with the new meet record in the U16 Shot put throw (11.52m) as well as a first place in the U16 Discus (28.92m) throw at National Camps. At Intercol she won the Shot Put (12.02m) and placed second in the Discus throw (28.55m). Renee John, also from Anglican High School, has emerged as the U18 Discus champ in both events. At the Primary School Games, Jamelia Nicholas is the current record hold of Shot Put Throw with a distance of 9.45m.
The end of season for the local track clubs came with the revived Whitsuntide Games on the first weekend of June. The club came out in force and had a very good showing against the local and regional clubs who took part in the meet.
Adriel Mc Millan, the Intercol and Ariza Champ in Junior/Under 18 category in the Triple Jump, was able to improve his personal best distance 14.37m. He also placed third in the Long Jump. Shamol Mitchell was able to capture the National Record in the U14 400m with a time of 55.61. He then went on to win the final in 56 seconds flat. The High Jump yielded first and third place finishes from Keston Quashie and Kenny Horsford respectfully. Gemmol Noel placed second in the boys (U14) 200m sprint with a personal best time of 24.35. In the Discus Throw Renee John placed third while club members Trent Simon and Kalvin La Crette took first and second place honors in the U18 Shot Put Throw. The 800m U16 yielded a first place finish for Romeo Bastaldo.
The club looks forward to an even more productive 2018 and is trying among other things to raise funds for the outfitting of its members.