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22
Thu, Aug

- TEAM TTO THRIVE - 

Members of Cougars Track and Field Club, who dominated the Barbados Relay Fair at the National Stadium in St Michael on Saturday.

ATHLETICS

Cougars Track and Field club made a tri­umphant re­turn to Bar­ba­dos last Sat­ur­day when it dom­i­nat­ed the Bar­ba­dos Re­lay Fair which was staged at the Na­tion­al Sta­di­um in St Michael.

The eight-time Ju­ve­nile cham­pi­on and last sea­son's Ju­nior win­ner of T&T let its Ba­jan coun­ter­parts know that Car­ni­val was in the air, as they brought the fes­tiv­i­ties all the way to their Caribbean neigh­bours, “pranc­ing and palanc­ing” over the com­pe­ti­tion. There was no stop­ping Cougars who led from the first event to the last, win­ning the ma­jor­i­ty of the boys’ and girls cat­e­gories and the Cham­pi­onship tro­phy in the process.

Cougars head coach Abe­y­ola Akowe com­ment­ed on the suc­cess of the team say­ing, “This was a great vic­to­ry. They per­formed like true cham­pi­ons. You can feel noth­ing but pride for the young ath­letes and this will on­ly spur them on to bet­ter as the sea­son pro­gress­es. We be­ing the cham­pi­on lo­cal club must car­ry the na­tion­al flag with pride and win­ning an in­ter­na­tion­al meet as we did, is worth savour­ing. I am very hap­py for the club, the ath­letes and T&T, we made every­one proud.”

On their fourth ap­pear­ance in “Bimshire”, Cougars did not dis­ap­point, im­press­ing with their ac­cu­rate ba­ton pass­es and the pa­trons loved it. The young­sters' par­ents and sup­port­ers got in­to the ac­tion from the first event, cel­e­brat­ing by singing Swap­pi’s 2019 con­tri­bu­tion, "The Par­ty Start".

The com­bi­na­tion of Shan­non Joseph, Chel­sy Charles, J’nae Bertete and Naima Julius proved too good for their ri­vals giv­ing the Cougars club its first win in the Un­der-11 Girls 1,000 me­tres sprint med­ley. How­ev­er, the U-11 Boys fin­ished sec­ond to Sty Cypri­an’s Boys School in their ver­sion of the race.

In the third event, Ris­ing Stars of Bar­ba­dos beat the U-13 Girls in their 1,000m sprint med­ley be­fore the Elite Dis­tance pro­gramme did the same to the U-13 boy's team.

The Cougars “Dream Teams”, the U-15 Boys and Girls, as they are called by coach Kelvin Nan­coo, showed why their coach had such con­fi­dence in them by win­ning as they pleased.

The com­bi­na­tion of Make­da Ed­wards, Shaki­ra Joseph, Jani­ka "Hulk" Jor­dan and Kayleigh Forde were un­beat­able while the boys' team of Tyrell Springer, Kaiyin Mor­ris, Jor­dan Noel and Ta­fari Wal­dron, al­so proved to be un­stop­pable when they ran out an im­pres­sive win­ner of the 1,600 me­tres sprint med­ley.

Cougars U-17 Girls im­pressed in tak­ing the 1,600 me­tres sprint med­ley from the Elite Dis­tance. How­ev­er, the Elite Dis­tance team gained its re­venge on Cougars when their girls' team edged the cham­pi­on in the Girls U-20 1,600m sprint med­ley.

In the 4x100m re­lays, Cougars proved too dom­i­nant with their ac­cu­rate ba­ton pass­es as well, win­ning both the U-11 boys and girls events. Comber­mere School then edged Cougars in the U-13 Girls 4x100m event but the U-13 boys put the vis­i­tors back on track. The U-15 team had the stands singing the Na­dia Bat­son hit "So Long", as the "Green Ma­chine" con­tin­ued to im­press.

The U-15 boys went un­der in a pho­to-fin­ish to Al­leyne School, be­fore the Elite Dis­tance grabbed the U-17 Girls' 4 x 100m on the line from Cougars by two-hun­dredths of a sec­ond.

The U-20 girls set the record straight with an im­pres­sive vic­to­ry be­fore the U-20 Boys fin­ished run­ner-up to the Rac­ers Track Club.

Pan­de­mo­ni­um broke out at the Na­tion­al Sta­di­um when Cougar both U-11 team won the 4x200m events. The U-13 girls then fin­ished fourth be­hind Comber­mere School be­fore the boys stood up and slammed the Elite Dis­tance in their event.

Cougars’ con­tin­ued dom­i­nat­ing the event with wins in the U-15 events. Both events were won by more than three sec­onds.

Cougars main ri­val, the Elite Dis­tance, stopped the U-17 Girls in their track in the 4x400m event be­fore the U-17 boys were dis­qual­i­fied in their event.

Nan­coo said that the team had been train­ing for the past four months for the Re­lay Fair and have all in­ten­tions of re­turn­ing next year to de­fend its ti­tle.

“We had a won­der­ful prepa­ra­tion that end­ed with a two-day camp at the Hase­ly Craw­ford Sta­di­um and af­ter the train­ing there, I thought we were ready to do our­selves jus­tice,” said Nan­coo.

“I must com­mend the coach­es Abe­y­ola Akowe, Rawle Phillips and Ash­ton Gill for a tremen­dous job. Spe­cial com­men­da­tions are in or­der for Caliyah Wal­lace and Shani­qua Bas­combe and Nigel Forde along with Sta­cy An­drews for en­sur­ing that all was well with the en­tries and mak­ing sure that all our ath­letes were fo­cussed.

“This was re­al­ly a team ef­fort but some ath­letes de­serve spe­cial com­men­da­tion like, Savion Adams, J’nae Bertete, Natasha Fox, Karis­sa Kir­ton, Kayleigh Forde, Jani­ka Jor­dan, Leah Bertrand, An­drew Bra­vo and Jy’ll Roberts were sim­ply su­perb.

"I must thank the Na­tion­al Lot­ter­ies Con­trol Board and First Cit­i­zens Bank and my broth­er Ke­ston for their as­sis­tance to our club and en­sur­ing our suc­cess."

Cougars scored 113 points to win the girls' team ti­tle with Elite Dis­tance sec­ond on 80 points. In the boys' team com­pe­ti­tion, Cougars again ran away reg­is­ter­ing 103 points to near­est ri­val Ris­ing Stars 59.

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