Cross Country Nationals to wrap up distance running season
The Colony Club National High School Cross Country Championships is set to wrap up the distance running season here at home.
The event, which will be contested in 10 divisions, will be held Saturday December 10, starting at 1:00 p.m. According to event organizer Stephen Murray, up to about 600 athletes are expected to take part.
“This event has produced a number of top distance runners in the country,” he said yesterday. “One of our top distance runners right now, Hughnique Rolle, is off to college on a cross country scholarship and she was a participant in the Cross Country Nationals. Another one of the country’s top long distance runners, O’Neil Williams, is in Kenya training for eight months. His goal is to win a regional championship and he was one of those athletes who took part in the Cross Country Nationals,” he added.
Murray said that this year, they are expecting good things from athletes such as Christina Knowles from Central Eleuthera, Zara Powell from SAC (St. Augustine’s College), Jonique Davis from C.C. Sweeting, Nivolette Martin from C.R. Walker, Lesha Darville and Holly Rolle from SAC in the girls, and Andre Colebrooke from Central Eleuthera, as well as Darren Young, Ashley Riley and Leonardo Forbes in the various boys divisions. In the open divisions, David Ferguson and Ashanti Eneas are attempting to make their return to the sport.
The under-13 girls and boys will cover a distance of two kilometers (k), the under-15 girls and boys will run a 3k race, the under-17 girls and under-20 girls will cover four kilometers, the under-17 boys, under-20 boys and the open female race will run for six kilometers, and the open mens race will cover eight kilometers.
Murray said that the open divisions will be thin, particularly the open female, but added that the junior divisions should be extremely competitive. He thanked the sponsor of the event, Harrison Petty, proprietor of the Colony Club Resort, for his support over the years.
“We’ve been sponsoring this event for the past 22 years,” said Petty. “Cross country is a discipline and we are really asking coaches to get their athletes prepared and involved. It is alive and well in this country and it is something that we really need to pay strict attention to, because there are a lot of opportunities out there for distance runners,” he added.
The event will serve as a qualifier for the North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) Cross Country Championships which will be held March 17, 2012, in Trinidad & Tobago.