There is a new national primary schools champion in track and field, and they hail from the Family Islands.
North/Central Andros dethroned Temple Christian Primary at the 2019 Frank “Pancho” Rahming National Primary Schools Track and Field Championships at the original Thomas A. Robinson Track and Field Stadium that wrapped up on Friday.
North/Central Andros accumulated 246.50 points to run away with the title. Temple Christian, last year’s champion, finished second with 181.50 points. In third place was Central Abaco with 155 points, just one point ahead of fourth place finisher Cleveland Eneas Primary.
North/Central Andros Coach Stephen Russell said the kids put in the work to win the meet.
“It feels great and I am happy for the kids. They put their efforts toward this and making this happen. The parents’ support, and the support that we received from the community was wonderful,” said Russell.
North/Central Andros’ Alvin Marshall ran the Category A boys 400 meters (m) in under a minute. He clocked a blazing 59.09 seconds. Central Abaco’s Mackenley Bonamy ran a time of 1:01.49 to win the silver medal. Taking the bronze medal was Sandilands Primary School’s Dinari Coleby in 1:01.93.
On the girls’ side, Tabernacle Baptist Academy’s Alexis Smith finished the 400m race in 1:05.40 to win the gold medal. Eva Hilton Primary took the silver and bronze medals. Kristr Ford ran 1:07.22 for the silver medal, and her teammate Shania Major won the bronze medal in 1:07.61.
In the Category A boys 100m, Eva Hilton’s Quinton Rolle crossed the finish line in 12.46 seconds to win the gold medal. North/Central Andros’ Wilshawn Evans was second in 12.77 seconds, and Torron Green from T.G. Glover Primary School settled for the bronze medal in a time of 12.93 seconds.
Cleveland Eneas’ Ciara Ching showed her speed on the girls’ side when she won the gold medal in a quick 12.63 seconds. Central Abaco’s Rontiqua Curry was second with in 12.85 seconds, and third place went to Hugh Campbell Primary’s Wendejah Seymour in 13.06 seconds.
Patricia Rolle, another coach of North/Central Andros, said: “They will be more willing to practice and work harder. They feel that they came here, competed with schools in Nassau and all over The Bahamas, and came out victorious. I know now that they are going to be ready for us to move forward, practice and work harder to come here again next year and do the same thing.”
North/Central Andros won Category A scoring 76.50 points. Central Abaco finished second with 50 points. Eva Hilton scored 39 points to finish third in that category.
In Category B, Temple Christian scored 64 points to come out on top. In second place with 51 points was Freeport Primary School. Cleveland Eneas scored 28 points to finish third.
Temple Christian also won Category C with 51 points, Uriah McPhee scored 40.50 points for second and third place went to North/Central Andros with 37 points.
North/Central Andros finished atop Category D with 53 points. They finished ahead of second place Central Abaco who scored 30 points. It was a tie between Freeport Gospel Chapel and Cleveland Eneas for third, as they each scored 27.50 points.
In the final category, Category E, it was a tie between North/Central Andros and Central Abaco for first place. They both scored 58 points. Behind them was Hugh Campbell Primary with 52 points.
On hand at the meet was Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle. She spent the afternoon at the stadium watching the races, and said meets like these are important to bring the people together.
“The important thing is to recognize that we are all one – from Bimini in the north to Inagua in the south. We are a chain of islands so it’s very important for us to continually have programs that bring us together as a people. We cannot leave out the children, they are the future. It is very important for us to recognize the role they have played, the work they have done throughout the year in sports in particular – that instils discipline. It is very encouraging. It does not only bring together the children but also parents, coaches and organizations. There are so many things that we learn through and from the children,” Rolle said.
There were some health concerns that parents had concerning the meet as there were unconfirmed reports of a chicken pox outbreak. Rolle said that things were running smoothly on Friday, and expressed certainty that the Ministry of Health will give a report on the health concerns. She said that she does not want to go into detail on that issue until the Ministry of Health releases a statement.
In the meantime, North/Central Andros emerged as the first Family Island champion of the Frank “Pancho” Rahming National Primary Schools Track and Field Championships.