Samantha Shukla heading for gold
Winner of the women's 8km Samantha Shukla (Richard Jones Racing) heading for victory 

Start of men's 10Km
Athletes await the start of the men's 10Km 

Hagley leads men's 10km
Matthew Hagley (TTDF), right, on his way to victory in the men's 10Km. He is ahead of Colin Pereira (Mayaro Athletics) who was third.

Photos courtesy-SPORTSCORE TOBAGO 
Taken  at the 2016 NAAA Cross Country Championships at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Sunday, December 4.

(Thu Dec 8): Matthew Hagley (TT Defence Force) retained the men's title at the 2016 NAAA Cross Country Championships at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Sunday, December 4. In the men's 10Km (held for the first time. In previous editions, the distance was 8Km), Hagley ran a strong second half to take the gold medal in 36 minutes, 32 seconds (36:32) ahead of Shirvan Baboolal (Richard Jones Racing). 36:37 and Collin Pereira (Mayaro), 37:03. The South East Port of Spain Secondary past student opted to start slowly as veteran Errol Williams took the early lead in the five lap event and was ahead at the first lap. Baboolal was in second ahead of another veteran Jules La Rode (Penal) and Elvis Turner (Tobago Falcons). Hagley was in fifth.  The soldier made his bid for gold in the third lap and entered the final stretch in front of Queen's Royal College with a five metre lead over Baboolal, Hagley,  a civil engineering student at the University of Trinidad and Tobago,  took the top spot to claim his third National Cross Country title. La Rode (37:08) was fourth with Williams (37:18), Turner (38:10) following behind. Jameel Cupidmore (UTT) was seventh (38:50) ahead of Christopher Mitchell (TTDF), 38:58, George Smith (TTDF), 30:12 and Derrick Perouza (Richard Jones Racing) 39:43 rounding off the top ten. Former top distance runner Cantius Thomas (One A Week) was 18th. The 50 year old clocked 41:54.

Hagley was elated with his victory. "Today('s performance) was pretty good.The guys were competitive. I am contented with my performance. tI had some rough times this week because I had exams and I had to taper down my training because of the last nights I had to put in (studying)." He explained that his plan take the head in the third lap. "My intention was to sit back and watch the race unfold. My plan was to go ahead at lap three and take it from there." The 30 year old is looking forward to the new year. " This year was up and down due to school. I did not get to do the type of  training I wanted to do but next year God's willing I am coming out with a bang."

Samantha Shukla (Richard Jones Racing) secured the women's 8km crown in 34:56 with April Francis (Abilene Wildcats), 39:33 and Michaelene Williams (UTT), 47:59 winning the minor medals. Shukla took an early lead in the first lap and extended her advantage in the four lap race. Veteran Wendy Shallow (Trinidad and Tobago Road Runners), 38:26 was fourth ahead of Roxanne Mc Kenna (TTRR), 49:54, Shirnell Ettiene (UTT), 51:05, Kechelle Douglas (UTT), 52.04, Sheena Maraj (TTRR) 52:54, Riguell Richards (FAST), 56.54 and Judy Alexander (TTRR), 58:03.  Shukla overcame a bothersome calf muscle to secure the win. The South East Port of Spain Secondary/St. Joseph Convent, Port of Spain graduate was thankful for her triumph. ""I have been working with a not-so-well left calf since last week and it (affected) me in the second lap. I had to talk to myself and tell myself  don't stop as I and to keep going and still run a competitive race." Shukla was happy with her effort. "I was pleased with my performance because it is the first time I have competitively raced an 8Km. I was proud of how I was able to handle the race and I am thankful for the result given that I am not a 100m percent (fit)." The Laventille born and bred runner is looking run quicker times in the new year. "(In 2017) my goals are to improve all my times, and make the Trinidad and Tobago NACAC Cross-Country team and what ever track teams I can make." The 2007 Carifta girls under 17 1500m bronze medallist attended Wichita State University in Kansas, USA on a track and field scholarship where she graduate with a bachelor's degree in Psychology. "Track and field has played a crucial and vital role in my life. It has kept me sane, joyful and put me on the positive track."

RESULTS
Open
Women (Four Laps-8km):

1st Samantha Shukla (Richard JR) 34:56,

2nd April Francis (Abilene Wildcats) 39:33,

3rd Michaelene Williams (UTT) 47:59,

4th Wendy Shallow (TTRR) 38:26,

5th Roxanne Mc Kenna (TTRR) 49:54,

6th Shirnell Ettiene (UTT) 51:05,

7th Kechelle Douglas (UTT) 52:04,

8th Sheena Maraj (TTRR) 52:54,

9th Riguell Richards (FAST) 56:54,

10th Judy Alexander (TTRR) 58:03,

11th Pearl Hamilton (Palo Seco) 1:18:25, 

12th Suzanne Bobb-O'Brien (Air Bon Sonics) 1:18.38

20-29: 1st Shirnell Ettienne (UTT), 2nd Kechelle Douglas (UTT), 3rd Riguell Richards (FAST)
30-39: 1st Roxanne McKenna (TTRR), 2nd Sheena Maraj (TTRR), 3rd Pearl Hamilton (Palo Seco)
40-49: 1st Wendy Shallow (TTRR), 2nd Judy Alexander (TTRR), 3rd Suzanne Bobb-O'Brien (Air Bon Sonics)
Team: 1st Trinidad and Tobago Road Runners (TTRR), 2nd University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT)

Men (Five Laps-10km):

1st Matthew Hagley (TTDF) 36:32,

2nd Shirvan Baboolal (Richard JR) 36:37,

3rd Collin Pereira (Mayaro) 37:03,

4th Jules La Rode (Penal Athletics) 37:08,

5th Errol Williams (ZC Athletics) 37:18,

6th Elvis Turner (Tobago Falcons) 38:10,

7th Jameel Cupidore (UTT) 38:50, 

8th Christopher Mitchell (TTDF) 38:58,

9th George Smith (TTDF) 39:12,

10th Derrick Perouza (Richard JR) 39:43,

11th Ted John (TTRRC) 40:08,

12th Kyle Stanley (UTT) 40:23,

13th Nigel Simon (TTRR) 40:40,

14th Guswil George (TTRR) 40:58,

15th Nicholas Noel (Silver Bullets) 40:59,

16th Collin Brumant (Striders) 41:32,

17th Kafil Edwards (Toco Titans) 41:35,

18th Cantius Thomas (One A Week) 41:54,

19th Tyler Dennie (UTT) 44:16,

20th Michael Polldore (FAST) 44:25,

21st Karel Douglas (TTRR) 46:47,

22nd Kieve Gibson (Bankers Athletics) 48:35,

23rd Kurt Lovell (Genesis) 49:33,

24th Aaron Julien (UTT) 54:20,

25th Clynton Mann (South Cross) 56:05,

26th LIncoln London (UTT) 56:06,

27th Renaldo Gomez (Bankers Athletics) 56:57,

28th Winston Stewart (Memphis Pioneers) 56:58,

29th Dev Singh (TTRR) 1:03.01

Top three Women's 8Km
Top three in the women's 8Km. Winner Samantha Shukla of Richard Jones Racing (centre), second place April Francis of Abilene Wildcats (left) and Michaelene Williams of UTT (right). 

Hagley retains National Men's Cross Country crown….. Shukla takes ladies' race

by Clayton Clarke (sportscoretobago@gmail.com)​​; 01.12.16

TTSSTFA only

Trinidad & Tobago Secondary Schools'

Track & Field Association

Baboolal and Williams in men's 10km. 
Errol Williams of ZC Athletics (right) leads the men's 10km  ahead of Shirvan Baboolal of Richard Jones Racing (left). Baboolal finished second and Williams was fifth.