BOCA RATON, Florida, USA: (Sat, 4, March) Tonya Nero was T&T's top finisher at the 13th North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Cross-Country Championships at the South County Regional Park, Boca Raton, Florida on Saturday, 4, March. Nero crossed the line in 12th in the women's 8km in a time of 29 minutes 10.20 seconds (29:10.20). Reigning national champion Samantha Shukla was 18th (31.33.57). Canadian Sasha Gollish won the gold in 26:48.89, improving on her second place finish in 2016. The American pair of Amy Van Alstine (26:59.30) and Megan Rolland (27:03.07) finished in second and third. Canada won the team title ahead of USA and Puerto Rico. Nero was hoping to win the country's second individual medal at the championships after her historic first, silver in the women's 6Km, at the 2012 edition at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain.
Shirvan Baboolal was highest placed local in the men's 8km race crossing the line in 18th (26:11.85) ahead of Colin Pereira, who was 20th (26:19.73). Two time reining national winner Mathew Hagley was behind in 22nd (26:51.15) with Curtis Cox in 25th (28:02.61), Jules Larode, 26th (28:24.21) and Elvis Turner, 27th (29:30.48). Baboolal was 24th in maiden NACAC Cross-Country Championships in 2014 (Mt. Irvine Tobago). Trinidad and Tobago missed out on a top team finish in the team race taking fourth behind the USA, Canada and Puerto Rico. T&T men were hoping to finish on the podium for the first time after finished fourth in 2010 (Mt. Irvine, Tobago) and 2012. At the 2016 championships in Carballeda, Venezuela, Nicholas Landeau was T&T's top runner taking 17th place ahead of George Smith (28th), Cox (29th), Larode (30th), Hagley (31st) and Quincy Elliot (33rd). Veteran Larode competed at the meet for the ninth time, the most by a local athlete while Hagley made his seventh trip. Cox ran for the fifth occasion. Baboolal, Periera and Turner became two-time participants.
The Americans swept the first six places in the individual race as Abbabiya Simbassa (22:40.47) raced to the top spot ahed of Augustus Maiyo (22:46.27) and Joseph Gray (22:50.03).
Brogan Mc Dougal of Canada retained the Women's Under 20 crown (16:39.28) taking this year's 5km disciple, She finished ahead of compatriot and 2015 winner Hanna Bennison (16:44.14) and Mexico's Maria Ruiz (17:05.34). Canada copped the team crown from the USA and Mexico.
in the Men's junior 6.5km Kiernan Lumba of Canada and Mexican Arturio Tristan Reyna could not be separated and were declared joint winners in 19:19.42. Victor Ruiz of Puerto claimed bronze (19:22.16). The Americans secured the team honours ahead of Mexico, Canada and Puerto.
T&T's eight member contingent arrived in Florida on Friday afternoon and only received their team uniform on Saturday morning, mere hours before the start of the championships. The athletes are due to return to T&T on Sunday night.
Women 8km (19 entrants)
1st Sasha Gollish (Canada) 26:48.89,
2nd Amy Van Alstine (USA) 26:59.30,
3rd Megan Rolland (USA) 27:03.07,
12th Tonya Nero (Trinidad and Tobago) 29:10.20,
18th Samantha Shukla (TTO) 31:33.57
Team: 1st Canada, 2nd USA, 3rd Puerto Rico
Men's 8km (27 entrants)
1st Abbabiya Simbassa (USA) 22:40.47,
2nd Augustus Maiyo (USA) 22:46.27,
3rd Joseph Gray (USA) 22:50.03,
18th Shirvan Baboolal (TTO) 26:11.85,
20th Colin Pereira (TTO) 26:19.73,
22nd Matthew Hagley (TTO) 26:51.15,
25th Curtis Cox (TTO) 28:02.61,
26th Jules Larode (TTO) 28:24.21,
27th Elvis Turner (TTO) 29:30.48
Team: 1st USA, 2nd CAN, 3rd PUR, 4th TTO
Women U20 5km
1st Brogan McDougal (CAN) 16:39.28,
2nd Hannah Bennison (CAN) 16:44.14,
3rd Maria Ruiz Acuna (Mexico) 17:05.34
Team: 1st CAN, 2nd USA, 3rd MEX
Men U20 6.5km
1st Kiernan Lumb (CAN)/Arturio Tristan Reyna (MEX) 19:19.42,
3rd Victor Ortiz (PUR) 19:22.16
Team: 1st USA, 2nd MEX, 3rd Canada, 4th Puerto Rico
T&T NACAC men's team.
T&T's men team (from left: Jules Larode, Elvis Turner, Matthew Hagley, Shirvan Baboolal, Colin Pereira and Curtis Cox) finished in fourth at the 3th North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Cross-Country Championships at the South County Regional Park, Boca Raton, Florida on Saturday, 4, March. Baboolal was the top local in the individual race. He was 18th. (Photo courtesy:SPORTSCORE TOBAGO).
Trinidad & Tobago Secondary Schools'
Track & Field Association
Nero and Shukla
Tonya Nero (left) and Samantha Shukla (right) await the start of the women's 8km at the t3th North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Cross-Country Championships at the South County Regional Park, Boca Raton, Florida on Saturday, 4, March. Nero was 12th and Samantha finished in 18th. (Photo courtesy: T&T team).