Joana Rogers of St. Francis Girls College (right), receiving her prize after her victory in 2016 from John Thatcher of the Curriculum Division of the Ministry of Education. Rogers will be going for a hattrick of wins on Sunday. (Photo courtesy: Clayton Clarke/Sportscore Tobago)
Matthew Pulchan (Point Fortin West Secondary) on his way to victory in the Boys Under 17 race last year. Pulchan will be aiming to take the 17 plus race this year and record his third win overall.
(Photo courtesy: Dennis Taye Allen/TT Game Plan)
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad: (Thu, Oct,18): The 2018/2019 Secondary Schools Track and Field Season will get underway with the National Cross Country Championships and Health Fair set for the Queen's Park Savannah (Opposite TG Friday) on Sunday, October 28 from 3:00 pm.
Athletes from public and private schools in the eight educational districts across the country are expected to via for top honours. The Under 13 and Under 15 runners will battle over 4km while the Under 17 and the 17 plus competitors will match strides over 6km.
Shania Le Maitre (Holy Name Convent) will be aiming to retain the Girls 17 plus crown after her victory in 30 minutes 22 seconds (30:22) in Penal last years. Last year's Girls Under 17 winner Joanna Rogers (St. Francois Girls) will be stepping up to the 17 plus division and will looking to dethrone Le Maitre. Rogers, a two time Carifta G U18 4x400m medallist, is seeking a third win after her victory in the Under 16 race in 2016.
Matthew Pulcan (Pt. Fortin West Secondary) will also be seeking a hat-trick of wins. The 2016 Under 16/2017 Under 17 victor has moved up the 17 plus field and will have his sights set to taking over the reigns from last year's gold medallist Otis Barker(Toco Secondary) who has graduated. Pulchan will be up against 2016 under 14 winner Ethan Forde (Fatima) who has been in the top three in last three years.
Another two time champion Joel Ladoo (Toco Secondary) will be out to add the Under 17 trophy to his wins in the 2016 Under 16 and 2015 Under 15 races. Ladoo will face a stiff battle with school-mate Jamal Gotia who was second behind Pulcan in the past two editions.
The girls Under 17 race could be the most competitive event on the day's schedule with the top three in last year's Under 15 race-winner Octavia Cambridge (Bishops Anstey) and second and third place Casandra Joseph and Xea Bruce both of Toco Secondary and National Primary Schools and Junior double distance champion Christiemarie Maharaj (Bon Air High).
Tobago athletes will make their re-entry in competition after an absence in recent years and want to make an impression on their rivals.
Toco Secondary will be looking to sweep the schools titles once again after claiming the overall school and male and female schools honours in two years. The students of the alma mater of 2012 Olympic men's javelin champion Keshorn Walcott are usually out in large numbers.
Registration on the day begins at 1:00pm with the first race set to begin at 3:00pm.
Among the sponsors of this year's races are Blue Waters, SM Jaleel, Bermudez and Kiss. The main partner is the Ministry of Education.
Trinidad & Tobago Secondary Schools'
Track & Field Association