Toco Secondary- top school at Schools 5k yet again

by Clayton Clarke (​​; 7.11.2017

PENAL, Trinidad (Tue, Nov 7): Toco Secondary emerged as the top school for yet another year at the 2017 Blue Waters sponsored TTSSTFA Secondary Schools 5K Classic staged at the Shiva Boys Hindu College, Clarke Road, Penal on Sunday, November 5.  The yellow and purple clad runners captured both individual crowns. Cassandra Joseph landed the girls' title for the first time to ensure a fourth straight win by a Toco Secondary student following Donicia Antoine's hat trick of victories from 2014 to 2016. Otis Barker secured his second consecutive boys' top prize.  The alma-mater of 2012 Olympic men's javelin champion Keshorn Walcott fielded the largest team of the thirteen schools which participated.

In the girls race, eight Toco lasses finished in the top ten. Behind Joseph were Kelly-Ann Phillip who was third. Xea Bruce claimed fourth with Jada James (6th), Fayanne Johnson (7th), Kereice Roberts (8th), Mikayla Ottley (9th) and Cheziah Phillip (10th) scoring crucial points for the champions. Second place Shania Le Maitre of Holy Name Convent-POS and fifth placer Aleisha King of Iere High prevented a Toco sweep. Among the boys, five of top ten finishers were from Toco. Jamal Goita (5th), Daveon Callender (6th), Joel Laloo (7th) and Michael Stanley (8th) joined Barker in the top ten. Matthew Pulchan (4th) and Isaiah Mayes (9th) ensured top ten placings for Point Fortin West Secondary. Akeem Marine was Pleasantville Secondary's best with his runner-up place while Justin Hersley led the way for Sangre Grande Sec with third. Xavion Yorke was the top performer for host Shiva Boys Hindu taking tenth spot.

Toco Secondary topped five of eight age categories and swept the top three spots in the girls and boys under 15 divisions. Joseph, Kelly-Ann and Bruce took 1-2-3 places in the girls under 15 division while Callender, Laloo and Kenaan Murray matched the feat in the boys under 15 class.  Jarrell Blaise and Amante Joseph were first and second among the boys under 13 competitors ahead of Bradley Pooran of Iere High. Barker took care of the boys 17 and over category ahead of Marine and Hersley. Jada James landed the girls under 17 honours for Toco ahead  Ricelle Dasent of Malabar Secondary and Alicia Barrow of Holy Name Convent, Pt. Fortin. Aleisha King sped away with the girls under 13 trophy to deny Toco's Kereice Roberts and Kia Gibbs. Similarly Pulchan took home the boys under 17 prize, getting to the line in front of Goita and Stanley. Le Maitre was the best among the Girls 17 and over entrants beating out Ottley and Cheziah. 

Joseph credits the success of her Toco colleagues to hard work and healthy eating. "We (in Toco) train hard and eat cassava and dasheen, healthy stuff." Meanwhile Barker is pleased with his team's showing. "The performance of the Toco team over the years have been excellent. Toco will continue to produce good runners".

Teacher at Toco Secondary Keisha Alexis says the historic gold medal performance by Toco Secondary graduate Keshorn Walcott at the 2012 Olympic Games has inspired the athletes. "Keshorn's (Walcott) success has really helped our students to realise that regardless from where you are from you can succeed. So Keshorn's win helped our students to see the value and importance of competing in track and field." Alexis adds that school's positive mindset is also key to their achievements. "Looking ahead to the year, we will continue our trend and as we say in Toco 'Aint no body better than Toco.' We believe we are the best and that is the attitude we go with.  There is nobody better so we will continue to dominate."

Principal of Toco Secondary Verona Davis-Modeste collected the team trophy from First-Vice president of the TTSSTFA Barrington Richardson. 

The 5Km Classic was the second major event on the calendar of the Trinidad and Tobago Secondary Schools Track and Field Association (TTSSTFA). The first event was the Cross-Country Run on Sunday October 15.  The next item is the Relay Festival is scheduled for the Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar on February 1, 2018 with the Track and Field Championships set for the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on February 22 & 23, 2018.

The vision of the Trinidad and Tobago Secondary Schools Track and Field Association (TTSSTFA) is to become the leader in track and field development in Trinidad and Tobago through the formulation of strategic relationships, effective promotion of track and field initiatives and professionally-executed track and field events. Dr. Phillip Allard, principal of Pleasantville Secondary, is the current president of the association. Barrington Richardson (Palo Seco Secondary) and Janelle Edwards (Speyside High) are First and Second Vice Presidents respectively. Andy Joseph (Moruga Secondary) is serving as Secretary with Candice Barrow (Mason Hall Secondary) as Assistant Secretary. Ryan Perriera (Sangre Grande Secondary) is the current Treasurer and Indra Ramsingh-Geoffrey (San Fernando West Secondary) Public Relations Officer. Joseph Brewster (Toco Secondary), Bernanadine Hazard-Charles (Marabella South Secondary) and Jillian Huggins (Pleasantville Secondary) are the Trustees. Competing schools are divided into eight zones with each zone run by a coordinator: Port Spain (Hayes Jones), St. George East (Phillip Kalloo), North East (Verona Davis-Modeste), Tobago (Dale Peters), Caroni (George Dottin), Victoria (Aravind Ramgoolam), St. Patrick (Dexter Saklal) and South East (Robert Warner).

For Age Group winners visit:

Shiva Boys, Speyside and Iere High
Students of host school, Shiva Boys Hindu College (above), Speyside High (bottom left) and Iere High (bottom right) 

S Grande & Pt. Fortin West
Competitors from Sangre Grande Secondary (above) and Point Fortin West Secondary (below)  

Pres S-Do & Holy Name Pt Fortin
Students from Presentation College-San Fernando (top) and Holy Name Convent-Point Fortin 

Toco Sec collects trophy
Principal of Toco Secondary Verona Davis-Modeste (right) collects the champion school trophy from First Vice-president of the TTSSTFA Barrington Richardson (left)

Photos taken by Dennis Taye Allen at the Blue Waters/TTSSTFA Secondary Schools 5K Classic in Penal on Sunday, November 5.

Malabar & Pville
Students of Malabar Secondary (above) and Pleasantville Secondary (below) 

Toco Secondary
Students of Toco Secondary celebrate after capturing the overall title at the Blue Waters/TTSSTFA Secondary Schools 5K Classic in Penal on Sunday, November 5. (Photo by Dennis Taye Allen).

Trinidad & Tobago Secondary Schools'

Track & Field Association