TOCO, Trinidad: (Tues, April 17) Defending champions Toco Secondary will be aiming to retain the overall title at the 2018 edition of the TTSSTFA Secondary Schools Track and Field Championships set for the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on April 19 & 20. Members of the Toco Secondary Track and Field team were going through their training in the early morning of Monday, April, 16 (the first day of the school term) on the school's grounds when TTSSSTFA visited the school. Present were reigning gold medallists Tyrel Edwards (boys over 18 100m/200m) and Cheziah Phillip (G U18 100m hurdles). With the age-group adjusted Edwards will be aiming to continue his winning way in the boys under 20 division and Phillip in the girls under 20. Edwards will be favoured to repeat as double sprint champion following his sixth place in the Carifta Games boys under 20 100m finals in the Bahamas over the Easter weekend. He then anchored T&T's Boys under 20 4x100m team to silver in the Bahamas and has a Carifta medal tally of three medals (silver-B U18 200m-2016 and silver-B U20 4x100m-2017). Edwards also copped bronze with the national under 20 team at the 2017 Pan American Junior Championships In Peru. Phillip is also a Carifta medallist, copping bronze in the G U18 400m hurdles at the 2015 Carifta Games in St. Kitts/Nevis. She is expected to contest the 100m and 400m hurdles this year. Toco Secondary is usually strong on the track and field with last year's joint victrix ludorium Xea Bruce in the line up. Bruce secured the girls under 14 400m and long jump titles and then stepped up to the under 18 division and won the 800m. Jusonya Fifi and Cassandra Joseph are leading the charge as well. Fifi captured the girls under 16 shot put gold and was second in the discus in 2017 while Joseph finished behind Bruce in the 800m. Dimitri Richards (high) is among the boys who won gold for Toco last year. Former Victrix Ludorium and multiple Carifta medallist Akidah Briggs will not be in Toco's line up this year due to injury. Toco Secondary dominated the girls division last year amassing 320 points more than 200 clear of second place Bishops High (112.50).
Runners-up to Toco in the overall category, Bishops High, will rely on this Carifta Girls open Pentathlon silver medallist Safiya John who will do battle in the girls under 20 long jump, high jump and 100m hurdles. Che Saunders, Carifta Boys under 17 high jump fifth placer, will be at the helm of the Bishops High in the quest to regain the top Boys School honours. Saunders won the 100m hurdles in 2017. Last year's gold medallists John-Mark Walters, Shaquille Benjamin and Trishelle James will be aiming to continue their winning ways in 2018.
Sangre Grande Sec was the surprised school of 2017 finishing third overall thanks to the efforts of joint victrix ludorium Camille Lewis who won the girls under 18 800, 1500m and high jump titles. Elton James (B U20 long jump), Anderson Subero (B U20 110m hurdles) were the other winners for Sangre Grande.
Signal Hill Secondary will be led by four-time Carifta gold medallist Tyriq Horsford who won the Carifta boys under 20 javelin in the Bahamas. Horsford will be joined by fellow Carifta gold medallist Talena Murray who took the Carifta G U20 javelin crown with school-mate Kymoi Noray copping the bronze. Carifta representative Clarence Hannibal (shot put) as well as Jelese Alexander (high jump) also struck for Signal Hill. In 2017 Cedros Secondary captured four titles courtesy Antonia Sealy (long jump and javelin), Keloa Bhola (long jump) and the girls 4x100m relay.
Carifta medallists Shaniqua Bascombe, Caiyah Wallace and Joanna Rogers will spearhead St. Francois Girls' team. Bascombe sped to Carifta silver in girls under 17 200m and bronze in the girls under 17 4x400m at this year's Carifta Games while Wallace and Rogers won bronze with T&T's Carifta G U18 4x400m team in 2017. Wallace won last year's G U16 100m and 200m while Bascombe will be hoping to rebound from her disqualification in the 100m due to a false start. Rogers will be among the favourites for the girls under 20 400m and 800m titles.
Fatima College finished in the top ten thanks to gold medals by Gyasi Boisson, Isaiah Gemon and the boys 4x100m and 4x400m teams. Two time Carifta Girls U17/U18 4x400m bronze medallist Patrice Richards was the star for Holy Faith Convent Couva will all three of her schools titles (100m hurdles, 400m hurdles and 400m).
Point Fortin West Secondary will look to Mathew Pulchan (1500m), Jacyel Bailey (100m) and the girls 4x100m who won gold in 2017. Tehealia Kennedy landed the shot put and discus titles for Scarborough Secondary and will be looking for similar success this year.
Ayelle Joseph of Presentation College-San Fernando is another athlete expected to shine after he won the boys under 16 100m and 200m crowns last year. Joshua Box (Bon Air High) copped the boys under 14 200m and was second in the 100m. Nathaniel Mathura of El Dorado East Secondary was the top under 16 boys last year after he won the javelin and discus while 2017 Carifta gold medallist Zidane Martin (Chaguanas North Secondary) will be aiming to retain the Boys over 17 400m title. Martin helped T&T to gold in the Carifta boys under 20 4x400m and was part of T&T's Pan American Junior men's 4x400m bronze medal winning quartet. Two-Carifta representative Tyrese Rawlins (Chaguanas South Secondary) will be among those to watch in the boys under 20 110m hurdles. Diane Hamilton will wear the wear the colour of Moruga Secondary and will be aiming to improve on her silver in the girls under 18 400m and 800m.
This year the athletes will compete in Under 13, Under 15, Under 15 and Over 17 age-group.
The Championships is the breeding ground for the future Olympians of this country. Recently-crowned Commonwealth Games champions Michelle-Lee Ahye (women's 100m) and Jereem Richards (men's 200m) competed at the championships, Ahye for Tranquility Government Secondary and Richards for AJSA Boys College. Olympic javelin gold medallist Keshorn Walcott represented Toco Secondary while former World Junior and Senior 400m hurdles champion Jehue Gordon ran for Belmont Boys Secondary and Queen's Royal College. Reigning World Championships 4x400m champions Richards (ASJA Boys College), Machel Cedenio (Presentation College-San Fernando) and Renny Quow (Scarborough Secondary) also launched their athletic careers at this meet.
From Anna-Lee Walcott, Alicia Tyson, Fana Ashby, Scot Noreiga in the 1990's to Darryl Brown, Marc Burns, Alicia Cave and Kern Harrypersad in the early 2000's along with Garvin Nero, Keston Bledman Janeil Bellille and Semoy Hackett in the late 2000's all graced the the championships. Nearly all have won numerous medals at the various regional and International championships.
This year's Championships are sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Blue Waters and Sunshine Championships.
Action on the first day of competition begins at 10 o'clock in the morning and at 11 o'clock on day two. The cost of entry is TT$20.00 (adults), $10.00 (students in uniform).
2017 TTSSTFA Secondary Schools Track and Field Championships
Victor Ludorium-Troy Richards (Toco Sec)
1st Toco Sec (504.5),
2nd Bishops High (330.50),
3rd Sangre Sec (144.5),
4th Scarborough Sec (125),
5th Signal Hill Sec (115),
6th St. Francois Girls (89),
7th Fatima College (87),
8th Cedros Sec 83,
9th Holy Cross (82.50),
10th Mason Hall Sec (81.5)
1st Bishops High (198),
2nd Toco Sec 184.5,
3rd Sangre Grande Sec 98.5,
4th Fatima College 87,
5th Mason Hall Sec 72.50,
6th Holy Cross College 66.50,
7th Belmont Boys Sec 61.50,
8th Carapichima East (59),
9th El Dorado East Sec (53),
10th Signal Hill Sec (47)
1st Toco Sec (320),
2nd Bishops High 112.50,
3rd Scar Sec (94),
4th St. Francois Girls 89,
5th Cedros Sec 87,
6th Signal Hill Sec 68,
7th Roxborough Sec 63,
8th Bishop Anstey East/Bishops Anstey 61,
10th Arima Central SEc 54
|U14||Atiya Croal (ASJA-Tunapuna);||Keavon Mc Kenna (Mason Hall Sec)|
|U16||Tehealia Kennedy (Scar Sec)||Nathaniel Mathura (El Dorado East Sec)|
|U 18||Camille Lewis (Sangre Grande Sec)||Randolph Issac (Tunapuna Sec)/Joel Andrews (Holy Cross)/Timothy Frederick (Vessigny Sec)|
|3||Sangre Grande Sec ||5||5||1||11|
|4||Signal Hill Sec||5||1||1||7|
|6||St. Francois Girls||4||2||0||6|
|8||Holy Faith Couva||3||0||2||6|
|9||Pt. Fortin West Sec||3||1||1||5|
Trinidad & Tobago Secondary Schools'
Track & Field Association