Ben Israel Bannister was the top Tobago performer at the National Primary Schools 3K road race held recently in Mayaro in Trinidad. The fifth standard Mason Hall Government Primary School student placed 3rd overall among the 138 male athletes who started the race and also topped the under 13 boys category.
Bannister, who is the national under 12 boys 800 meters record holder, completed the course in 13 minutes and 1.2 seconds. The eventual winner was Kevin Robinson of Cumana AC Primary School in 12 minutes and 24 seconds
Commenting after the race, Bannister said the pace was very fast and he got boxed in at the start of the race by other athletes which made it difficult to catch the front runners. Bannister also thanked his parents, along with the teachers and students of his school for their support and encouragement.
Bannister, who placed 3rd at the Tobago Primary Schools 3K in February, credited his improved performance to his coach Dexter Edwards of the Mason Hall Police Youth Club.
Winner of the Tobago Primary Schools 3K, De Mario Forde of Bon Accord Government Primary School, placed 9th in a time of 13 minutes, 35. 7 seconds. Rounding off the top five Tobago male entrants were Onikell Kent and Jai Duncan, both of Signal Hill Government Primary School, whose positions were 18th and 20th respectively, and Hakeem Kerr of Bon Accord Government Primary School who ended in 22nd position
Among the girls, multi-talented J’eleisha Alexander of Scarborough RC Primary School was the top Tobago athlete, clocking 15 minutes 27.1 seconds to occupy 7th position and 4th place in the under 13 female category. It was Alexander’s second trip to Trinidad as the Tobago Primary Schools female 3K winner
Notable performances also came from Kaleah Duke of Scarborough RC who finished in 10th place, Kevah Scott of St Andrews AC placed 13th, Niomi Waldrop also of Scarborough RC ended in 14th position and Kiori Robley 16th place finish completed the top five female positions for the Tobago zone.
Kaleigh Forde of Dunross Prep Primary School was the female champion in 13 minutes 48.7 seconds, among the 89 female participants.