KINNESHA GEORGE-HARRY and JELANI BECKLES
TOCO Secondary retained the overall title in the 2020 National Secondary Schools Track and Field Championships when the event concluded at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, on Thursday.
Following two days of action, Toco amassed 391 points, two more than Bishop's High School with Scarborough Secondary in the third spot on 331 points and Signal Hill Secondary in fourth with 230.
The Mt Marie, Scarborough-based Bishop's High School were ahead on the points standings before the 4x400-metre relays, but they did not field teams in several of the age groups' mile relays.
Toco’s Xea Bruce was the top female athlete, winning three gold medals in the girls Under-17 division. Devon St Hillaire of Scarborough Secondary was the top male performer with two gold medals and one silver in the Under-13 division.
Despite missing out on the overall title, Bishop's High School captured the most medals with 32 – 16 gold, 11 silver and five bronze. Scarborough Secondary garnered 31 medals (12 gold, 12 silver and seven bronze) with Toco in third with 29 medals. Signal Hill walked away with 20, while Roxborough Secondary earned ten.
Signal Hill Secondary's athlete, Elijah Irvine, stood as one of the top performers on the track. Irvine, who copping gold in the boys Over-17 100 metres dash on Wednesday's first day, returned on day two to claim gold in the 200m final. He finished the race with a personal best time of 22.15 seconds, bettering his preliminary run of 22.25.
Second was Queen Royal College’s Jordan Pope, running 22.28 and third Vessigny Secondary’s Malakai Haywood in 22.34.
Irvine told Newsday: “I feel good. It was a real good race. My strategy was to come out of the blocks as fast as possible.”
While his coach, Kyle Joseph said he was happy with the sprinter’s performance.
“I feel great about the opportunity given to Elijah. Coming from a guy who ran 24 seconds last year and coming here to make his PB 22.15, it only can be up from now.
“It only can get better because every time he runs, he runs a faster time. I am impressed in the work that he put in, he works hard,” he said.
Irvine returned to the track later that day, running a heroic second leg taking Signal Hill from fourth to win gold in the boys Over-17 4x400 metres relay which brought the curtains down on the event.
Earlier in the meet, Nathaniel Mathura of El Dorado East Secondary claimed gold in the boys Over-17 javelin with a throw of 55.43m. The Scarborough Secondary pair of Mickelle Edwards and David Roberts finished second and third respectively with throws of 51.46m and 41.58m.