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Champs Toco ready for title defence

Published: 
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Horsford leads Signal Hill challenge
Tay Coryatt, left, with his Toco Secondary Track and Field teammates Tyrel Edwards, Cassandra Joseph, Xea Bruce, Cheziah Philip, Jada James, Jusonya Fifi and Dimitri Richards along with Physical Education teacher Avianne Tobias after their morning workout on Monday.

Defending champions Toco Secondary will be aiming to retain the overall title at the Secondary Schools Track and Field Championships being hosted by the T&T Secondary Schools Track and Field Association (TTSSTFA) at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo tomorrow and Friday.

Members of the Toco Secondary Track and Field team were going through their training in the early morning of Monday, the first day of the school term, on the school's grounds.

Present were reigning gold medallists Tyrel Edwards in the boys Over-18 100m and 200m and Cheziah Phillip in the girls Under-18 100m hurdles.

With the age-group adjusted, Edwards will be aiming to continue his winning way in the boys Over-17 division as well as Phillip in the girls competition. This year the athletes will also compete in U-13, U-15 and U-17 age-groups.

Edwards will be favoured to repeat as double sprint champion following his sixth place in the Carifta Games boys U-20 100m finals in the Bahamas over the Easter weekend (March 31 - April 2). He then anchored T&T's Boys U-20 4x100m team to silver in the Bahamas and has a Carifta medal tally of three medals, silver in the U-18 200m in 2016 and silver in the U-20 4x100m, last year.

Edwards also copped bronze with the national U-20 team at last year's Pan American Junior Championships in Peru.

Phillip is also a Carifta medallist, copping bronze in the Girls U-18 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 U-14 400m and long jump titles and then stepped up to the U-18 division and won the 800m.

Jusonya Fifi and Cassandra Joseph are leading the charge as well. Fifi captured the girls U-16 shot put gold and was second in the discus in 2017 while Joseph finished behind Bruce in the 800m.

Otis Gibson and Dimitri Richards are among the boys who won gold for Toco last year. Gibson dominated the 1,500m and 5,000m while Richards sealed the high jump.

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).

Last year's runners-up 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 U-20 long jump, high jump and 100m hurdles.

Che Saunders, Carifta Boys U-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 this edition.

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 U-18 800, 1,500m and high jump titles. Elton James (Boys U-20 long jump), Anderson Subero (Boys U-20 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 U-20 javelin in the Bahamas. Horsford will be joined by fellow Carifta gold medallist Talena Murray who took the Carifta girls U-20 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.

This year's Championship is sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Blue Waters and Sunshine Snacks.

Action on the first day of competition begins at 10 am and at 11 am on day two. The cost of entry is $20 for adults and $10 (students in uniform).

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