Coaches Weigh In On 2019 Chances

The National Stadium

With the 2019 Powerade Barbados Secondary School’s Athletics Championship (BSSAC) Zone Finals set to start in a few days at the Barbados National Stadium in Waterford St Michael, we were eager to hear the expectations of the coaches going into this year’s meet.

During a recent technical meeting held at Harrison College, a few of them took time out to give some insight into their plans for the event, considered to be one of the premier meets on the nation’s athletics calendar.

One thing that was evident was the levels of excitement among these professionals, with all of them having expectations of keen competition and exceptional performances coming from all the schools taking part on March 12, 2019.

The coaches also all agreed that their respective schools will not be giving the reigning champions, The St Michael School, an easy time. 

Coach Gabriel Burnett knows “the usual contenders are there” but says ” a number of schools are on the rise” which are looking to break through the Cougars’ double defense. Team SMS will be lead by the efforts of Darian Clarke, Kyle Gale, Josiah Parris, Rhea Hoyte, Samiya Dell and Vivica Addison.

One of those teams planning on putting up a challenge will also be looking once again to capture the recapture the Boy’s title which they held in 2016. That school is the Lester Vaughan Secondary and for their girl’s team, this year will be especially crucial. Some pundits say, in the case of the Cane Garden St Thomas school, the lasses are often the bridesmaid, never the bride; having been a perennial second place contender on a number of occasions. Their coach, Alwyn Babb says he is anticipating the competition expects his team to show plenty promise in the field events. He dropped a few familiar names to look out for in 2019: Shemiah Odaine in the sprints, Roland Kirton-Browne in the field and Savion Hoyte, who will once again be looking to make a name for himself and his school.

While up north at Ashton Hall in St Peter, Coleridge and Parry’s Coach, Armstrong, expects his school to capture at least two zone records in the field events. He has a young team of upcoming stars but says to look out, especially for Shanise Hutson in the field, Tafari Bishop in the middle distances and Micah Griffith on the track in the Under 17 division.

Meantime, Coach Seibert Straughn, over at Christ Church Foundation School, is reporting that BSSAC this year, is “anyone’s game” and he expects both of the zones to be very competitive. Among his key athletes are Hannah Connell, Sarah Belle, Delano Wickham and Nathan Crawford-Wallis and he says there are quite a few other who are certain to be no pushovers.

With all 25 teams going through their paces and final preparations, spectators will now have to wait and see exactly who will be going Cougar hunting. BSSAC this year runs form March 12 to 15, with a break until March 21 to 22, when the Finals will be held.

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