By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Deron Leslie successfully defended his Round de Valley Race crown on Friday, in the Bregado Flax Educational Center endurance race, with a time of 21 minutes and 51 seconds. J’Sally O’Neal claiming her first crown, with a 19 minutes and 51 seconds time. The race attracted 83 participants.
“It wasn’t a bad turnout and we had more females than males and even one teacher participating,” noted Phys Ed Teacher Carl Barrett, who experienced the event for the first time. “The students really enjoyed the moment.”
Following Leslie in second in Friday’s race was Michael Woodley. 3. Joshua Rampersard. 4. Devante Samuel. 5. Jeremy Charles. 6. Kyreek Gardner. 7. Jaylon Levons. 8. Mordeci Fontaine. 9. K’Shoy Alexander 10. Mekhi Walters.
Top Girls behind O’Neal were: 2. Annesia Stapleton. 3. Angel Thomas. 4. Jolene Brown. 5. Jakisha Rigobert. 6. Loreal George. 7. Desra DaSilva. 8. Ashanti Brown. 9. Sarah Bridgewater. 10. Dinnesse Daintee.
The endurance race which has been held for more than 20 years, precedes the BFEC Inter-House Sports Day scheduled for Feb 26.
“Participation has always been keen by both boys and girls,” noted Lynn Weeks, as they compete for Rhymer, Harrigan and O’Neal Houses. “The boys’ route is a bit longer than that of the girls, encircling the entire Valley and ending on the Valley Recreation Grounds. The students themselves—those who don’t actively take part in the race—are always very well supportive. What’s encouraging is the seniors all make an effort and usually at every race, you always have teachers participating, although this year, there were less because of their assigned duties at the various water stops. But, teachers are highly involved in every sporting event we have here.”
The Leslie clan has won the race for the last several years with Deron’s brother Aaron, being victorious in several editions preceding him. “Britney Peters who throws the Javelin now, was one of the most dominant long distance runners we’ve had.” Weeks noted. “What’s happening now, is that we have the Raw Skillz Track Club and we found in the the last two years, their athletes—especially in the Round de Valley Race—have dominated the race.”
Most of the students are not trained nor are they fit, Weeks noted but last year’s winner Mariah Christian and this year’s winner O’Neal second place finisher Annesia Stapleton and Leslie, are Raw Skillz members.
“The Junior students when they come to high school, are so keen to participate,” Weeks pointed out. “This year we had a lot of juniors doing the race, just as big as we had in years past doing the race which was very, very encouraging—both boys and girls doing the race.”