By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
In a drama-filled ending to the 27th Mourant College Classic Series Saturday on Virgin Gorda, Andrew Yates and Sam’Ria Leonard, denied siblings Noah Fox and his sister Eva Fox from completing a sweep of the three races—although they won the overall series based on their two of three victories.
Yates pushed hard in the closing stages to win the race in 12 minutes 57.57 seconds, after overhauling Fox, who finished in 13:26.41 and Rainford Legair third in 13:51.88.
“I was very thankful to come out here and win the race. Noah started to slow down after the first speed bump by Mr. Nice Guy, so I decided to give it my all,” Yates told Island Sun Sports after leading the field of 37 participants to the line. “To my wonderful Grandmother and my brother, I thought about them and she told me, ‘when I need to win, make sure I push through it.’ So, that’s what I did. I came out here and I pushed through it and I won. I was surprised to win. To be honest, I came out here just to support the cause, but it’s a wonderful feeling to come out here and win.”
Fox said he was being pushed by Yates through a good race then he started feeling something in his chest. As he’s two weeks away from blackbelt grading, he didn’t want to risk anything. “It was nice to look back and see so many people with us,” he said. “Andrew is a good runner so it was cool to see him win.”
Fox said the series has prepared him for his trip to Trinidad and Tobago later this month for his black belt grading. “I feel like if I didn’t go through this, I’d be struggling a bit, so I’m thankful for HLSCC to be running this and it has helped in many ways,” said Fox, who’ll also be competing in the VI Archery nationals at month end. “Definitely it’s a crazy November.”
In the Women’s Division, Under-13 runner Sam’Asia Leonard was first of the females crossing the line in 15:15.83, ahead of overall champion Eva Fox’s 16:20.38, with Leah Wheeler third in 16:22.49.
“It was hard,” Fox said. “Sam’Asia was very good today. She kept her pace, she stayed in front of me and she made sure that she won and I’m very good for Sam’Asia. I felt good that I came to the series, ran every race and did my best.”
Wheeler said Eva and Sam ‘put up a good fight’ at the end. “I was sprinting for first in the women’s (division) but I couldn’t quite catch her,” she said. “It’s (series) has been a lot of fun. I was out of town for the first one but the second and third ones I showed up and had a great time.”
At 58, Veteran Curwin Andrews who has been participating in the series since 1997, said while he’s 58 and has a bad leg, he’s proud of the young runners. “I really appreciate them coming out because that’s one of the things I looked forward to over the years, that younger fellows are coming out and not letting the older guys dominate the race,” he said. “We’re going. They are the ones that have to take over.”
Race Director Stephanie Russ Penn said Virgin Gorda had an ‘excellent finale.’ “History was definitely made today with the youngest overall male and female champion being crowned today in Noah Fox and Eva Fox—they happen to be siblings,” Russ Penn noted. “The female outstanding runner was determined by who crossed the finish line first and Eva was victorious over Leah Wheeler and then we had Noah who was very consistent through the season. We had turnout and averaged over 30 each race which is actually historic because it’s usually down in the 20s. The participation has been great. The energy has been great and we’re grateful that we could have had the series finale, have a great turnout and the weather didn’t prevent us from having the race and we’re really happy about that.”
Full Race Results :https://www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=296867
Awards. Overall Males: 1. Noah Fox, 2. Andrew Yates, 3. Curwin Andrews.
Females: 1. Eva Fox, 2. Leah Wheeler, 3. Sam’Asia Leonard. U11 Boys: 1. Marley Kneipp. Girls: 1. Azariah George, 2. Ciel Fox. U13 Girls: 1. Sam’Asia Leonard, 2. Megan Farrington, 3. Leeyah Samuel. U15 Boys: 1. Kristian Young
Under 15 Girls: 1. Eva Fox.Under 17 Boys: 1. Noah Fox, 2. Andrew Yates, 3. Makelis Fergus. U20 Males: 1. Xander Yates. 30-39 Females: 1. Leah Wheeler, 2. Lisa Redfern, 3. Charlotte Bufton. Males: 1. Callym McKendric. 40-49 Females: 1. Debbie Ridgway, 2. Wilma George, 3. Brodie Faragher. 50-59 Females: 1. Gloria Fahie. Males: 1. Curwin Andrews, 2. Mark Moore, 2. Sruti Ramsamooj. 60-69 Males: 1. Emrol Amsterdam, 2. John Hanger, 3. Vincent Wheatley. 70+ Females: 1. Christina Yates.