By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Mark Stephenson, team Captain Michael Khillourhy and Graham Stanton led a 1-2-3 finish, in leading the Rotary Club of Tortola to their 15th successive title on Saturday in Paraquita Bay, in the 25th Anniversary Mourant College Classic Series Special Edition, Battle of the Service Clubs Challenge. Rotaract Club’s Tuneisha Johnson, the top female finisher in 16:46.60, in the challenge that attracted 34 participants, prevented the Rotary Club of Tortola who finished with 17 points, from sweeping the first five scoring positions.
Stephenson had a winning time of 12 minutes 45.19 seconds.
“It was fantastic. The sun was down and it was a nice cool start, we got a little sprinkle in the middle of it and I think my secret strategy was don’t train,” Stephenson said. “Just get out there and run. I think it was a good show of community spirit and a turnout for a good cause for ending Polio.”
Khillourhy told Island Sun Sports that was it was a wonderful competition.
“I think everybody—not just in our club—everybody in the Rotary family, was so pleased to be out here and be able to do a College Classic,” he said. “Certainly for Rotary and a lot of other people in the community, the College Classis Series is a very important part of the fall athletics program here. It’s one event on this island that everybody comes to participate in, no matter who you are, how good you are, how fast you are, how old you are, how young you are, everybody comes out to this. Our club and the other clubs have been out, taking part, having fun and socializing. This year we were very sad because we thought that we were going to be able to do this because of Covid, but luckily Stephanie Russ Penn came up with a way to make this as safe as possible, so that we could participate in some way.”
Killhourhysaid while It’s not quite the same as previous years, it is something and they loved being there.
“It’s great again for my club, Rotary Club of Tortola, to be champions again for 15 years,” he said.
Johnson said she was surprised by her fitness level.
“I didn’t know I was I was kind of in shape from the last race and I was kinda nervous because Stacy Wynter and Ixora Wong would come for me but I still did well thank God,” Johnson told Island Sun Sports. “I caught them on the hill. A lot of people take off fast and they falter on the hill and that’s where I do good because I’m consistent with it. I don’t slow down or speed up, I just keep going and that’s where I caught them.”
Johnson said she felt good about her performance in the challenge.
It feels good to know that Rotaract can beat Rotary Club of Tortola in something in the female division,” she said.
Race Director Russ Penn was overjoyedwith the turnout of Rotarians from four clubs.
“The energy was absolutely awesome,” she told Island Sun Sports. “I have always really just loved the service club division, just in terms of the consistency,” she noted. “Everybody comes out, it’s a big family, they have their competitive rivalry and now though Tortola has their 15th successive win, everybody still comes out with a great spirit. I’m still sting to the other clubs, keep pushing and create that strong team for 2021, because we are looking forward to the same energy, enthusiasm and excitement come next year.”
Final Results. Service Clubs: Rotaract Club (RC), Rotary of Road Town (RD), Rotary Sunrise of Road Town (RS), Rotary of Tortola, (RT): Top 15 performers. 1. Mark Stephenson (RT), 12:45.19. 2. Michael Killourhy (RT), 12:59.77. 3. Graham Stanton (RT), 14:45.10. 4. Tuneisha Johnson (RC), 16.55.60 5. Ixora Wong (RT), 17:36.13. 6. Stacy-Ann Wynter (RT), 18.20.47. 7. Henry Creque (RT), 18:53.29. 8. Archibald Christian (RT), 19:06.84. 9. Allison Gumbs (RC), 19:31.91. 10. Elvis Harrigan (RD), 19:45.20. 11. Deshawn Douglas (RC), 19.57.67. 12. Ryan Geluk (RD), 20:10.72. 13. Garvin Dooley (RD), 20:20.22. 14. Marvin Flax (RS), 20:26.63. 15. Selvyn Dawson (RC), 21:13.77. Complete results on VISports and culture Facebook page.