T&T Cross Country titles

Jones and La Saldo take T&T Cross Country titles
By Clayton Clarke

TT Cross Country Championships held in Trinidad on 22nd Nov 2009

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad: Richard Jones won the 2009 Trinidad and Tobago Cross-Country men’s title, clocking 31 minutes 38 seconds to take the 8 km race on Sunday (22nd November). Jones (GDF Suez) won ahead of team-mate and veteran road runner Curtis Cox (31:46). In third place was another veteran Jules La Rode of Penal Athletic Club (32:14). Elvis Turner of Tobago Falcons was fourth.

Speaking after the race, Jones said, “I feel happy about the victory. I tried to just run within myself. The course is a tough course. I have a couple of major races coming up in the next coming weeks so I just wanted to be as easy and as comfortable as could be”.

When asked about the difference between road running and cross country running, Jones’ replied, “road running and this is just two different things. This course, like I said is very very tough. Road running, is more like a kind of rhythm. You get a rhythm going, you know, for a ten miler, a half marathon, a10k , a 5k, etc. You may get a couple of hills thrown in there but it’s nothing like this. This is stop, go and jump over twigs…”

About his victory he explained, “I wanted to make it an easy race and not make it too competitive because of the senior races coming up later in the year. Basically, I just decided to take over, like around the second lap. A couple of the guys: Curtis (Cox), Jules (La Rode) and George (Smith) were still right there, we just ran together a bit and helped each other along but they ended up dropping back a bit and I just maintained towards the end. (My) next race is the Run Barbados half marathon in December.”

Shermin La Saldo(Success and Excellence) won the women’s 6 km crown in 30:06 with team-mates Keema McShine (31:08), Samantha Shukla (31:14) and Natoya Cudjoe (31:41) taking the next three places. The win is the second for La Saldo in as many weeks after she won the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) half marathon race in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on the 15th of November. On her back to back victory she said, “I was very tired. The hills were challenging and the sun was hot. Well, I don’t really like hills and don’t run them much. The hills in St. Vincent were also challenging. It was the worse!! God helped me to win this race. My teammates ran well. They stayed with me for the first two laps. My next race is the Run Barbados 10 K I will be training for the next race.

La Saldo said the OECS win stands out as one of her highlights for the year.

Chairman of the NAAA Cross country championship Dexter Voisin, said for this year, the format of the championships was different from last year where the athletes competed over three races to determine the national champion. Voisin blamed “financial constraints” for the reasons having only one race this year. Voisin explained that championship is one of the selection criteria that will be used to pick the national team for the 2010 NACAC Cross country championships to be staged in Mt. Irvine, Tobago on March 6th. The national team will consist of six members. He further explained that foreign based runners will be considered for selection.

On the 2010 NACAC Championships, Voisin said “ plans are under way. We started back in September. To date we had three meetings with the THA (Tobago House of Assembly) and also with the Mt. Irvine Hotel management because that will be host hotel for the Championships and things are going pretty well.

On the prizes he said, all the category winners won cash prizes with a total of over twenty thousand dollars(TT)$20,000.00.

275 athletes started the race (120 kids, 39 women and 114 men). 

Men 8KM race (Age group winners)

15-19                                                                         20-29

1. Mark London( Bishops High-TOBAGO)             1.Matthew Hagley (Defence Force)
2. Dillon Thomas (Morvant Jets)                           2. Atiba Wilson (TOCO Tafac)
3. Devery Robley (Cougars)                                 3. Cliffton Sylvester (Neon Trackers)

30-39                                                                         40-49

1. Brian London (GDF Suez)                                 1. Cantius Thomas (Athletic Central)
2. Clarence Tobias (GDF Suez)                             2. Landue Maxwell( Memphis)
3. Joel Bharath (GDF Suez)                                  3. Curtis Brereton (Neon Trackers)

50 and Over

1. Kenrick Williams(Genesis)
2. Learie Lezama (TTRRC)
3. Winston Stewart (TTRRC)

Women’s 6KM Race (Age group winners)

15-19 20-29

1. Dawnell Collymore (Memphis) 1. Janiel Bellille (Neon Trackers)
2. Jessica James (Neon Trackers) 2. Reyare Thomas (Neon Trackers)
3. Abianne Collymore (Neon Trackers) 3. Pearl Hamilton (Palo Seco)

30-39 40-49

1. Paulette Lucas (Unattached) 1. Christine Regis (Athletic Central)
2. Elizabeth London (Palo Seco) 2. Wendy Shallow ( TTRRC)

50 and Over

1. Susannah Joefield (TTRRC)
2. Leonara Nunez (TTSA)
3. Grace Oblington ( Unattached)

Boys under 15 2KM


1. Nicholas Landeau (Belmont Boys Secondary) 10:16
2. Jevon Joseph(Belmont Boys Secondary) 10:53
3. Renako Sherwood(St. Madeline Govt) 11:13

Under 13

1. Dave Charles ( Cumana RC)
2. Steve Wallace (Cumana RC)
3. Atiba Samuel (Petrotrin Palo Seco)

Under 11

1. Marc Davis (Success RC)
2. Daniel Hernandez (D’Abadie Govt Prim)
3. Marcus Percelle (Success RC)

Girls Under 15 2KM


1. Shianne Thomas (Scarborough Sec-TOBAGO)
2. Shania Francais (Petrotrin Palo Seco)
3. Mekela Baptiste (D’Abadie Govt. Prim)
4. Elisha Serapio (Toco Sec)

Under 13

1. Tinelle Roberts(Moriah Govt. Prim-TOBAGO)
2. Nikeish Hoodboyce( Cougars)
3. Antonia Paul( St. Anglican Ang. Prim-TOBAGO)

Under 11

1. Akela St. Louis (D’Abadie Progressive)
2. Dianne Hamilton(Petrotrin Palo Seco)
3. Shirley Stapleton (Cougars)