After inquiries last year from patrons and athletic enthusiasts about the missing girls’ team from the Thomas Saunders Secondary School (TSSS) contingent, Head Coach Godfrey “Fuzzy” Harry promised that he will ensure that a girls’ team compete at this year’s Penn Relays championship at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
This year, Harry not only delivered, but he, fans and supporters were highly impressed with the girls’ winning performance.
“It was really a great performance at this level, because, for the first time now, most of them ran an event of this nature, except Zamesha [Myles], who ran twice before [at the Penn Relays],” said Harry in a Caribbean Life interview Sunday, at the Vincentian-owned Calabash Restaurant and Lounge, on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia, over brunch for the Vincentian and Belizean athletes.
The night before, at a reception for the athletes, at the same venue, Harry drew wide applause and a standing ovation, at the urging of New York Consul General Howie Prince, in speaking about the girls’ achievement.
Harry said the girls’ team — Zamesha Myles, Kaylia Edwards, Aaliyah Jordan and Tiwanny John, in that order — won the 4x400m heat on Thursday in 4 min., 6.94 sec. – their fastest ever.
The 2015, girls’ team had competed the race in 4 min., 8 sec.
“They had great weather on Thursday, and a number of colleges have been calling and asking for Zamesha Myles [to possibly recruit her],” said Harry to applause.
“This is what we have to offer, and there’s a lot of fire power,” he added.
“You have made us proud, your country proud,” Prince interjected.
For the boys, Thomas told Caribbean Life that he was “sort of disappointed, even though they recorded the best time for the year.
“I thought we could have done better on the first two legs [in the 4x400m on Saturday,” he said. “That would have changed the outcome of the race.”
The TSSS boys, competing against 13 schools, placed 4th in both the 4x400m [3 min., 3.19 sec.] and the 4x100m [45.16 sec.] the day before.
The 4x100m team comprised Inglis Daniel, Joel Jack, Uroy Ryan and Dawson Samuel, in that order; and Daniel, Jack, Kee-juan Chance and Micah Glasgow, in that order, for the 4x400m team.
The TSSS has been the pioneer in representing St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Penn Relays. It was the first and only Vincentian school to compete in the games for six years.
This is the second year for the Grammar School, the current inter-secondary schools’ champions, in competing in the Penn Relays.
Brandon Valentine-Parris, who was among the TSSS contingent in the school’s first Penn Relays meet in 2012, lauded the current Vincentian athletes.
“These guys are running faster than when I was here,” Parris, who is attending college in the United States, told the reception Saturday night. “I came 4th in my first CARIFTA Games.”
Thomas told Caribbean Life that it has been a “tiresome exercise,” in the annual trek to the Penn Relays, but added, at the same time, that it merits participation in “exposing St. Vincent and the Grenadines to a new frontier and exposing talent to a new level.”