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Scraders survives a scare

Photo finish: little separates Scraders, left, and Greaves in the Senior School Girls’ race as both recorded a time of 5:30.41. Scraders, the defending champion, was declared the winner

Ashley Irby lowered her record time in the Middle School Girls’ race last night on Front Street while Kyrah Scraders had to pull out all the stops to defend her Senior School Girls’ title against a 14-year-old determined to steal the show.

Irby, of Saltus, who broke Scraders’s record last year, lowered the mark even further when she ran a time of 5min 23.63sec, four seconds faster than a year ago as she recorded her fourth straight victory after two previous Primary School wins.

“It felt faster than last year so I kind of had an idea [about the record],” said the 13-year-old. “The person on the bike was pushing [pacing] me so I just went with him.”

Second behind Irby was Emma Harvey of Warwick Academy in 5:42.88, while Selah Tuzo of Saltus was third in 5:45.19 in her first Middle School Girls’ race.

Undoubtedly the closest race of the night came in the Senior School Girls where Scraders achieved a victory in her final year competing but had to dig deep to fend off a strong challenge from Messiah Greaves, who was competing in her first Senior School race.

Greaves was pipped in a photo finish that was so close that even Harry Patchett and Larry Dunlop, the commentators, admitted they could not call it.

The two runners recorded the same time — 5:30.41 — after a sprint to the tape brought the crowd alive. Scraders leaned over to congratulate an exhausted Greaves at the finish line.

“I just said ‘good job’ because she really did run a good race,” said Scraders, of Berkeley, who was 11 seconds slower than last year’s record performance.

“Honestly, that was the best Front Street Mile I ever did and that’s what I wanted.

“I just wanted to finish my high school Front Street Mile career with a win and I did, so I’m happy.”

Greaves won some admirers after last night’s performance. “I just planned to stay there to the end and once I got there I was like ‘oh, I’m right here so I might as well kick’ but I just needed to go a little faster a little sooner,” she said.

Jaden Ming of Warwick Academy moved up from second last year to first in the Middle School Boys’ race after breaking the tape in 5:12.90, two seconds ahead of Sajan Harvey of Warwick Academy while Ryan Outerbridge of Clearwater was third in 5:22.84

“It was slower than my time last year [5:10.15] but I kind of knew that was going to happen because I didn’t have a ‘rabbit’,” Ming said. “I spent four months training for this so it [time] is kind of disappointing.”

David Darrell of Warwick Academy retained his Senior School Boys’ title after holding off a strong challenge from Tyler Smith who added a second to his third last year. Darrell broke the tape in 4:46.12 while Smith was three seconds behind in 4:49.91 and Aaron Jacobs third in 4:58.66.

“It was a good race and I’m not worrying about the time,” Darrell said. “The conditions were perfect, good climate, no rain and right now I’m going to enjoy the victory.”

Jade Johnston of West Pembroke retained her Primary Schools Girls’ title after a winning time of 5:53.33 as Warwick Academy’s Jessica Bruton was second in 6:00.32 and Tesyah-Mahle Astwood of West Pembroke third in 6:05.32.

The Primary School Boys’ race was won by Kahzi Sealey of Elliot in 5:40.46 while Tommy Marshall of Saltus was second in 5:43.11 and Stefan Jones of Somerset Primary third in 5:53.61.