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Lodge and Morris claim top awards

Big winners: Clevonte Lodge and Sanaa Rae Morris pose with their awards. Also pictured are Wayne Raynor, the president of the Pacers Track Club, and guest speaker Allison Outerbridge(Photograph by Gina Evans)

Clevonte Lodge and Sanaa Rae Morris are the male and female athletes of the year for Bermuda Pacers Track Club.

Pacers held its annual awards presentation at the Ocean View Golf Club last weekend, attended by more than 90 members. The event highlighted athletes’ achievements for the cross country and athletics season.

Allison Outerbridge, a former Pacers athlete, was the guest speaker. Outerbridge, a former long jumper who attended the University of Tennessee, encouraged the young athletes to ask the question: “Why am I doing track and field, is it my passion or am I doing it to please other people?”

She also encouraged them to know what type of athlete they want to become, drawing reference to former Pacers athletes Nandi Woods, Alexis Bean, Aaron Evans, Tre Houston, Latroya Darrell and Trey Simons. The club presented more than 50 awards, which recognised improvement, consistency, determination, as well a sportsmanship and newcomer award.

For the first time, the club presented the Nakeno Creighton Memorial Award, in honour of the middle-distance runner who was died in a motorcycle accident on St David’s Road in August 2013 at the age 17. He had competed in the Bermuda Day Half-Marathon Derby three months earlier.

Creighton joined the Pacers aged 7. His mother, Ina Trott, was on hand to make the presentation to long-distance runner Johndell Cumberbatch. Freddie Evans, a club official, accepted the award on Cumberbatch’s behalf as he was not present.

The club made presentations to the top athletes in each individual age group, as well as the top performance awards at this year’s Russell E. Blunt East Coast Invitational Award.

Ariana Turner and Sancho Smith received awards after outstanding performances at the meet. The top awards of the night went to sprinters Lodge, 16, and Morris, 14, as male and female athletes of the year.