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Pacers clinch medal haul

All smiles: Three 9-10 members of the Bermuda Pacers team enjoyed their experience at the Russell E Blunt East Coast Invitational tract. Lashee Jones, left, Shaniyah Smith-Daniels and Pria Wilson (Photograph by Vanessa Turner of Bermuda Pacers)

Johndell Cumberbatch was the outstanding performer for the Bermuda Pacers Track Club, which picked up 28 medals at the Russell E Blunt East Coast Invitational Track Meet in North Carolina.

Cumberbatch, competing in the 17-18 boys’ division, was the toast of the team, winning three gold medals in the 3,000, 1,500, and 800 metres. While winning the 1,500 and 800 metre events, Cumberbatch collected the inaugural Dr Brenda Armstrong Award for the 1,500 metres and the Russell E Blunt Award for the 800 metres.

In addition to these awards, he was also selected the Outstanding Athlete for the 17-18 boys’ division.

Competing over three days, the 25-member team won ten gold medals, nine silver medals and nine bronze medals.

In addition, the 9-10 girls also won their age division helping the Pacers team to a fourth-place finish overall, the seventh straight year that the club has finished in the top five.

More than 1,200 athletes representing 88 teams from across the United States competed in the event.

“The performance of the athletes under the scorching condition totally surpassed the expectations of me and the coaching staff,” Cal Simons, the head coach, said.

This year’s team was a mixture of experienced and first-time athletes. Seven of the athletes competed at this year’s Carifta Games, with nine competing at the East Coast before and nine others making their debut appearance.

Other double gold medal winners where Sancho Smith in the 15-16 boys’ high jump and 1,500 metres and Jezhari Talbot in the 15-16 girls, 800 and 1,500 metres respectively.

Single gold medal performances came from Kahzi Sealey in the 15-16 boys’ 3,000 metres, Jeada Grant in the 11-12 girls’ 3,000 metres, and Riana Robinson in the eight and under girls’ 800 metres.

Winning silver medals for the Pacers were Ryan Outerbridge in the 17-18 boys’ 3,000 and 1,500 metres, J’auza James in the 13-14 boys’ 1,500 metres, Denver Tucker in the 13-14 boys’ long jump; Ellise Dickinson and Jeada Grant in the 11-12 girls’ 800 and 1,500 metres respectively, Zakhya Scott in the eight and under girls’ 100 and 200 metres, and Lashee Jones in the 9-10 girls’ 200 metres. She was also part of the 9-10 girls’ 4x400 metre team which also consisted of Azari Jones, Amaris Munya and Day’ash Dill.

Winning bronze medals for the team were Zakhya Scott in the eight and under girls 400 metres; Shaniyah Smith-Daniels in the 9-10 girls long jump; Amaris Munya in the 9-10 girls 1500 metres; Azari Jones in the 9-10 girls 800 metres; Jeada Grant in the 11-12 girls 1500 metres and Sanaa Rae Morris in the 15-16 girls 400 metres.

Also winning bronze medals were J’auza James in the 13-14 boys high jump and Sancho Smith and Kahzi Sealey in the 15-16 boys 800 and 1500 metres respectively.

The club also had five athletes finish in eighth place, five in fifth place and eight in sixth, to cap off a memorable trip.