Sherwyn Stapleton winner

KING OF THE PACK: Sherwyn Stapleton is at the front of the pack during the National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAATT) National Cross Country Championship men’s 10K race at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain, yesterday. The Trinidad and Tobago Road Runners Club athlete won in 36 minutes, 11 seconds. —Photo: DENNIS ALLEN for @TTGameplan

Sherwyn Stapleton successfully defended his National Association of Athletics Administrations of Trinidad and Tobago (NAAATT) National Cross Country Championship men's title at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain, yesterday.

Stapleton returned a time of 36 minutes, 11 seconds to take top spot in the ten-kilometre race. The Trinidad and Tobago Road Runners Club (TTRRC) athlete pulled away from Matthew Hagley late in the fifth and final lap to secure a comfortable victory. Hagley held off a fast-finishing Nicholas Romany to claim the runner-up spot in 36:13. Romany was third in 36:15.

After two laps of the 2K circuit, six runners—including Stapleton, Hagley, Romany and Collin Pereira—had separated themselves from the field. Two laps later, only that quartet remained in contention for the top prize.

Stapleton picked up the pace in lap five. Hagley managed to hang on, but could not respond when the defending champion kicked for home.

Sjaelan Evans was golden in the women’s 8K. Reigning champion Samantha Shukla is now based in the United States, and did not come home for the Cross Country Championships. In Shukla’s absence, Evans had things all her own way, the unattached runner dominating her rivals with a 36:27 run. Teresa Otero finished a distant second in 38:32, with third spot going to April Francis (40:07).

Genesis Joseph repeated as boys’ under-20 8K champion. The Health Olympians runner completed the four-lap race in 31:18, forcing Jordon Ross to settle for second spot in 31:43.

Camille Lewis was the class of the girls’ under-20 6K field. The Silver Bullet athlete clocked 28:09 to finish ahead of Rae-Anne Serville, the runner-up in 28:50.

INDIVIDUAL HONOUR ROLL

Men's 10K – Sherwyn Stapleton (Trinidad & Tobago Road Runners Club) 36:11

Women's 8K – Sjaelan Evans (unattached) 36:27

Boys' Under-20 8K – Genesis Joseph (Health Olympians) 31:18

Girls' Under-20 6K - Camille Lewis (Silver Bullet) 28:09

Boys' Under-16 4K - Khadeem John (One-A-Week) 14:32

Girls' Under-16 4K - Jizzel Matas (Palo Seco) 16:20

Boys' Under-12 2K - Darreon Tom (Toco Titans) 7:35

Girls' Under-12 2K - Q-Jhea Stewart (unattached) 8:25

TEAM HONOUR ROLL

Men's 10K – Trinidad & Tobago Road Runners Club (Sherwyn Stapleton, Nicholas Romany, Shurlun Williams)

Boys' Under-20 8K – Tobago Select (Jamali Crichlow, Nkosi Toney, Keiel Yearwood)

Girls' Under-20 6K - Memphis Pioneers (Rae-Anne Serville, Shakirah Pierre, Jeneil Morris)

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