As expected, Tonya Nero was the best Trinidad and Tobago athlete on show at the North America, Central America and Caribbean (NACAC) Cross Country Championships, at the Mt Irvine Bay Golf Course, in Tobago, yesterday.
Nero’s courageous run, however, was unable to secure her a top-ten finish in the women’s six-kilometre event--a race dominated by athletes from United States and Canada.
American Kellyn Johnson was a runaway winner in 20 minutes, 10 seconds. Johnson was a full 20 seconds faster than Canadian silver medallist Rachel Hannah (20:30). The bronze went to Johnson’s teammate, Carrie Dimoff (20:32).
Nero completed the 6K race in 22:04. Jenelle Nedd was next best for T&T, clocking 24:23 to finish 14th. The other T&T runners, Dawnel Collymore (25:43) and Elia Nero (27:23) were 16th and 17th, respectively.
The T&T women bagged team bronze. The Americans earned gold, while silver went to Canada.
After the race, Nero told the Sunday Express she was satisfied with her run.
“I put out a really good effort. The course was a bit challenging. On the second lap it was really hard to go up the hill.”
United States also triumphed in the men’s 8K team event, beating Canada and Jamaica into second and third, respectively.
Joseph Gray secured individual gold, the American completing the course in 24:14. Mexican Oscar Santos led after four kilometres, but could not hold off Gray in the second half of the race and had to settle for the runner-up spot in 24:26. Another American, Gregory Montgomery clocked 24:33 to bag bronze.
Jules La Rode was the first T&T runner to cross the finish line. He was 17th in 26:52.
T&T finished fifth in both the men’s 8K and junior men’s 6k team events.
In the junior race, T&T’s Akeem Marshall finished 22nd in 20:32.
The winner, Sean McGorty was more than two minutes ahead of Marshall, the American producing a fast 18:12 clocking.
United States also grabbed team gold in the men’s junior 6K.
And in the junior women’s 4K, Canadian Jaime Phelan topped the field in 13:39, leading Canada to their lone team triumph on the day.
The T&T junior women’s team finished fifth.