After three Events – O’Neil headlines a strong male contingent to Sevilla golf course, First Timer Joseph with a 1 point lead goes after her first female cross country title, Harrikissoon tries to make it four in the walk and Henry unbeaten so far in the female walk: to take on all comers on Sunday
More than the Individual titles are at stake – the winning team title and the Co-ed Champions are to be settled as well.
Port of Spain, Wednesday, May 20, 2015. The financial services sector is excited and waiting with bated breath for the start of the 24th Edition CariFin Games Cross Country scheduled to start at approximately 4.15 pm. This is the final and crowning event in a four-part series designed to promote health and fitness, camaraderie and healthy rivalry, friendship and closer networking among the staff of the financial services sector. Nine institutions took part in the preliminary events and they are expected to converge on the Sevilla golf course to compete for individual and team awards. Some new and exciting talent has emerged from the series so far. Sunday at Sevilla we will have an opportunity see them in action, as a number of issues will be settled. We will all walk away knowing who are the best overall runners in the CariFin Universe and the overall ranking of the participants in the series.
Ryan O’Neil of Guardian Group had a good series and that may be an understatement; a perfect season by our records having not lost an event so far, his score card reads (1+1+1=3), from the 1 Lap Savannah, Green Mile and Chancellor Hill Challenge. He heads into this Sunday’s final with confidence knowing he hasn’t been beaten at all so far. His chances are very good, no doubt he’s feeling quite confident, “So far I have only been preparing mentally. My goal is just to have fun.” That was his response when asked how he feels about this weekend’s Cross Country competition.
The runner who garnered the second least amount of points and sits in second place is Jedidiah Benjamin of RBC Bank. He acquired these points by getting (3+2+4=8 points) in the three previous events and his wish or goal at the final cross country event Sunday is to “To beat Ryan O’Neil!”. (He is participating in Fusion the day before).
John Donaldson 2014 cross country winner and a participant in this event for the last 6 to 7 years – having won it twice within those years is hoping to run around the same time or faster than he did and won in last year. From all indications being shown so far in the earlier races is whether or not that it would be enough to win. He has to come up with some surprises at the finish to keep up with the naturally faster finishing, younger runners. “Hopefully I can finish in the same time as last year or faster”.
In the female runners’ camp things are a little bit more interesting but equally exciting and maybe more nervous as shown in the earlier events. So far Susan Russell from RBC Bank and the 2014 cross country champion won the first two events comfortably but was behind three spots in the Chancellor Challenge finishing in 4th place. (1+1+4=6 points). As a previous winner of this event Russell has the experience and ability to pull this off. This is something you must be present to see.
Adona Joseph of Sagicor took the opportunity to take the lead in the series after the Chancellor Challenge event by doing, (2+2+1=5 points). On Chancellor she tied with Jilletta Landeau of Guardian Group in 16.18 but was awarded first position. Thus, a showdown exists to see how the score will settle in Sunday’s Cross, to establish the top three placings and the series rankings. Jiletta Landeau of Guardian Group had a relatively mild start placing third in the 1 lap and in the Green Mile, then taking it up a notch with a tie situation on Chancellor hill gaining 2nd place which gave her (3+3+2=8 points) Entering the finals on Sunday she says “Hoping to do my best.”
Russell and Joseph aren’t sharing any trade secrets for Sunday.
While the male and female runners strive for their best performance in the cross country, any team with five runners both in the male and female category that can accumulate the lowest aggregate time for their five runners will win the team Cross Country trophy. Just as well the co–ed champions title is to be determined in this race with the fastest male and female finishers combined time will win this trophy for one year.
In the walking category legend is in the making with Deodath Harrikissoon of First Citizens looking to take the male walking title for the fourth time in a row. So far in the series he has 1+1+1=3 points and looks to make it four out of four for the Sevilla cross-country. Competition on Sunday could come from – Clem Jubrasingh of RBC Bank or Christopher Reid of Guardian Group. As Harrikissoon prepares Sunday’s decider he had this to say, “I am glad I am able to defend my title, and with no injuries I am hoping to win and I am confident about my chances.”
Aliya Marisa-Henry of Republic Bank has a (1+1+1=3) scorecard coming into the final on Sunday. Last year she didn’t make it into the finals because of injury but had an impressive series so far this year. It would be a big moment for her and her team mates as well as family members as she tries to makes it four out of four with a win in the finals. Other walkers that factored in the series are Tessa Weeks of Republic Bank and Roxanne James-Wong of First Citizens with 7 and 8 points overall respectively. They could add more competition in Sunday’s cross country walk.
Pack your coolers, bring your flags, banners, drums, whistle and line the course and support your team mates, colleagues and friends as we strive to make this one of the most memorable and better supported cross country race day ever.
We would like to thank the following sponsors who have supported us so far. Bluewaters the official water of the games. Subway – The official Sandwich, Brixel Design Studio, Unicom, Lezama Electrical, TATEC Limited, Massy Motors, Massy Finance, True Green, Eastern Credit Union and Topmark Limited.
The nine teams participating in CariFin Games this year are:First Citizens
Unit Trust Corporation