Comment on Inter-School Day 2.
COMPETITIVE TO THE END !
One disqualification in the Relays could have cost St. Louis (SLHS) the title, but they held onto their discipline and concentration to score their 8th. consecutive win in this important competition. The Kiribati Inter-School (KISSAC) is important for several reasons. There is the prestige of winning, but in addition, for the 500+ athletes involved, it gives them all a chance to display their talents and other qualities, e.g. courage. For KAA this provides vital statistics which are then used later to help in team-selection.
On the back of the St. Louis T-shirts is the inscription "Te Ang !" and underneath it "Bon Courage". In Kiribati "Te Ang" means the wind, and it has become a motto for the SLHS team, suggesting both speed and alertness. But "Courage" typifies the members of the SLHS team - they will compete until the end and never give up. This was exemplified by Derin in the Inter Boys (IB) 5000m. After three laps he was leading, but in the second half of the race, in spite of all his training, he was tiring fast. Nevertheless he held on to 5th. place and thus gained a valuable 9 points. When the result was only decided by 14 points, this effort (and all the others) proved to be enough. As was said by several people during the Team Meeting yesterday evening, the SLHS win was a total TEAM result, with EVERY ATHLETE contributing something. Compared with our main rivals, KGV/EBS, they produced more event winners than SLHS, but they needed a little more.
"PACIFIC TIME" or LACK OF AWARENESS ?
Day 2 started by 0825 on the track with the JG3000m. This was farly punctual. However, the officials and competitors for both JBTriple Jump and JGShot were very slow to respond to announcements so they did not start until nearly 0930 (scheduled for 0800 !) Nevertheless they were completed by 1.00 pm, before the Relay Finals.
It has become standard practice to use a Call Room, and we did. However, the teams had NOT taken the advice of the organisers and were all scattered around the perimeter of the track, instead of being in the Stadium (stand). So much time was lost in waiting for teams to hear announcements and then send the relevant athletes.
The OB4 x 400m. Final finished at 5.30 pm. and the results were announced at about 6.00 pm. In the interim, once the teams had marched across the field to sit in front of the stand, OAA Merit Award certificates and pins were presented to Karakoa Iotia and Simon Burennatu, both of whom have been involved in Kiribati Athletics for more than 25 years.
Not only did Mr. Chen (Taiwanese Ambassador to Kiribati) donate cash to assist with the preparations for KISSAC 2008, but he also gave his time to attend the Opening Ceremony on Day 1, and to be there to present the trophies on Day 2.
A MUCH TIGHTER COMPETITION.
From the team results it is obvious that the overall Junior (born in 1994 or later) competition has become very close, with 50 points covering the top four teams. Betio JSS (BTC) held onto their title from last year by 364 to TUC2 JSS with 339. Moroni (MHS) came fourth with 314.
In the Intermediate (born in 1991 or later) division, the top two teams were the only ones to score 300+, with SLHS beating KGV/EBS by 312 to 306. But MHS and Immaculate Heart College (IHC) were less than 55 points behind. An important advance was that many of the weaker schools produced individual stars. MHS placed 3rd. but their good points could not make up their discrepancy from the Junior division, so they were runners-up to BTC for the combined Junior-Intermediate title and trophy.
The Open division showed the top two well ahead of the rest with SLHS beating KGV/EBS by 350 to 342. MHS maintained their progress of recent years by placing third (287), and similarly the top outer island school was IHC only 3 points further back. In the combined Intermediate-Senior Championship, SLHS totalled 662 points to win by just 14 from KGV/EBS (648).
THANKS TO ALL !
It was appropriate that Karakoa should receive an OAA Award of Merit, since he was the driving force behind the Organising Committee. The three organising schools were Church of God High, Moroni High, and William Goward and all provided expertise and officials.
Of course, all the competing schools, their athletes and coaches, deserve great credit for preparing talented competitors. For those on Tarawa, training has been easier than for those (e.g. SWHS and IHC and Kauma) from outer islands.
As ever, the judges, time-keepers, Recorders, "Clerk of the Course", and other officials were essential for the conduct of the Meeting.
We also thank God for two dry days !
THE "X" TEAM - the St. Louis "secret ingredient" !
Not really so secret, since it has featured in these items before (see "Top School Domestic + Old Boys"), but one of the reasons why St. Louis once again proved just good enough to win was partly due to the support and coaching time and encouragement given by the "X TEAM". These are ex-students of St. Louis who were nearly all international athletes who gave their time and persuasive powers to help in the preparation of this year's team, passing on advice and knowledge from their experience to the young athletes who arrived this year. They are also the first ex-students (that we know of) to produce a team to compete in the SLHS Inter-Team Meeting earlier in the year. Such loyalty and effort deserves great credit and thanks. They were at least as pleased as the rest when the result was announced. It proved that their tradition was being continued !
Please remember to check on the Inter-School 2008 page during the coming week.
...and the RECORDS.
Once the results have been analysed, we can publicise the broken records. So far we know of two, both in the Girls' Triple Jump. The JG record is now almost 10m. Terina Tangitang set a new National Record in the OGTJ with an exceptional 10.76m., a great advance both personally and in the rankings.
With back-reference to the Saipan stars, David Birati improved his PB in the OBTJ to 12.80m., showing the value of improved basic technique.