The Gingerland Secondary School has a brand new hero. His name is Rydel Jeffers.

On Monday 13th February, the school hosted its annual cross country events for junior boys and girls and the major hype centered around the final race of the day, which was the senior boys’ cross country event.

What made that race so significant, was the fact that current record holder and defending champion, Leroy Chapman, would have been the favourite to not only  win it, but there was much talk that he would eclipse his record, which was set the previous year, of 19:06.

The race started at the school’s gate and the athletes ran across the main road, making the left turn into Hard Times, by BRINO’S shop and as they entered the incline at Hard Times, Chapman made his much anticipated move and pulled away from the pack.

He ran the steep hill at the famous SIXTEEN ACRES, without stopping and hardly missing a heartbeat and with the remainder of the route through Rawlins Village and Zetlands, being mostly downhill or flat, it appeared as if the ‘fat lady’ was already singing loudly and he was well on course for a new record.

Then it happened:

Suddenly, his hands appeared loose; he wiped some sweat from his face; clutched his tummy and then sank to his knees. It was obvious that the star athlete was in trouble. Fortunately, he was quickly attended to by his uncle, who was driving right behind him and suddenly a much smaller athlete , Rydel Jeffers, came into the frame and shot past the distraught Chapman and completed the course in grand style, urged on by shocked spectators along the route, who certainly did not expect to see him as yet.

He did not break Chapman’s record but he was hailed by mighty screams and shouts as he got past Market Shop and entered the School’s gate.

GSS had a new hero.

Chapman who had complained of ‘stitches’ did not complete the race and would be anxiously looking forward to making amends on the big day –the school’s annual sports meet scheduled for Thursday 23rd February.

Earlier, Rydel’s cousin, Annique Jeffers, ran a very smart and determined race to capture gold in the senior girls’ cross country event.

The top performers in the races held on that day were as follows:

Junior Girls

1st Alesha Kelly-Green

2nd Tashari Kelly-Red

  1. Zwena Jones-Red
  2. Shai-ann Tyson-Green
  3. Eshanna Merchant-Green

Junior Boys

  1. Trevon Dunrod –Red
  2. Bryce Fyfield –Blue
  3. Devonte Liburd-Blue
  4. Julian Emelien-Blue
  5. Lebron Senior

Senior Girls

  1. Annique Jeffers-Blue
  2. Jennessa Caines-Blue
  3. Schadonte Lawrence-Blue
  4. Shelonk Lawrence-Blue
  5. Davronique Maynard-Green

Senior Boys

  1. Rydel Jeffers-Green
  2. Javari Kelly –Red
  3. Zario Chumney –Green
  4. Ryan Simon-Blue
  5. Kelvis Baker-Blue

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