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Familiar Faces at Finish Line in High School Cross-Country Race

Oct. 19, 2006 — Ninfa Barnard and Juan Robles took the varsity first-place spots in a high school cross-country race Thursday, mirroring their victories less than two weeks ago in the CoastWeeks Beach Relay Race.
Just short of 100 runners competed on the rain-soaked University of the Virgin Islands' course, with Bernard of St. Croix Educational Complex High School (ECHS) winning the girls' varsity race with a time of 22:06 — 24 seconds better than her previous win. Robles of St. Croix Central High School (CHS) took first place overall among varsity boys with a time of 17:52, pulling away on the course's only hill after running just ahead of the lead runners for most of the race.
The UVI course has hosted cross-country races for nearly three decades, but rain threatened to cancel Thursday's competition. Clear skies prevailed by the time the 98 runners hit the trail, however.
Finishing behind Barnard among the varsity girls were Mackiesch Taylor of ECHS, taking second place in 25:22, and teammate Darlene Decastro, finishing third in 29:07. Earthla Augustin was the open female winner and second overall with a time of 24:19.
Among the varsity boys, ECHS's Seymour Walters took second place with a time of 19:58, followed by teammate Clint Smith, who finished third in 20:13.
The junior-varsity competition for both boys and girls saw a new winner as Ephraim Rodriquez of CHS, who finished second last week, took first place with 12:58 — more than a minute faster than his time last week. Justin Hitesman of ECHS, last weeks winner, finished second in 13:02. William Piel of St. Croix Country Day School (CDS) came in third at 14:15.
Less than a minute separated four JV girls as Allison Peter of ECHS took first place in 15:35, just eight seconds ahead of Eustacesha Fredericks of CHS at 15:43. Just two seconds back was Jessica James of ECHS in 15:42 for third, followed closely by Zhondra Carty of Elena Christian Junior High School in 16:11.
Not be outdone by the older runners, the elementary boys and girls saw the first four boys and first four girls all run within a minute of each other to decide the winners. Malique Smith of Sunny Isle Baptist Christian School (SIBCS), yet to lose as an elementary-school runner in cross country, trimmed nine seconds off his time to take firsts place in 6:34. Erik Williams of CDS took second in 6:57, while Jamarie White of Eulalie Rivera Elementry School finished third in 7:30.
Karen Dascent of Ricardo Richards Elementary School was the first-place finisher for the girls at 7:39. Jazmine Willocks of Church of God Holiness Academy (CGHA) finished second in 7:53, while Fleesha Crispin of CGHA took third in 8:08 and Jamaris Washshah of CGHA finished fourth in 8:34.
The third event in the series, which will decide EAM championships, is scheduled for Wednesday, October 25, at 4 p.m.
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