National Association of Athletics Administrations of Trinidad and Tobago

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Nero 12th at NACAC Champs

Team bronze for T&T men as USA, Canada dominate

Kwame Laurence :: Trinidad Express :: 20.02.2019

Tonya Nero battled hard at the Queen's Park Savannah on Saturday, returning a time of 38 minutes, 11 seconds to finish 12th in the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Cross Country Championship women's 10-kilometre event.

Breanna Sieracki grabbed gold, the American getting home in 36:34. With 250 metres to go, Sieracki enjoyed a 25-metre cushion on Jessica O'Connell of Canada. O'Connell closed the gap in the dying stages but could not challenge Sieracki for the NACAC crown, settling for silver in 36:37. American Jessica Tonn bagged bronze in 36:40.

Four kilometres into the race, Nero was with a large lead pack of 15. But by the time the runners completed the 2K loop a third time, the main contenders had separated themselves. Nero was about 150 metres off the lead, in 15th spot. But she soldiered on, edging up to 14th with one lap to go, and eventually moving up to 12th. The other T&T runner in the field, Samantha Shukla finished 18th in 41:17.

The Americans emerged as women's team champions, finishing ahead of Canada and Mexico. The men's 10K team title was also captured by United States. Canada seized silver, and T&T claimed bronze for the host nation's lone podium finish at the Championships.

Matthew Hagley was the best of the T&T runners on show in the men's race, crossing the line 20th in 35:22. Sherwyn Stapleton clocked 35:32 for 21st spot, Iley Bruce was 23rd in 35:53, and Shirvan Baboolal finished 24th in 36:08. Anthony Phillip (37:18) and Mark London (38:28) were 25th and 26th, respectively.

In a close finish, featuring three Americans, Abbabiya Simbassa outleaned his teammate Frankline Tonui to strike men's 10K gold, regaining the title he won in 2017. Simbassa produced a 31:49 run, while Tonui was home in 31:50. Reid Buchanan completed a 1-2-3 finish for the powerful United States team with a 31:51 clocking.

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Canada dominated the under-20 category, claiming all four titles on offer.

Evan Burke led a podium sweep in the boys' 8K, clocking 27:20 to finish ahead of teammates Nicholas Mota (27:30) and Andrew Davies (27:37). The Canadians were comfortable winners of the team event, forcing the Americans and Puerto Ricans to settle for second and third, respectively.

The Canadians were even more dominant in the girls' 6K, capturing the top four spots for a runaway team triumph. United States finished second, with third spot going to Puerto Rico.

Girls' 6K individual gold went to Taryn O'Neill, the 18-year-old Canadian completing the race in 22:08. Her teammates, Charlotte Wood (22:10) and Makenna Fitzgerald (22:14) secured silver and bronze, respectively.


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Nero 12th at NACAC Champs - Team bronze for T&T men as USA, Canada dominate
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TOP T&T RUNNER: Trinidad and Tobago's Tonya Nero, en route to 12th spot in the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Cross Country Championship women's 10-kilometre event, at the Queen's Park Savannah in Port of Spain, on Saturday. Nero got home in 38 minutes, 11 seconds. -Photo: STEPHEN DOOBAY

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