St. Lucians Falter In Early Davis Cup Action
(15 March 2000) - We serve off with tennis, and St. Lucia's 2000 Davis Cup campaign got underway this week, playing in Honduras in American qualifying Zone Group IV. The other participating territories are the host nation, Barbados, Antigua, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, Bermuda and the United States Virgin Islands. St. Lucia played their most difficult tie first, against Bermuda, which is probably the best team in Group IV.
St. Lucia split the singles, with Jenson Bascombe defeating St. Lucian McCollin Fontenelle 7-5, 6-3 and the veteran Kane Easter beating James Collison 6-3, 6-3. In the doubles, Bascombe teamed up with Richard Mallory to hold off Easter and young Sirsean Arlain 6-4, 6-4. The Davis Cup is the world's largest annual team tournament, with 136 nations taking part in this year's competition.
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Four Changes to Lucian Team for WC Qualifier Return Leg
(15 March 2000) - The St. Lucia senior football team travels to Suriname this weekend for the second leg of a home and away first round qualifying tie for World Cup 2002 in Japan and South Korea. As most football fans would know, the St. Lucia Football Association is adding three players to the eighteen-member squad that played ten days ago at the Mindoo Philip Park. From Hibernian, striker Earl Jean is expected to add some punch to the forward line, which failed to produce a single goal in the home leg. Defender Warren Hackett comes in from Division II Barnet in England, while midfielder Titus Elva joins the side from New Caledonian in Trinidad and Tobago.
Philip Philip, the manager of the St. Lucia national team, says that all three are likely to start. Less certain is the status of Sheldon Emmanuel, the fourth newcomer in the squad, drafted in from New Caledonian in Trinidad to replace injured midfielder Ricardo Blanchard, of the Long Island Roughriders in the United States. Ricardo hurt his ankle in the first leg, and he won't even be making the trip to the Dutch South American territory. St. Lucia hold a one goal advantage from the first leg; if they can avoid defeat away to the Surinamese they'll meet Cuba in the second round. The national team Wednesday convened a three-day camp in Trinidad under the supervision of national coach Cassim Louis and former technical director Stuart Charles-Fevrier.
Meanwhile, Philip Philip declined to comment on the non-inclusion of striker Emerson Jn Marie for the home leg at the Mindoo Philip Park. Emerson was the leading scorer in domestic football for 1999, playing with double champions Roots Alley Ballers. He was also a valuable player for the national team during their various engagements last year. Emerson was named as Footballer of the Year 1999 last month, but the best player in St. Lucia couldn't even crack a lineup that didn't include a single dependable scorer. It's perhaps less likely that Emerson will play in Suriname with Earl Jean and Titus Elva in the squad. Philip Philip was the manager of the Roots Alley Ballers team that won the Heineken FA Cup and the Premiership title.
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AAA To Stage Relay Special Sunday
(14 March 2000) - Abilene will be headliners this weekend, as the Amateur Athletics Association holds a relay exhibition at the Mindoo Philip Park Sunday from 2pm. Winners of three relay titles at the NCB/SLDB Junior Track and Field Championships, their male 4x100m team will be hard pressed to hold off Mercury, who may be bolstered by junior Sportsman of the Year Damian Henville. The Morne Stars will also be in the hunt, with Jimie Henry, Javin Moise and Lyle Evans. Teams like Soufriere and Dennery could be dark horses.
In the female 4x100m, Soufriere (with Jineil Vite-O'Neil) Morne Stars (Michelle Joseph) and Abilene (Dionne Saltibus) ended up on the podium last weekend. Entrepot, with Levern Spencer, may try to take away one of those medals, and this ought to be a pretty good race. The ladies of Entrepot will seek to repeat their NCB/SLDB 4x400m success. Again, Morne Stars will challenge, led by NCB/SLDB 400m champion Electra Marcelle. Entrepot and Abilene could go head to head for the male 4x400m gold, though Mercury will be there as well.
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Ewan Auguste Ends Outstanding Season With OT Thriller
(13 March 2000) - He scored 16.9 points and pulled down 7.9 rebounds a game, leading his school to a 23-7 record for the season, but St. Lucian forward Ewan Auguste and the Washburn University Ichabods didn't get a chance to get it going in the postseason. They fell to Missouri Southern State College, the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletics Association champions, in the South Central Regional Championship semifinals at the weekend. The game was lost 79-73 in overtime.
Auguste won't have wanted the season to end. He scored fourteen in the game, ending with 506 points on the year. The 23-year old junior forward who plays with the REWOP basketball club here in St. Lucia, moved into ninth place on Washburn's career scoring list. He is now the fourth best rebounder of all time in school history, and he could challenge the record next year. Aside from his stellar numbers, Ewan was the recipient of several accolades during the 2000 season.
He was the Most Valuable Player in his conference and an unanimous first-team All-MIAA selection. He was named to the All-South Central Region first team by the media and by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, giving him a shot at being awarded the prestigious title of Division II All-American. On top of all that, Ewan's a well-rounded student athlete - he made the academic All-District third team. Hopefully, Ewan will be home in July for the Windward Islands' basketball tournament. He last played for the national team in 1998.
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Another Junior Meet, Another Record for Levern Spencer
(12 March 2000) - The XII NCB/SLDB Junior National Track and Field Championships got underway beneath grey skies at the Mindoo Philip Park on Sunday. Some early events were postponed for a few minutes, but the sun eventually shone through. When it did, no one made more hay than Junior Sportswoman of the Year Levern Spencer. 366 days ago, at this same meet, she cleared 1.69m to set a national high jump record. Sunday, she did it again, and the Games came to a virtual standstill as she jumped again and again. Fifteen, and a third form student at the Entrepot Secondary School, she faltered at 1.67m, but she righted herself and stopped only after establishing 1.72m as the new national mark.
"I feel that I can do better," says the articulate young lady. "I was just concentrating on breaking my record, and I think I can do it again next week [at the Inter-Secondary School track and field finals]." Her record leap came after she had won the 200m and placed third in the 100m, results good enough to earn her the title of victrix ludorum. Her efforts led a solid Entrepot team, which picked up seventeen medals. Mina Phillip, sixteen years old, won the 800m (2:30.95) and 1500m (5:18.14) to twice beat Nessa Paul of Soufriere. Mina then anchored the victorious girls' 4x400m team. Davis Dujon won the junior boys' high jump, and Arnold Henry the shot putt. Nolan Duncan was another strong performer.
In the senior boys' 800m and 1500m, Duncan engaged in titanic battles with Gavin Lesporis, younger brother of Entrepot graduate and Sportswoman of the Year 1999 Verneta Lesporis. Dewain James of Leon Hess Comprehensive led the 800m for two laps - Duncan and Lesporis charged him down in the home stretch. Nolan won in 2:06.85, edging Gavin by .06s at the death. It appeared for a time that Nolan would take gold again in the 1500m; he led for four laps. There was a bumping incident on the back straight in the fifth lap - each boy blamed the other after the race. The upshot of it all was that Gavin broke on the turn. Nolan tried to hold him off, but Nolan pressed on the home straight to end in 4:36.12, just .01s better than his rival.
Also doing well on the day were the Abilene Wildcats, who took three relay titles. they beat Soufriere in the girls' 4x100m, and Hess in the boys' race. In the boys' 4x400m relay, they denied Entrepot yet another gold medal. Actually, the 'Cats had a total of eight medals. 4x4 relay anchor Nathan Justin was the senior boys' victor ludorum after winning his divisional 200m dash and 400m dash, along with the javelin. Lester Justin won the junior boys' 200m and Clendon Mason Memorial student Sarah Alexander took the shot putt and the discus. Morne Stars won junior boys' 100m dash (Javin Moise) the junior girls' 100m dash (Michelle Joseph in 12.37s) and the 100m men's invitational (Jimie Henry, 11.07s) - Morne Star Electra Marcelle dominated the 400m, winning it in 1:01.38 from Entrepot's Jana Mathurin.
Densey Pamphile from Energizers took the 100m senior boys. Jineil Vite-O'Neil (Soufriere) equaled Michelle Joseph with a 12.37s win in the ladies' invitational 100m. Lisa Reynolds of Energizers won the invitational 400m. From Rock Hall Senior Primary, junior boys' victor ludorum Ian Octave won the 1500m - he was second in the 800m, the winner in 2:19.73 was Hess' Joachim Blades. Emma Jean Evans of Hess won the javelin throw, unseating defending champ Erika Delaire of Entrepot. Somehow, I think Entrepot must be considered favorites for the Inter-Sec Champs, 21, 22 and 24 March. Who knows? Someone might just break a record.
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