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Levern misses out on  own record

Prom Shines in the Desert

Early World Cup Exit Minus Footballer of the Year

Ain't No Sunshine Where He's Gone

Motocross down but not dying

Better Than Last Year, But Not Good Enough


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Levern misses out on own record

    (22 March 2000) -  Levern Spencer of Entrepot Secondary School missed out on the national record, but she took the gold medal in the Inter-Secondary Schools high jump anyway. Of course, Levern's already broken the national high jump record twice in thirteen months. The finals in that event were held Wednesday, along with heats and semifinals in the track events. Levern banged her thigh during the high jump, but she's also qualified for the Division II 100m finals on Friday, undoubtedly the most exciting girls' races on the day.Michelle Joseph (Vieux Fort Comprehensive) and Jineil Vite-O'Neil  (Sourfriere Comprehensive) will have a ding-dong war to decide the fastest young woman in the island. In the semifinals Wednesday Michelle was first, but it only counts on the day. Those two are hot favorites, but the duo of Rena Aulis and Heather Nelson from Sir Ira Simmons Secondary will be close behind. It's a similar story in the 200m, with Marie Clair of Vieux Fort there as well.  That's Division I. Levern meets Nancy Philbert of Anse Ger, Natasha Evans of Piaye and Sarah Alexander of Clendon Mason Memorial in the DII showdown. Levern also had the best heat in the DII 200m dash. NCB/SLDB Games 5000m champion Nessa Paul of Soufriere Comprehensive won that event again at InterSec. Again, though, she ceded 800m superiority to Entrepot's Mina Philip.
    Nessa and Levern are among thirteen female track finalists from Entrepot. Soufriere has twelve, Vieux Fort nine and Clendon Mason eight. Of course, in St. Lucian sports we have nothing to rival the atmosphere and intensity of InterSec, and this year promises to be especially good. Among the boys, the most exciting races will be the DI 800m and 1500m, where Gavin Lesporis and Nolan Duncan will keep pushing each other to do big things. They split gold and silver in those events two weeks ago at the NCB/SLDB Games, with less than a second between them.


Prom Shines in the Desert

    (21 March 2000) - Ronald Promesse kicked his Olympic preparations into a higher gear last weekend, while visiting fellow Olympian and Sportsman of the Year Dominic Johnson in Tucson, Arizona. Promesse, along with fellow double national record holder Zepherinus Joseph, competed in the Willie Williams Classic at the University of Arizona. It was the first outdoor meet for these two young St. Lucian athletes. Promesse won two gold medals at the weekend meet, clocking 10.5s in the 100m dash, an impressive time in this, his first serious meet of the season. In addition to his 200m national record, Promesse  (10.21s) is the fastest St. Lucian man in the shorter sprint. He also has piece of the 4x100m record, so it was no surprise that he stormed out on the second leg of the victorious team in that event last weekend.
    Zeph didn't fare quite as well at Dominic's alma mater. The 24-year old from Mon Repos ran the 5000m and placed fourth in fifteen minutes flat, well outside his national record time of 14:43. Zeph is hoping to qualify for next September's Olympic Games, but he's looking at the 800m as his best opportunity for a trip to Sydney, Australia.


Early World Cup Exit Minus Footballer of the Year

    (21 March 2000) - One hundred and eighty minutes - that's how long the St. Lucian football team lasted in the qualifying stages for World Cup 2002. Their failure can be put down to the absence of a single factor: finishing. In between the home and away legs of their first round tie with Surinam, the St. Lucian side conceded but one goal. As miserly as they were in defense, however, they were just as generous in attack. Perhaps a dozen clear chances were squandered, and the forwards were virtually useless. A pair of midfielders produced the sole St. Lucian goal.
    How did Footballer of the Year Emerson Jn Marie not get a game in the home leg then get left off the squad entirely for the return leg? Emerson scored nearly fifty goals from forty games in 1999 for double champions Roots Alley Ballers; he was rewarded with a contract in the Trinidadian pro league. He opted against joining St. Lucia's former technical director - Stuart Charles-Fevrier - at W Connection Football Club, moving instead to New Caledonian. In between, the FA named him Player of the Year. Yet, national coach Cassim Louis preferred to do without him.
    Philip Philip, who's in an intriguing position as manager of the national football team and manager of Roots Alley Ballers, explained it thus: "We had six strikers in the squad, so we had to let one go. Also, it came to the technical staff that Emerson said certain things on the bench." Among the remarks allegedly made by Emerson? "Why you all bring that old fella [Ken Charlery] from England and you all eh play me?" A question on the minds of many spectators from the first leg, but viewed as a disciplinary breach by Mr. Louis and his technical staff.
    Mr. Louis said before the home leg: "We're working on our finishing; it shouldn't be a problem." The national team SHOULD have been up five-nil from the home leg, and WOULD have been up by more than a goal had they a striker on the pitch. Instead, the side played "excellent football," as Philip called it. Pretty football? Pretty useless if you can't score, which the team couldn't do as they bickered, minged and moaned, unable even to convert more than a penalty from four, and a man down with over forty-five minutes left in their abridged World Cup campaign.
    The truth is always slippery, and persons associated with St. Lucian sports have a more difficult time than most when trying to address tough questions. When asked why Eric Fannis was left on the bench in the second leg, Philip said that there was "no real reason," which makes no real sense. A coach doesn't dip into a hat to select a lineup, so if there's not stated reason, perhaps it's a case of the coach not knowing said reason. In any event, FA president Mark Louis seems to think that we've had enough of failure. Better late than never, the football chief says that he's thinking about brining in a foreign coach. True?


Ain't No Sunshine Where He's Gone

    Ewan Auguste flew nearly three thousand miles from St. Lucia (in the Eastern Caribbean) to the dairy farms of Topeka, Kansas, hooking up with the DII Washburn University Ichabods basketball squad. As a frosh, he's pretty ill, putting up twelve points per, but then he goes from illness to injury. In his sophomore season E Double plays through pain, undergoing knee surgery before coming back strong for the Triple 0.
    By whatever measure, Ewan's outstanding, and he's definitely getting his shine. First, his numbers: the kid leads the Ichabods in scoring  (17 ppg) rebounding (7.9) and field goal percentage. At 6'8" and 220 lbs, he's a man among boys in the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletics Association, carrying the Ichabods to a 23-7 record and the DII South Central Regional tournament. Then came all the awards.Ewan played high school ball for St. Mary's College in Castries, the capital of St. Lucia - now he's an All-American. He was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches DII All-America Second Team, an honour that follows his selection to the South Central Region first team. He's smart, too; he's made the third team academic All-District and the Commissioner's Academic Honour Roll. In his senior season, Ewan ought to move up from his position as the sixteenth most prolific scorer in school history. No doubt he'll be gunning for the all-time rebounding title as well. At this rate, scouts'll be doing that three thousand mile trip on the regular.A Long Hard Ride


Motocross down but not dying

    (20 March 2000) - The St. Lucia Motocross Club was barred four months ago from using the Pigeon Island Causeway for practice and races. That brought an end to a ten-year relationship with the Causeway, leaving the riders with no home. Still, the small band of diehard motocross enthusiasts continued to train. An invitation to Jamaica for a weekend event was just desserts after years of hard work. Doing well at the event would be icing on the cake.
    It'll be tough. 1999 Havoline Supercross champion Gary Devaux will lead the charge at Woodleigh, against professional riders from Brazil, Europe and North America. Motocross Club president Wayne Quintyne is at the head of the six-member St. Lucian team that will try to overcome great odds in Jamaica, traveling and competing with the assistance of Air Jamaica. In addition to racing, the St. Lucian team will also make important connections.
    Canadian designer Jean-Marc Benoit recently completed an international track in his home country, and he's working with meet coordinator Johnny Animar to put a similar facility in place in Jamaica. When an appropriate site is identified in St. Lucia, Benoit's assistance could be invaluable in the development of the sport locally. Club sources have revealed the strong possibilty that the Club's new home could be in the Cul de Sac valley. Great Expectations


Better Than Last Year, But Not Good Enough

    (20 March 2000) - St. Lucia placed third in American Zone Group IV qualifying for the 2000 Davis Cup, the world's premier team tennis tournament. Kane Easter, McCollin Fontenelle, Sirsean Arlain and Jonathan Jn Baptiste, along with non-playing captain Trevor Hunte, gave the nation its best finish in the past three years, but tennis authorities had really been hoping for more.
    In an exclusive interview, Tennis Association spokesman Christopher Hunte said that host territory Honduras would be able to beat St. Lucia, but he added that all the other teams in the group had fallen to our boys at one time or another. Just last year St. Lucia defeated Bermuda three-nil at the St. Lucia Racquet Club. Virtually the same players were back for Bermuda this year, as St. Lucia lost two-one.As predicted, Honduras gave St. Lucia their only other defeat, but that ensured that Trevor Hunte and his boys booked no further tickets. Still, handy wins over the USVI, Antigua, Barbados and the OECS gave St. Lucia a winning record, one of only three teams in the group to have won more than they lost. Easter aside, the players ought to be eligible next year, and the Association has cause for renewed optimism.







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