By REDintern Tay Jun Wen
Bedok Reservoir, Saturday, January 19, 2013 – Leroi Lee of Nan Hua High School was the fastest Under-18 runner at the 62nd Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) Cross Country Championship. He crossed the finish line of the 5km course in a time of 17 minutes 41 seconds.
The rain did not dampen the high spirits of the Raffles Institution (RI) runners who picked up the team title. With seven of their athletes finishing in the top 10, the second team spot also went to RI.
Leroi and Mohamed Imran of RI led the pack from the start, with RI captain, Shohib Marican, was just behind the leading duo. This arrangement continued until the finishing line was in sight.
A sudden burst from Leroi took both Imran and Shohib by surprise. The RI duo tried to catch up but it was too late to stop Leroi from eventually winning the championship title.
Shohib came in second with a time of 17:45 while Imran was third in 17:49. Their RI teammates, Tan Chong Qi (4th), Rahul Jayaprabha (6th), Larry Law (8th), Willy Lim (9th) and Elisha Goh (10th) rounded off a dominating RI performance.
The inclement weather posed many problems to the athletes.
Merrill Chua, a Victoria School runner who finished in 29th spot in a time of 19:39, said: “It was quite muddy, so it was slippery, affecting our standard.”
With regard to the upcoming National Schools B Division Cross Country Championships, Shohib said: “We are trying to get the champions’ position.”
When asked about potential rivals for the B Division title, Shohib highlighted Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) which did not send in a team for the SAA Championships.
U-18 Individual Category (Top 10)
1st Leroi Lee Rong Zu (#257, Nan Hua High School) — 17:41
2nd Shohib Marican (#268, Raffles Institution) — 17:45
3rd Mohamed Imran (#266, Raffles Institution) — 17:49
4th Tan Chong Qi (#273, Raffles Institution) — 18:03
5th Ivan Hong (#225, Fabian William Coaching Concepts) — 18:09
6th Rahul Jayaprabha (#267, Raffles Institution) — 18:13
7th Thineshwaran (#227, Fabian William Coaching Concepts) — 18:17
8th Larry Law (#271, Raffles Institution) — 18:24
9th Willy Lim (#269, Raffles Institution) — 18:25
10th Elisha Goh (#270, Raffles Institution) — 18:39
U-18 Team Category (Top 3)
1st (RI Team A) — 11 points
Shohib Marican (2nd), Mohamed Imran (3rd), Rahul Jayaprabha (6th)
2nd (RI Team B) — 22 points
Tan Chong Qi (4th), Larry Law (8th), Elisha Goh (10th)
3rd (Reds Xtreme 1) — 25 points
Ivan Hong (5th), Thineshwaran (7th), Lee Jian Hong (13th)