By REDintern Romaine Soh
One of the most anticipated national schools championships is just around the corner.
Some of the fittest student-athletes from all across the nation will convene on Wednesday, March 27 at the National Schools Cross Country Championships, where they will match their endurance, speed and wits against each other. This year’s competition will be held at Bedok Reservoir, with the first race flagging off at 9 a.m.
With just days to go before the championships, let us take a look at the potential title contenders, and potential clashes.
B Division Boys — Reign of the Outsiders?
The 2012 B Division boys’ race was the focus of the nationals, with the face-off between Victoria School and Catholic High taking center stage. Victoria ultimately won the champions’ shield by a mere four points. This year, however, there are outsiders who have burst into the scene to steal the limelight from the more established cross country schools.
Leroi Lee of Nan Hua High is one shining example. This season, he had won all the B Division golds at the SAA, Swift and Wings Cross Country meets. At the Wings meet, he finished an impressive 24 seconds ahead of his closest competitor. Leroi had finished fourth at last year’s nationals, losing to only one other boy of his age, Thineshwaran Krishnakumar of Bendemeer Secondary. Thineshwaran has not had a bad season himself, finishing fourth in the latest Wings meet.
Abdul Riyaz of St Andrew’s Secondary is another outsider to be reckoned with. He may have finished 26th last year, but he has improved by leaps and bounds this year to finish fifth at the recent Wings meet. He is a possible contender for the B Division crown.
The Raffles Institution duo of Shohib Marican and Mohamed Imran, who have been hot on the trail of Leroi for this season, might be able to upset his streak if they capitalise on their team spirit and give it their best shot.
Raffles seem set to break Victoria School’s three-year B Division winning streak, having won all the team golds this season at the SAA, Swift and Wings meets. The quartet of Shohib, Imran, Tan Chong Qi and Willy Lim recently won the team title by a massive 34 points at the Wings meet. Having last won the B Division title in 2007, it will be a sweet victory for Raffles indeed.
The team score is determined by adding the position of each team’s best four runners, and the team with the lowest score wins.