Story and photos by Julianna Jothi and Iman Hashim/Red Sports
Bedok Reservoir, Wednesday, April 10, 2019 — Having dropped out mid-race after a fall in last month’s National Schools Track and Field 3000-metre final, Ferrell Lee of Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) was looking for redemption at the National Schools Cross Country Championships.
Clocking a time of 13 minutes 36.8 seconds over the 3.8-kilometre race route, Ferrell sealed his comeback by winning the C Division boys’ individual gold.
“I felt like I failed myself, because I was so close to finishing but I fell,” said Ferrell of his 3000m outing at the track meet. “(Winning the cross country) race feels great, but maybe I could have done better.”
On what went though his mind as he was approaching the finish line, he added: “(I felt excited that) I was going to be first and I was going to make ACS(I) proud.”
Nan Hua High School’s Mervyn Ong, the track 800m-1500m champion, followed in second place about 10 seconds behind Ferrell with a time of 13:46.6 while Hwa Chong Institution (HCI)’s Jacob Tan, who won the track 3000m final that Ferrell failed to complete, finished in third place this time in 13:51.4.
Ferrell’s victory also helped ACS(I) clinch their first C Division boys’ team title in three years, with teammates Ryan Wong, Niraj Singh and Bryan Cheung finishing in fifth, eighth and 15th respectively to score 29 points in total. Team scores are computed by adding up the positions of each team’s top four runners, with a lower score translating to a higher ranking.
James Lachlan Chin and Kyle Seow also finished in 16th and 18th respectively, ensuring that all six ACS(I) runners placed within the top 20 individual positions.
“It feels great because all of us have worked hard for this,” said Ferrell.
In the B Division boys’ category, Chai Jiacheng of Raffles Institution (RI) overcame a hamstring injury sustained during the track season to defend his individual race title, stopping the clock at 16:49.9 over 4.8km.
The RI Secondary Four student was followed by Abroysius Ng of Guangyang Secondary in second place while RI teammate Bhuvan Anantham placed third.
“Leading up to this race, my training was quite inconsistent because I couldn’t really run a lot, so I had to do a lot of gym and swimming,” explained Jiacheng, who was also the track 3000m champion. “So coming into this competition, I was a little bit skeptical and not very sure whether I could win. But I just reassured myself and did my best.”
Along with teammates Hiren Koban (13th) and Sebastian Lau (21st), Jiacheng and Bhuvan led RI to the team championship with 38 points, dethroning reigning champions HCI by a 27-point margin. The win ended RI’s three-year cross country title drought across all divisions, and was RI’s first B Division team triumph since 2014.
“Actually at the last part, I almost wanted to give up because someone was overtaking me,” added Jiacheng. “But then I was just thinking that I really wanted to get a team gold also, because we wanted to take the title from Hwa Chong so they couldn’t get a grand slam (of A, B, C boys and A girls team titles).
“I’m really happy, my team did very well and I’m very happy with how they all did.”
C Division Boys’ Individual Results – Top 10
1st Ferrell Lee (#5017, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)) — 13 minutes 36.8 seconds
2nd Mervyn Ong (#5197, Nan Hua High School) — 13:46.6
3rd Jacob Tan (#5149, Hwa Chong Institution) — 13:51.4
4th Namasivayam Siva Sanker (#5362, Yuan Ching Secondary) — 13:58.6
5th Ryan Wong Lin Kiat (#5018, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)) — 14:03.1
6th Dai Hexuan (#5147, Hwa Chong Institution) — 14:03.2
7th Jonathan Tan Cheng Jin (#5269, Raffles Institution) — 14:05.3
8th Niraj Singh (#5020, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)) — 14:10.0
9th Lee Wen Jie (#5100, Evergreen Secondary) — 14:14.7
10th Yang Heran (#5148, Hwa Chong Institution) — 14:18.7
C Division Boys’ Team Results – Top 4
1st Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) — 29 points
2nd Hwa Chong Institution — 40 points
3rd Victoria School — 70 points
4th Nan Hua High School — 101 points
B Division Boys’ Individual Results – Top 10
1st Chai Jiacheng (#3271, Raffles Institution) — 16 minutes 49.9 seconds
2nd Abroysius Ng Zhong Yi (#3125, Guangyang Secondary) — 16:56.1
3rd Bhuvan Anantham (#3273, Raffles Institution) — 17:15.1
4th Martin Patrick Inglin (#3294, St. Joseph’s Institution) — 17:25.5
5th G Shyam Naidu (#3340, Victoria School) — 17:28.8
6th Jovan Tan Chuan Rae (#3194, Nan Chiau High School) — 17:35.7
7th Yu Zhenning (#3150, Hwa Chong Institution) — 17:36.8
8th Aeron Young Liren (#3147, Hwa Chong Institution) — 17:37.7
9th Bryan Ong Ren Hean (#3044, Bukit Batok Secondary) — 17:40.9
10th Lim Yu Zhe (#3201, Nan Hua High School) — 17:44.4
B Division Boys’ Team Results – Top 4
1st Raffles Institution — 38 points
2nd Hwa Chong Institution — 65 points
3rd Guangyang Secondary School — 86 points
4th Nan Hua High School — 110 points
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