Story and photos by Iman Hashim/Red Sports. Statistics powered by Erwin Wong/Red Sports
National Stadium, Friday, April 28, 2023 — As 400m-400m hurdles champion Caleb Loy anchored Raffles Institution (RI) to the A Division boys’ 4 by 400 metres gold in the final event of the meet, a successful campaign for the athletes in green, black and white was sealed as the school clinched its first A and B boys’ divisional titles since 2016 and 2018 respectively, while it was the school’s first time claiming both trophies at the same meet in 33 years.
Victoria School’s (VS) silver medal in the C Division boys’ 4x400m relay proved even more pivotal as the school ended up tied on 138 points with Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) in the overall C boys’ divisional standings, with the Victorians claiming the trophy by virtue of having more golds. VS’s historic title shattered a 20-time winning streak held by HCI (formerly The Chinese High School), with VS also the last school to have won it all the way back in 2000.
In the same race, Sean Russell Tay brought Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) from fifth to first place on the anchor to bag his fourth win at the meet, emerging as the only quadruple gold medalist this year adding to victories in the 200m (23.40s), 400m (53.45s) and 4x100m relay.
ACS(I) teammate Sebastian Chong, who ran the third leg in the 4x400m, garnered three track golds having already won the 1500m (4:31.55) and 3000m (10:00.90). He was also the top C boys’ individual finisher at the National Schools Cross Country Championships.
Elsewhere, HCI and Cedar Girls’ Secondary each clinched its fifth straight overall team title in the girls’ A and C divisions, respectively, while CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School retained its B girls’ championship after last winning it in 2005 before last year.
What other historic nuggets went down on the final day as the annual athletics meet returned under the National Stadium roof for the first time since 2019?
Red Sports gives you a full lowdown of the relay finals along with pieces of statistical trivia.
64th National Schools Track and Field Championships 2023 — Relay wrap-up
C Div Girls’ 4x100m Relay Final
Cedar Girls’ Heather Tan mounted a comeback on the anchor leg to clinch the C Div girls’ 4x100m relay gold in 53.94 seconds for her team, which also included Chloe Toh, Ess Claudia Joan and Kayley Seah. It was Cedar’s second straight win in the event after ending a 23-year drought last year.
They finished just 0.19 seconds ahead of second-placed National Junior College (NJC), who claimed the first ever C Div relay medal for their school before the 4x400m team added another silver later in the afternoon.
Nanyang Girls’ High (NYGH) finished third in 54.70s, pipping CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ to the line by 0.03s, and ensuring that it was the sixth straight time that both Cedar and NYGH have placed in the top 3 for the event.
Interestingly, Cedar’s 53.94s is the slowest winning time in this event since 1989 (54.6s, also Cedar).
1st Cedar Girls’ Secondary School — 53.94 seconds
2nd National Junior College — 54.13
3rd Nanyang Girls’ High School — 54.70
4th CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School — 54.73
5th Singapore Sports School — 55.00
6th Dunman High School — 55.13
7th CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh) — 55.68
8th Tanjong Katong Secondary School — 55.98
9th Crescent Girls’ School — 56.17
B Div Girls’ 4x100m Relay Final
The Singapore Sports School (SSP) quartet of Bevlyn Koh, Bernyce Koh, Zara Almira and Neo En Yu took gold in the B Div girls’ 4x100m relay final, clocking 50.09s. In a tight finish, Cedar Girls’ finished second in 50.38s, and CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ were third in 50.39s. NYGH clocked 51.24s for fourth.
For the first time in 21 years, the winning B girls’ 4x100m relay team did not feature any of the top 3 finishers in the individual 100m final (Clara Lim of Raffles Girls’ School; Teh Ying Shan of Chung Cheng High (Yishun); Chloe Chee of Methodist Girls’ School). Even the top 4 relay teams this year did not boast any of the top 4 individual 100m girls in their ranks (fourth-place 100m finisher was Emily Anne Choi of CHIJ St. Theresa’s Convent).
With the talent pool more spread out this year — the eight finalists in the B girls’ 100m all hail from different schools — the 4x100m relay final saw the fastest 3rd, 5th, 6th and 8th-place timings in National Schools history.
However, SSP’s 50.09s is remarkably the slowest winning time in this event since 2008. While Cedar won last year in 50.06s, spectators have been spoilt by frequent sub-50s — or even sub-49s — SSP B girls’ relay teams from 2009 to 2017, most notably the 48.22s record-setting quartet in 2011 featuring Singapore sprint queen Shanti Pereira.
Nanyang Girls’, spearheaded by the two fastest B Division girls over 100m in National Schools history, Elizabeth-Ann Tan (12.25s) and Bernice Liew (12.37s), also clocked the third- and second-fastest B girls’ relay times all-time of 48.50s and 48.30s in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
In better news, SSP finally reclaimed the gold in this event, its first since a 12-year winning streak from 2006 to 2017 right after the school’s establishment.
1st Singapore Sports School — 50.09 seconds
2nd Cedar Girls’ Secondary School — 50.38
3rd CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School — 50.39
4th Nanyang Girls’ High School — 51.24
5th Raffles Girls’ School — 51.35
6th Methodist Girls’ School — 51.78
7th CHIJ St. Theresa’s Convent — 53.27
8th CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh) — 53.27
9th Dunman High School — 53.29
A Div Girls’ 4x100m Relay Final
Long jumper Trisha-Ann Tan, younger sister of national sprinter Elizabeth-Ann, brought home the A Div girls’ 4x100m relay gold for HCI, crossing the line in 50.68s. It was HCI’s second gold in a row in the event after last winning it in 2015 before last year.
The rest of the HCI team consisted of Meredith Lee, Gwendolin Lim and 100m-200m champion Eleana Goh. This was Meredith’s second consecutive 4x100m win after winning the B girls’ relay with Cedar last year, while Eleana was the only surviving member from last year’s HCI winning quartet.
SSP took silver this year in 51.11s, with RI claiming bronze in 51.27s.
Since 2007, HCI, SSP and RI (formerly Raffles Junior College) remain the only schools to have won the A girls’ 4x100m and 4x400m relays.
1st Hwa Chong Institution — 50.68 seconds
2nd Singapore Sports School — 51.11
3rd Raffles Institution — 51.27
4th Victoria Junior College — 52.16
5th St. Andrew’s Junior College — 52.24
6th National Junior College — 53.31
7th Dunman High School — 53.63
8th Eunoia Junior College — 56.07
9th Anglo-Chinese Junior College — 56.59
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