Vincentian athletes ready for Penn Relays 2019

photo - nelson king

By Nelson King

(CARIBBEANLIFE) – James Cordice, the Philadelphia-based pioneer and coordinator of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ participation in the illustrious Penn Relays Carnival at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, says athletes from two secondary schools in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are eager to compete in the games this weekend.

When the three-day meet begins at the Franklin Field Stadium on Thursday, Cordice said it will be the ninth time that a Vincentian high school participates in the oldest collegiate track and field event in the United States.

The Thomas Saunders Secondary School (TSSS) will vie for the ninth time, while the St. Vincent Grammar School will compete for the third time, Cordice said.

He said TSSS’s boys and girl teams arrived in the US Sunday night, and the St. Vincent Grammar School all-boys team arrived on Friday.

Cordice said both schools will compete in the 4x100m and 4x400m events.

TSSS’s girls will compete in both events on Thursday; the boys from TSSS and the Grammar School will vie in the 4x100m on Friday; and all boys from both schools will compete in the 4 x400m on Saturday, usually the biggest attendance day.

Cordice was also instrumental in getting a Belizean high school, Ecumenical High, to participate in the games, for the first time, last year.

He said Ecumenical High is back this year, but with boys and girls’ teams — instead of only boys, as was the case in the school’s inaugural year.

Ecumenical High School’s boys and girls follow the same schedule as the Vincentian schools: the girls compete in 4x100m on Thursday, and the boys participate in the 4x100m on Friday and the 4x400m on Saturday.

“It continues to be one of the most wonderful journeys to be a part of,” Cordice told Caribbean Life on Monday about pioneering and coordinating the Vincentian effort. “I’m really appreciative of the overwhelming support of some Vincentians out here and other persons who’ve been really supporting this program.