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Saturday, August 13, 2022
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Off and Running – Cross Country Events Open St. Thomas/St. John IAA Season

Participants of the opening Cross-Country meet at the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School track. (Photo by Amoi Foerstel)

On March 13, 2020, sports, as we knew it in the United States Virgin Islands, took an extended timeout: St. Thomas/St John Interscholastic Athletic Association (IAA), the organizing body of school sports in St. Thomas/Saint John district, had only a few sports ongoing at the time.

Basketball was in the fourth quarter of its season. Track and field events were approaching the starting line. Soccer student-athletes were breaking in their newly purchased cleats as schools selected their teams for the upcoming season. However, the basketball leagues never crowned a champion, the starting gun for track never fired, and the soccer players’ cleats remained in their boxes as COVID-19 was putting a full-court press on the sporting world. No sports were played for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. 2020-2021 school year didn’t bring any relief as both districts’ IAAs were not permitted to host any formal leagues or tournaments.

In the summer of 2021, St. Thomas/Saint John and St. Croix IAAs submitted a proposal to the Department of Health to resume interscholastic athletic competitions for the fall of 2021-2022 school year. On Tuesday, November 30, 2021, St. Thomas/Saint John IAA was able to host our first approved athletic event in over twenty months. All Saints Cathedral School, Antilles School, Gifft Hill School, Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, and VI Montessori School & Peter Gruber International Academy (VIMSIA) sent vaccinated athletes to the Ivanna Eudora Kean track to take part in this opening cross-country event.

The meet started with the middle school athletes taking the track. Kayla Robert from Gifft Hill School finished in a time of 9:26 in the girl’s division and her teammate Brian Fogarty gave the Barracudas a clean sweep winning the boy’s division in a time of 7:35. The winner in the Middle School Girls Division was Samantha Dennis from All Saints School.

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VIMSIA’s Miles Tolud (6:47) won the Junior Varsity Boys Division by one second, just holding off Jack Oram (6:48) of Antilles School. In the Varsity Girls Division, VIMSIA’s Maia Tolud claimed first place with a time of 6:58. Cecil Hector (6:29) of VIMSIA had a photo finish over Ivanna Eudora Kean’s D’Vonte Newton (6:30).

Runners compete in Varsity Division at the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School track. (Photo by Amoi Foerstel)

On Thursday, December 2, 2021, the cross-country program took their show downtown as they traversed the newly completed Waterfront Apron for their second meet of the season. The Volts of Montessori had another strong showing as they won three of the five divisions. Sophie Kappel started things off for the Volts winning the Middle School Girls Division with a time of 9:24. Brian Fogarty (9:23) of Gifft Hill was the first boy to cross the finish line in the Middle School Boys Division. Junior Varsity Boys Division saw Andy Bornn 6:39 of VIMSIA claim the top prize finishing in 6:39. At the same time, teammate Maia Tolud won the Junior Varsity Division for the second time in three days with a time of 6:59. Rahyim George of Ivanna Eudora Kean ran past everyone in the Varsity Boys Division, crossing the finish line in 6:27.

There are four meets left in the short cross-country season. Meets will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the next two weeks. The first three will be held at the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School track. On Thursday, December 17, 2021, the final meet will be run on the Waterfront Apron. All meets are scheduled to begin at 3:45 p.m.

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Participants of the opening Cross-Country meet at the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School track. (Photo by Amoi Foerstel)
On March 13, 2020, sports, as we knew it in the United States Virgin Islands, took an extended timeout: St. Thomas/St John Interscholastic Athletic Association (IAA), the organizing body of school sports in St. Thomas/Saint John district, had only a few sports ongoing at the time. Basketball was in the fourth quarter of its season. Track and field events were approaching the starting line. Soccer student-athletes were breaking in their newly purchased cleats as schools selected their teams for the upcoming season. However, the basketball leagues never crowned a champion, the starting gun for track never fired, and the soccer players' cleats remained in their boxes as COVID-19 was putting a full-court press on the sporting world. No sports were played for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. 2020-2021 school year didn't bring any relief as both districts' IAAs were not permitted to host any formal leagues or tournaments. In the summer of 2021, St. Thomas/Saint John and St. Croix IAAs submitted a proposal to the Department of Health to resume interscholastic athletic competitions for the fall of 2021-2022 school year. On Tuesday, November 30, 2021, St. Thomas/Saint John IAA was able to host our first approved athletic event in over twenty months. All Saints Cathedral School, Antilles School, Gifft Hill School, Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, and VI Montessori School & Peter Gruber International Academy (VIMSIA) sent vaccinated athletes to the Ivanna Eudora Kean track to take part in this opening cross-country event. The meet started with the middle school athletes taking the track. Kayla Robert from Gifft Hill School finished in a time of 9:26 in the girl's division and her teammate Brian Fogarty gave the Barracudas a clean sweep winning the boy's division in a time of 7:35. The winner in the Middle School Girls Division was Samantha Dennis from All Saints School. VIMSIA's Miles Tolud (6:47) won the Junior Varsity Boys Division by one second, just holding off Jack Oram (6:48) of Antilles School. In the Varsity Girls Division, VIMSIA's Maia Tolud claimed first place with a time of 6:58. Cecil Hector (6:29) of VIMSIA had a photo finish over Ivanna Eudora Kean's D'Vonte Newton (6:30).
Runners compete in Varsity Division at the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School track. (Photo by Amoi Foerstel)
On Thursday, December 2, 2021, the cross-country program took their show downtown as they traversed the newly completed Waterfront Apron for their second meet of the season. The Volts of Montessori had another strong showing as they won three of the five divisions. Sophie Kappel started things off for the Volts winning the Middle School Girls Division with a time of 9:24. Brian Fogarty (9:23) of Gifft Hill was the first boy to cross the finish line in the Middle School Boys Division. Junior Varsity Boys Division saw Andy Bornn 6:39 of VIMSIA claim the top prize finishing in 6:39. At the same time, teammate Maia Tolud won the Junior Varsity Division for the second time in three days with a time of 6:59. Rahyim George of Ivanna Eudora Kean ran past everyone in the Varsity Boys Division, crossing the finish line in 6:27. There are four meets left in the short cross-country season. Meets will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the next two weeks. The first three will be held at the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School track. On Thursday, December 17, 2021, the final meet will be run on the Waterfront Apron. All meets are scheduled to begin at 3:45 p.m.