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Ballantyne, Watt take OECS awards

Ballantyne, Watt  take OECS awards

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Pamenos Ballantyne has been a phenomenal character over the years, punctuated with a series of successes on the regional front. His most recent was the OECS Half Marathon in Grenada last Sunday, in one hour 12 minutes and 40 seconds. {{more}}He completed his ninth title in 10 years. And it would have been a complete record had the Vincentian Amateur Athletics Association last year not banned him.

Ballantyne’s triumph in the OECS Half Marathon came on the heels of a victory in the Reggae Marathon, Negril, Jamaica, Saturday, November 28. His Clico Trinidad and Tobago Marathon title in January ensured another dominant sojourn for him.

A running machine, immersed in some controversy on the local front, Ballantyne blazed the trail in a number of shorter versions.

December 4, he cleaned up a 10K field in Mayaro, Trinidad, and was home for the Penniston Educational Sports and Cultural Organisation 10K the following day. Inevitably, Ballantyne was rampant. He was ahead in the 15K Arouca Classic, September 24.

With that record, he emerged an overwhelming favourite when a group of journalists with OECS Sports coordinator David Peterkin, and former Director Joseph “Reds” Perreira met at Auberge Seraphine Conference Room last Wednesday.

The Vincentian distance runner beat off challenges from St. Lucian distance runner Victor Ledgers, Grenadian and West Indies opening batsman Devon Smith, Vincy Heat’s football midfielder Kendall Velox, Vincentian squash player/coach James Bentick, and Daniel Bailey who won gold and silver medals at the last Carifta Games.

Pamenos will bask in the glory of the Male OECS Sports Personality for 2004.

He will share the spotlight with Grenadian swimmer Tuesday Watt. The Westmoreland Secondary School student smashed all opponents at the Carifta Games with five gold medals. And at the OECS Sports Meet, Watt was in full throttle rattling up another eight gold medals.

With that dazzling armory, Watt lit up the eyes of the adjudicators to walk away with the OECS Female Sports Personality title.

Vincentian Adelaide Carrington was in for some consideration and her recapture of the OECS Half Marathon the same day with Ballantyne added some prestige to her claim for the title. Carrington’s success in Grenada highlighted a long career punctuated with at least six half-marathon championships. She was not to eclipse Watt’s performance however.

Vincentian Cordell Jack, MVP at both the West Indies Women’s Federation Championship and the West Indies Under-23 Tournament threw up a formidable bid for the title, but even she was no match for Watt’s voltage.

Natasha George, with eight medals at the OECS championship and three silver medals and one bronze in swimming at Carifta, was also in contention.

The awardees will get their due in ceremonies to be arranged.

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