St. Thomas' DeGannes, David victorious in BVI Half Marathon


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TORTOLA - St. Thomas' Shane DeGannes finished first, followed by fellow St. Thomas runner Ruth Ann David as they claimed the men's and women's divisions of the Ogier/Deloitte seventh BVI Half Marathon on Tortola last Saturday.

DeGannes took the lead at the start and then ran unchallenged en route to a winning time of 1 hour and 25 minutes. The race attracted over 75 participants for the first time in its history.

"The goal was just to win," said DeGannes, who along with David were second in their Oct. 6 visit for the NACAC 10K Series race. "My grandfather, he wanted me to bring back the masters program in the Virgin Islands, and that's where all the emotion came from in the end there. He just passed a couple months ago and I just wanted to execute his wishes and today. I felt I have done such."

DeGannes said he wanted to break one hour and 20 minutes, but it was tough by himself. The lead police officer he said was a great inspiration and kept talking to him.

"Unfortunately, I did not meet the goal, but I'm still happy with the outcome," he said. "The course is a beautiful course. I just got absorbed myself and kind of got lost in the course just site-seeing and checking out the scenery. It's a little distracting, actually, with all the beauty on the course."

David, who overhauled three male counterparts, came up .10 seconds short of taking down Meriel Steadman's 2011 course record, when she ran a time of 1:34.19 to finish behind DeGannes. It was the first time in race history that no records were established in the 13.1-mile race on Tortola's south coast roads.

David described the course as wonderful.

"I love running here. The course is flat and nice," she said. "I haven't run a half marathon in two to three years. The mistake I made was running up one hill by accident, so that cost me the course record. I usually run around 1:28, 1:29, and the fastest I've done is 1:24. But the next time I run this course, it's going to be faster because I know where it is now."

There were 83 registered participants, 77 starters and 75 finishers. Total participants, including relay teams, were 86.

Race director Kay Reddy said she was delighted with the turnout and how things went.

"It was an absolutely fantastic event, and the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force guys did an awesome job, which was also noted by participants," she said. "We thank our sponsors Ogier and Deloitte, as well as Road Town Wholesale, Dasani and Powerade. We also thank the BVI Red Cross, volunteers from Cedar School, Ogier and Deloitte and our finish line crew headed by Hastings Grant and Stephanie Russ Penn. We also thank all the participants who came from St. Thomas, St. John, Puerto Rico, North Carolina, Sweden and elsewhere."

Islanders blast East End in BVIFA season opener

Fresh off being crowned the 2012 Terry Evans Knockout Cup champions, the Islanders opened the 2012-2013 BVI Football Association National League with a 12-1 blowout victory over a porous East End squad, after racing to a 6-0 halftime lead.

The Islanders' Rushedo Robinson opened their account in the 17th minute, when he split the East End defense. Fladimir Septus added the second goal in the 25th, followed by McTair James two minutes later after a breakdown in East End's defense.

Francis Primo continued the scoring in the 32nd, when he found the goalie out of position. Four minutes later, Raymond Cummings frustrated the East End defenders yet again to score in the 38th.

A minute later, Valdo Robinson scored the first goal of his hat trick, with other goals coming in the 56th and 65th minutes.

Kaleeth Cave padded the score in the 63rd before Carlos Septus added scores in the 80th and 87th stanzas. East End's Donson Humphrey had earlier contributed to the Islanders' tally, with an own goal in the 43rd. Soniel Lucas' scored in the 85th to prevent East End from being shut out.

In the second match, the Panthers trimmed the Rebels, 2-1, in a defensive tussle.

Odean Thompson gave the Panthers the lead when he scored eight minutes in. The Rebels equalized in the 44th minute off Danny Joseph's penalty kick. Collie Mickle got an opportunity in the 84th minute and scored from a penalty kick to give the Panthers the victory.

- Dean Greenaway is a Daily News correspondent based on Tortola.

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