Carlisle’s 12-year ESHS title drought ends with thrilling victory over O’Neal

U17 100m
U17 Boys Tiondre Frett, 2nd right, ran the fastest 100m time of 11.21 seconds in all sections of the ESHS Championships.

By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway.

In one of the most competitive Elmore Stoutt High School inter-house track and field championships in recent years, Carlisle, House 4, claimed their first title in 12 years on Friday, after erasing defending champion O’Neal, House 2’s 28-point lead. They secured the title with victories in the final two 4x200m relays.

O’Neal—who ended a 22-year title drought last year—went into Thursday’s two-day competition leading Carlisle 353½ points to 325½ points, after a series of pre competition day events.

After Thursday’s day one that included the 100m, 400m and 4x100m relays and heading to Friday’s finale, O’Neal led Carlisle, 564½—543 points. Carlisle began their title drive by dominating all divisions of the 800m on Friday, scored well in the 200s and pulled within 734½-731 with two relays left, before dethroning the champs, after one of their runners engaged in unsportsmanlike behavior, walked off the track and they didn’t score. Carlisle won the last two 4x200m relays and finished with 752 points for its eight overall title and first since 2012. O’Neal amassed 726½ in second, Flemming, House 3, placing third with 674½ and Lettsome, House 1 finished with 660.

“I knew my 18+ we going to eat up those relays. I already did the math in my head, the calculations were there,” Carlisle House Captain Janneel Cannonier, told Island Sun Sports. “Even if the mishap didn’t happen with their 18+ girls, we were still going to beat them. It would have been a smaller gap, but we were still going to beat them, so we knew before the 18+ relays that we had this.”

Cannonier said they have only won once since she has been Captain and it feels really, really good and they’re looking for more. “We want to do a five, 10-year stretch,” she said. “We don’t want to do one and done.”

O’Neal’s Captain Andre Roberts said it was a very competitive event and key injuries cost them the title. “But we’re coming back strong next year again, look out for O’Neal,” he said. “Working the points out in my head as we went along, I had it worked out that we would have had five points wiggle room—if they didn’t disqualify House 3 (Flemming U17 Boys who beat Carlisle), I could have afforded to come second twice, and that would have allowed me to win by ½ a point. Unfortunately, we had a mishap on the 18+ girls relay and that really put the nail in our coffin.”

Roberts said it’s one of the best championships they’ve had in years and scores were extremely close. “At no point, anything was assured to anyone,” he noted. “Everybody had to come out and leave it on the track. I’m super, super proud of Miss Cannonier and her team and students. They did exceptionally well. I look forward to coming for them next year.”

Carlisle’s athletes won or tied three for the six division titles at stake: U15 Girls, M’Kenzii Crabbe, Lettsome, 46 points. U15 Boys: Cadeon Fraites, Lettsome, 39. U17 Girls: Jamelia Chambers, Carlisle, 50. U17 Boys: Tiondre Frett, O’Neal, 50. 18+Girls, Deneil Clarke, Carlisle, 42. 18+Boys: (tie). Jabari Pemberton, Lettsome and Jonathan Lynch, Carlisle, 42. Victor Ludorum:  Tiondre Frett, O’Neal, 50. Victrx Ludorum: Jamelia Chambers, Carlisle, 50.

“It means a lot to me because I was down for three years, now it feels very pleasing for me to come back and win all my five events,” Frett, whose mother DeAnny Wattley is one of only three women to have won the Victrix Ludorum between 1957 and 2024, told Island Sun Sports. “I was really motivated because once she did good, I knew I could follow in her footsteps.”

Chambers said winning the Victrix meant a lot. “I came out with the mindset that I was going to win and I did,” she said, noting that the 800m was the toughest event. “I was pushing myself on the homestretch and it was a lot. I was tired but I was determined to win.”

ESHS Phys Ed. Dept head Rhennie Phipps, told Island Sun Sports that it was a ‘distance race’ for the last two days between Carlisle and O’Neal. “It came down to just one mistake—one big mistake—and O’Neal has to live and come again next year, Carlisle gets bragging rights for the next year,” he said. “It was a fabulous competition. We had some good performances. It’s getting better and better.”

Hodge runs 60m PB

Adaejah Hodge ran a 7.22 seconds 60m personal best and was second in the New Balance Indoor Nationals in Boston, after running 7.29 in the semis and 7.34 in the prelims. She repeated as 200m champ when she stopped the clock at 22.96 seconds. She capped her competition by helping Montverde Academy 4x400m Relay, shattering their year old Girls High School National Record of 3 minutes, 45.69 seconds, with a time of 3:18.18.

Gumbs 13th in Nationals

Northwestern State’s strongman Djimon Gumbs was 13th in the NCAA Indoor Championships Shot Put in Boston, with a heave of 18.60m (60’½). In his outdoor season opener at the McNeese Cowboys Relays, twin brother Diamanté was 2nd in the Hammer Throw, with a mark of 53.71m (176’2”), the 3rd best mark of his career, after claiming the Discus Throw with 52.68m (172’10”).