Sports

Cross Country

Combat Support Battalion Crowned Cross Country Champs

By Capt B Jarrett

The 2012 edition of the Annual Jamaica Defence Force Cross Country Championship was held on Wednesday 15 August 2012 at Up Park Camp, and when the dust settled, one Unit stood supreme as overall Champions in the 10km event. For the first time in its relatively short history, Combat Support Battalion (Cbt Sp Bn) not only won the annual event, but also registered a margin of victory that underscored their dominance of the race. Combat Support Battalion amassed 78 points, with 2011 champions, Support and Services Battalion some distance away on 172 points, and the Second Battalion the Jamaica Regiment (2JR) coming in third on 191 points. Rounding out the results were the Third Battalion, the Jamaica Regiment (National Reserve) (258 points), 1 Engineer Regiment (JDF) (259 points), the First Battalion the Jamaica Regiment (1JR) (292 points), JDF Coast Guard (311 points) and JDF Air Wing (578 points).

2Lt Richard Robinson (center) of Combat Support Battalion hears footsteps as he tries to hold
off runners from 1ER (JDF) and 1JR during the Annual Jamaica Defence Force Cross
Country Championships on Wednesday August 15, 2012 at Up Park Camp.

The cross country event is scored in a manner where one point is given for first place, two for second, three for third and so on. Only the first eight finishers from each Unit score points for their respective Unit's overall score and therefore, like Golf, a lower overall score indicates a better performance.

While Cb Spt Bn took away the event's highest prize, the Unit had to settle for second best among the individual awards as Pte Orbian, T, of 2JR crossed the finish line first ahead of silver medalist Pte White, R of Cbt Sp Bn and Spr Barrett, R of 1 ER (JDF) third.

Anxious supporters wait at the finish line for the front-runners of the Annual
Jamaica Defence Force Cross Country Championships that was held on
Wednesday August 15, 2012 at Up Park Camp.

The 2012 Cross Country Championship was well attended by a number of Officers and Other Ranks, as well as family members and well-wishers. The cool mid-morning breeze gave way to a blistering sun by the end of the race, but the spectators and fans stayed around long after to congratulate their Unit on their achievements. In his post-meet address, Col D T Edwards praised the winners and exhorted the other Units to step up their challenge next year. He encouraged all the Units however to see distance running and endurance as a way of military life, rather than an event to prepare for two months in advance. He particularly singled out the JDF Coast Guard to step up their running game, as other Units will now be gunning for their swim title.

Pte Orbian, T of 2JR (right) receives his first place award from Inspector General, Col D Pryce
after topping a competitive field of over 80 runners during the Annual Jamaica Defence Force
Cross Country Championship on Wednesday August 15, 2012 at Up Park Camp.

Captain of the winning Cbt Sp Bn team, 2Lt R Robinson said that despite having been given only two weeks to prepare for the event, he was very pleased with both his personal performance and that of the team. He termed the win "historic" and promised similar results at the Track and Field Championships, which follows in two days.

Col D T Edwards congratulates members of the Combat Support Battalion following their historic win at
the Annual Jamaica Defence Force Cross Country Championships on
Wednesday August 15, 2012 at Up Park Camp.

Despite his team finishing third, overall individual winner, Pte Orbian was elated with his personal performance. He said that he had come out with the sole intention to beat Pte White of Cbt Sp Bn who was also targeting the top spot. "Last year I came fifth," said Orbian, "and this year my sole intention was to win the race. It was very difficult but I put in the hard work in advance and I'm happy that it paid off."