by Serafina Siow (17A13A)
Additional reporting by Khin Yadanar Oo (17A13A)
Finals were bittersweet this year for Raffles Institution’s (RI) Cross Country team, as the participants’ gruelling runs culminated in a second place win for both the Girls’ and Boys’ teams, after VJC and ASCI(I) respectively.
A Division Boys
Tan Chong Qi (16S03P), the pre-race favourite, started out strong but was unable to catch up to Isaac Tan (ACS(I)) who led the race and eventually finished second with a time of 16:26.25. Chester Lee (16S06F) came in after Chong Qi in third place with a time of 16:31.38. Chirag Gupta (16:42.54), Mohammad Shafiq (17:05.89) and Aaron Chan (17:10.04) rounded up the Crossers from RI in the top twenty in 6th, 13th and 14th place respectively.
Team scores were calculated from the timings of the best four runners from each school, and it was a remarkably close fight between RI and ACS(I) for first place in the A Division Title. Unfortunately, RI finished just two points behind ACS(I) and obtained 2nd place. The coach, Joe Goh, said, “The buildup to the race was good and we were in a good position to defend our team title. Yet, our closest rivals VJC and ACS(I) are very strong and the title could go to any team on race day.” He gave credit to ACS(I) for being able to rise to the occasion to clinch the title.
Highly disappointed, Tan Chong Qi lamented, “It hurts… it hurts really bad, when you know the team title was only (two) points away–like just one position higher for any of our four runners (ahead of an ACS runner) would have won us the team title.” With the break in a four year winning streak, Chong Qi was crestfallen but managed to remain upbeat about the future, adding, “in life you win and lose.”
A Division Girls
The A Division girls also performed admirably well – the first runner from RI, Natalie Soh (16S03S), came in 3rd with a timing of 14:51.11 after the the first two runners from VJC. Natalie was followed closely by Nah Yi Xin (16S03S) (14:58.80) in 4nd place and Faye Chiang (15:21.28), coming in fifth. Valerie Lai, fourth runner from Team Raffles, was in 11th place, finishing the race in 16:10.91. In the top 20 was also Amanda Lok (16:28.25) in 15th place. With the points from our top four runners, RI came in second in the A Division Girls’ Title behind VJC.
Coach Goh explained, “The preparation leading up to the race was challenging due to multiple injuries to our key runners (which) forced us to make last minute changes to the team. Even on race day itself, our girls were not at 100% and were still hampered by injuries.”
Staying optimistic nevertheless, Coach Goh commended his team, praising, “I am still happy with the performance of the team as they have put in an enormous amount of effort over the past few months.” Both teams have given their best in the Championships and we at Raffles Press wish them the best in their future competitions.
Team Roster: Boys – Tan Chong Qi; Lee Zhong Kian, Chester; Chirag Gupta; Mohammad Shafiq Anshad; Aaron Chan Siang Joo; Elisha Goh Si Yuan; Vignesh Ravi Baskar; Wong Kwok Ho
Girls – Soh Hann, Natalie; Nah Yi Xin; Chiang Aiting, Faye; Lai Zi Qing, Valerie; Lok Qi Ying Amanda; Chloe Wang Wenyi; Corrie Jireh Teo; Phay Renne