Itierio Boys  basketball player Nickson Okenye dribles the ball against Kisii School players during Kisii County Secondary School games held at Cardinal Otunga Boys High school Mosocho on 5/3/2020. Kisii School qualified to the quarter finals after beating 08-89(photo Sammy Omingo/standard)

Rift Valley region proved it is the centre of great athletes after they emerged the overall winners during the National Secondary Schools athletics championships that concluded on Wednesday in Kigari, Embu County.

The region defended the title they last won in 2019 before sports were suspended in March, 2020 after the breakout of Covid-19 pandemic that also affected learning in all institutions.

Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association used the Kigari event to select runners for the national junior trials for the World U20 and a team for the East Africa Secondary Schools Games slated for September tentatively in Tanzania.

Rift Valley garnered 328 points for the overall crown with Nyanza and Eastern regions bagging 204 and 178 points for the second and third places respectively.

Western had 155 points for the fourth position while Central, Coast, Nairobi and North Eastern had 95, 78, 57 and three points in that order.

In the boys’ category, Rift Valley once again proved it’s the region where everyone runs for a reason after they collected 164 points for the trophy beating Nyanza to the second position with 91 points. Eastern had 90 points for the third place.

In girls’ category, Rift Valley reigned supreme after garnering 164 points with Nyanza settling for the second position with 113 points. Western region were third with 92 points.

Mercy Chebet from Rift Valley won both girls 100m and 200m races after clocking 12.36 and 24.74 respectively.

In 400m race, Faith Salome of Eastern timed 57.25 for the win while Janet Jepkemoi of Rift Valley clocked 2.11.3 to win the 800m race.

In 1,500m race, Diana Chepteek from Western won with a time of 4.36.3 while Anne Naeperoe of Rift Valley registered a time of 9.42.2 to win the 3,000m race.