Bennett pours praise on star athlete Spencer
Samara Spencer, a Hydel High School Champs hero, knows how to compete. That’s the insight from her coach Corey Bennett.
The compact stalwart recently closed her Inter-Secondary School Sports Association Boys and Girls’ Championships career with her fourth and fifth gold medals.
“I call her Champsy because I think she just rises at Champs and just knows how to compete,” Bennett said of his star pupil.
During the rise of Bennett’s Hydel squads at the championships, Spencer poured in 90 individual points. Wonderfully versatile, she won the 2010 Class Four 70-metre hurdles and the 2012 Class Three high jump/long jump double, with a still-standing record of 6.06 metres in the long jump, before her Champs farewell double in Class One.
Bullet-quick, she was also a member of many 4x100 quartets and competed in the Champs 100- and 200-metre finals.
“She can turn it up to another notch,” Bennett explained.
“Not many athletes have jumped over six metres in three different classes and she has the ability to do it at Champs.”
Spencer won her last two Champs gold medals after tough battles with talented St Jago leaper Tissana Hickling. Though hampered by a minor injury, she eked out a one-centimetre win in the Class One long jump, 6.07 to 6.06 metres.
With local and overseas college scholarship offers under review, Spencer didn’t take all her jumps in that tight contest to avoid worsening a pre-existing minor niggle.
“I believe she could have gone much further based on our preparation for her, but we had to look at her first,” he said.
Bennett is unstinting in his praise for the athlete.
“She’s my best hurdler, technically, but for whatever reason, when she goes into competition she shuts down. She has been there and she knows how to get herself up at the right time.”