Champs 2018: Bennett tempers Hydel expectations
Corey Bennett, head coach at Hydel High, is paying respect to his rivals as he leads his team to the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships, starting today at the National Stadium.
Bennett pinpointed the resurgence of Holmwood Technical and the strength of Edwin Allen, as factors that will decide the Championships. Nevertheless, he feels Hydel will score in more events than in the past.
The Hydel girls will be led to battle by captain Shian Salmon and vice-captain Monifa Green. Salmon, high jump winner in every class, is now a gold medal contender in the Class One 400 and the open 400 metre hurdles, and Green is to defend her Class One 1,500 metre and open 3,000 metre titles. Both are versatile enough to do three individual events but that provision was removed from the rules last year.
"I'm only saddened that they can't do three events individually each", Bennett lamented of this pair of outgoing seniors.
Bennett has the same conundrum with Champs newcomer Kerrica Hill. She is among the very best Class Four 100 and 200 metre sprinters and has posted bright performances in the 70 metre hurdles.
The other bright spot for Hydel is the emergence of lanky Oneika McAnnuff, who ran the 100 and 200 metres in Class Four last year. A gradual conversion to the 400 has borne fruit.
RELAY TEAM DEBUT
McAnnuff clocked 54.57 seconds in the Under-17 400 metres at the Carifta Trials and debuted on the powerful Hydel 4x400 roster at the Digicel Grand Prix finals earlier this month with a 55.1 second opening leg. That team, which includes Salmon and 400/800 dualist Charokee Young and Class Two hustler Garriel White, is undefeated this season.
Hydel also has a solid hurdles/sprint contingent led by Ray-Donna Lee, who could be on the podium in both the 100 and 100 hurdles in Class Two.