Edwin Allen's hardest win, says Dyke - Coach braces for even tougher 2019
Defending champions Edwin Allen ruled supreme among the girls at last week's ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Athletics Championships inside the National Stadium, as the Michael Dyke coached team made it five wins in a row and six overall, after ending on 326 points.
Coming into the championships as the big favourites, the Frankfield-based school had to stave off a late mid - Saturday challenge from Hydel and Holmwood Technical, with the predicted dominance not materialising.
"This year's win was the most difficult for us, as it was very challenging and we had a lot of mishaps, where persons, who were expected to make the finals, did not, especially in the throwing events, while injuries derailed a few, who after qualifying for the finals, could not report. Also a few athletes fell and pulled up injured during their race," said Dyke, in his assessment.
The champions got off to a slow start on the first two days with the likes of Excelsior and St. Jago doing the early damage. Despite taking the lead on the final two days, Edwin Allen never got the expected separation from their rivals and after a few finals on Saturday, all three teams - Edwin Allen, Hydel and Holmwood were on even terms with the champions just a mere five points ahead.
"We were a bit concerned but cautiously confident," Dyke admitted. "I knew this was going to happen because I had already told the girls that this was going to be the most challenging championship for us as on Friday night. I told the team that we had 33 qualifiers in the finals, while Holmwood had 32 and Hydel had 31."
Nevertheless, the coach was pleased with the overall performance of his team and singled out the outstanding double record breaker Kevona Davis, who he stated was not expected to run that fast.
"I did not expect her to run that fast especially in the 200 metres, as I told her that she already had the record and all she had to do was to win the race. However, she told me that she wanted to put the records out of sight so that next year if all goes well, she can take things more easy," said Dyke.
While underlining that he is ready for the challenge, Dyke says he is well aware that it will not get any easier in the future, as Hydel and Holmwood will be coming hard to dethrone his team.
"We enjoy the challenges from our opponents and we are not yet ready to give up our title. We will be well-prepared and next year we will be much stronger as in Class Three and Class Four. Most of these athletes will be repeating here and definitely we will be adding some numbers to the upper classes," said Dyke confidently.