Balance key to Champs success – Dyke
Michael Dyke, the veteran coach of the Edwin Allen High School track and field team, believes that the all-round balance of his squad will earn victory at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships in March. Dyke reckons that Edwin Allen are in pole position currently and points the 400 metres as a discipline where his team is "a little suspect".
Asked at Saturday's STETHS Invitational how his team was shaping up, Dyke gave his view of the overall Champs picture.
"We're in pole position at this time," Dyke measured. "When I assess the team as an all-round balance, (we are) probably a little suspect in the 400m, but I think we are good enough to score some points there."
Noting the Edwin Allen power in the sprints, middle distances and jumps, he extrapolated, "One area won't win the Championships, so when we spread around, I think we'll be safe."
Speaking just after his girls had won the 4x800 metres relay at a canter in 9 minutes 15.55 seconds, Dyke stated: "We had no doubt that we would have won this time around based on the team we have and coming off a win from the Central Hurdles and Relays, they are highly motivated."
He looked ahead, perhaps to the Western Relays, the Gibson-McCook Relays, and the 125th Penn Relays when the team could be even more able. "We still have two legs to come in, but this team is holding its own currently, so we continue with it going forward until I decide to make the changes."
Pundits imagine that 400-metre hurdler Lasanna Graham, winner at the Central Hurdles and Relays, could be one of the reinforcements.
Jessica McLean, Kayan Green, Leona Lewis, and Rushana Dwyer had beaten Spaulding High and Holmwood Technical the previous week at the G.C. Foster College for Physical Education and Sport, and on the lush but heavy STETHS grass track, they produced split times of 2 minutes 16.7 seconds, 2.16.4, 2.23.9, and 2.18.6 to win convincingly.
On each occasion, McLean gave the sky blues a great start.
"She has been working very hard, injury free, which is good, so I think she's going to do extremely well this season," Dyke predicted. Hassled by injury, the diminutive McLean finished eighth in the Champs Class Three 800m after taking the bronze in the 1500 metres. "She is now fit and the sky's the limit for her this year."
Dyke gave an update on the 11.13-22.75 speedster Kevona Davis and her likely entrance into competition for this season.
"She's going to open sometime in February," he reported of the reigning Class Two 100 and 200 metres champion.