Anthony Foster, Star Writer
Dwayne Jarrett ... coach of William Knibb High. - File photos
Dwayne Jarrett, one of the nation's top junior coaches, has set his sights on developing quality athletes at William Knibb Memorial High.
In an interview with STAR Sports yesterday, Jarrett was asked if he can win the Championships.
"Definitely not," was his answer. "The focus is on developing quality," said Jarrett, who has travelled to various championships with several Jamaica junior teams.
Sprinters Jason Young and Rajiv Service are just two talented athletes at William Knibb, the school which produced Olympic Games triple gold medallist Usain Bolt, who won the Beijing sprint double in world-record times of 9.69 seconds and 19.30 seconds, while adding a third world record, 37.10, in the 4x100m. Bolt was the lone star at the school up to 2003.
Young was fourth in the 200m (21.70) and seventh in the 100m (10.70) at last year's Boys' Championships.
But Jarrett said that this year "anything can play because I think he has the potential to finish in the top three, in both the 100m and 200m."
At Carifta Trials, Young was third in the Under-20 200m, but despite clocking 10.74, which was the fifth-fastest time of all the heats, in the 100m he missed out on a spot in the final.
As for Service, son of former national cricketer Phillip, Jarrett said he is one to watch.
"Just this year we identified he has what it takes to be a good athlete," Jarrett said of Service, who has done 49.10 on dirt.
"I don't think he knows his full potential, and even if he does not get a medal (at Champs), he is good enough to get to the final of the Class One boys 400m," Jarrett continued.
Jarrett also spoke highly of his relay teams, the boys' 4x100m team, which he said ran 41.49 last year and did not make it to the final.
At Gibson Relays last month, William Knibb with Young, Levaughn Lawrence, Jevaughn Clarke and Dwayne Ferguson, ran 41.68 for seventh, but Jarrett believes they have more in them.
"I think that team has the potential to go faster than 41.6," he said.
He said there are a few other teams he is working on, one is the 4x400m with Young, Service, Odeaney Morris and Lamar Frater.
"We ran 3:18 at Gibson, again, I think we can go faster ... so we are just looking to make the finals and take it from there."
On the girls' side' the talent is limited, but Jarrett said a lot of work is being done to build a team.
"We are limited in that area," he said while pointing to the non-existence of a girls' programme when he took over two years ago.
"We just started to work with them last year," he said.
At Champs, Omelia Montique (5:08.06) was a sixth-place finisher in the girls' Class Three 1500m while Shanniel Johnson ran 12.94 in the first round of the girls' Class Four 100m, but her 13.10 seconds was not good enough for a place in the final.
"Those girls have gone up in class," said Jarrett, who also hinted that the schools has some girls who are sitting out the year because of recent transfers.
"So, to be honest with you, I am not expecting much from the girls' until next year," added Jarrett, who won Girls' Championships with Vere in 2000.
Again, Jarrett stressed the reason for developing quality athletes, instead of winning Champs.
Jarrett said in his early years at Vere Technical, quality time was spent in developing Veronica Campbell-Brown, now Olympic back-to-back 200m champion, Aleen Bailey and Simone Facey, among others.
Jarrett said there was no real accomplishment in winning Championships.
"It's just a one-day celebration.
"I think it's more rewarding when you can work with some athletes, quality athletes, and you see them go on to represent their country at the highest level.
"I get personal satisfaction from that ... to know I helped to create or mould those persons to the point where they are now," he added.