Coach Dyke: I expected more of a challenge
Having secured their eighth consecutive win and ninth overall at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Girls’ Championships, coach of Edwin Allen High School, Michael Dyke, says he expected more of a challenge from his rivals at the five-day meet.
“We heard a lot of noise. People were talking about a certain school, so we were preparing ourselves for a challenge, but eventually, it did not materialise,” he said dismissing his rivals.
Commenting on the girls’ victory, Dyke described it as a “very special one” as they finished well ahead of Hydel High School who finished on 295 points behind Edwin Allen’s winning total of 352.
“The girls did what they had to do. They rose to the occasion and delivered once again. There was a lot of pre-Champs talk going around, especially with the Clayton twins (Tina and Tia) and Hydel’s Brianna Lyston as well as Hydel’s bid to challenge us for our title,” he stated, adding that in the end, the school triumphed.
For the coach, the event of the championship was the 100 metres Class One race as he termed it, “probably the biggest race at Champs” this year. It was sweet victory with Tina Clayton silencing the doubters.
This year the twins did not compete in the 200 metres race, and according to Dyke, there was no need to as he had quality girls in Class One.
“We thought they would have stepped up to the plate and delivered, unfortunately, that did not happen. One got disqualified and there was an injury,” he explained. Dyke said he wanted to preserve the twins as they have a bright future. With the Carifta Games coming up this week and the Penn Relays later this month as well as the World Under-20, he said pulling them (from the 200m) was one of the best decisions he could have made.
Dyke, in praising the team’s performance, said they did it in the midst of great challenges as they started training really late.
In comparison to previous years, he said the training started in late October – almost November.
“However, we were able to get the girls ready in time for the championship, which matters most. In the end it turned out to be a pretty easy victory for us,” he said.
Looking ahead to 2023, Dyke said it is back to the drawing board and to the business of defending their title to make it nine straight.
He also used the opportunity to send out a warning to any school looking to dethrone them. Dyke said he will lose only five per cent of the athletes who won the tile this year and they will still remain a strong team.
“So probably teams considering overhauling us may have another guess coming,” he said sounding the alarm.
The only other team in the parish ahead of them with more consecutive wins are Vere Technical High with 14. Dyke said while he hopes the team can someday pull off that feat, he is taking it year by year.
“I’m not saying we are going to overhaul Vere’s consecutive wins. We are going to get back to the drawing board to start preparing for next year,” he said.