The sign of more things to come
Hydel take victory lap, celebrate first title
Principal Dr Walton Small says that Hydel’s High maiden ISSA/GraceKennedy Girls’ Athletics title is the start of them making more history in the future.
Celebrations were infectious yesterday as the young school basked in the glory of their win at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships (Champs), dethroning Edwin Allen High 279 to 277 points, in one of the closest title races in years.
The school had a short but vibrant parade from the Ferry Police Station to the school, led by the team as they were feted by the staff, where the trophy was presented in front of the student body for the first time since winning the title on Saturday.
Small has been in the role for only six months but paid tribute to the school’s founder, Hyacinth Bennett, for her vision in the school’s creation and head coach Corey Bennett, who completed Hydel’s 13-year road to the title.
“We want to thank Mr Bennett and his team for making history. The coaching staff is amazing, and the students at the school are amazing. You couldn’t want a more cohesive team around this team,” Small told The Gleaner. “There is no doubt that this is the beginning of more history to come.”
Small’s elation at the success was not without a doubt given the challenges, highlighted by disqualifications in some events. But he said that the performance and resilience of 2000m steeplechase champion Kaydeen Johnson, who won the event after recovering from tripping on the final hurdle, was the moment he knew that the tide would turn.
“When she fell down and got up and ran like hell, I knew that the fight was there. Students that we didn’t expect to medal and give us points did. And that is when I knew. I started celebrating before the 4x400m relay because I knew we were going to win,” Small said.
Bennett hailed the celebrations but was quick to play down having a long title run as recent champions. However, he said the goal is the same: to get quality performances yearly.
“This (celebration) is bigger than what I even envisioned. I didn’t expect it at all,” Bennett said.
“We are a small team, but we just believe that no matter what, each of them can go out there and do their best and deliver. Let us hope that next year, the girls will come inspired to give of themselves and train hard and be the best version of themselves.”
As the first St Catherine team to win the title in 24 years, Small said it was a victory for the parish.
“Even though it is Hydel winning, it is for all of St Catherine. Our students are mainly from St Catherine, so this is for all of us,” Small said.