'Poor preparation hurt Ja'

Coach rues modest NACAC Cross Country show

BY OSHANE TOBIAS Observer staff reporter tobiaso@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, January 26, 2013

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Coach Dean Tomlin believes Jamaica's Cross Country team would have done much better at yesterday's ninth staging of the North America, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Championships with adequate preparation.

Out of the nine participating countries, hosts Jamaica only had one podium finish in the four team results, with the Senior Men's 8K team placing third behind Canada and USA, who were the big winners on the day.

But Tomlin said a better showing from the athletes at the Manchester Golf Club in Mandeville would have been a bonus, given that they had no organised training sessions since the National Trials in December.

"Based on my observation, this was exactly the kind of performance that I was expecting; anything outside of this would have been a surprise," he said.

"Since the 15th of December, when we had the trials, we have not have even had one training session to prepare the athletes, and we are the hosts. As the hosts, we should be living on the course," he added.

"At least twice per week we should have been out on the course. Our guys should have been so familiar with the course that they could close their eyes and run the race.

"That was basically our downfall," he continued, "we didn't have any training session on the course, so physically and psychologically, we weren't prepared."

Asked what caused the lack of preparation, Tomlin said: "I don't know. That's the same question that I'm asking, because I was just called to coach the team."

Jamaica's best athlete on the day was Stephanie Barrett, who clocked 15:46 to finish 15th in the Junior Women's 4K.

"I think we could have done better, especially for the junior girls, if we had better preparation," added Tomlin.

Meanwhile, Graig Forys of the USA and Natasha Fraser of Canada claimed top prize in the senior races. Forys clocked 24:46 to win the Men's 8K, while Canadian pair of Cameron Levins and Kelly Wiebe was second and third, respectively.

Kirk Brown (16th) was Jamaica's best-placed athlete in the 8K, followed by Damion Bent, Rupert Green and Ainsworth Daley. Shawn Pitter did not finish.

Fraser won the gold medal in the Women's 6K event in 21: 07 ahead of Canada's Rachel Cliff (21:35) and Beverly Ramos of Puerto Rico in 21: 48.

Danielle Jones (15th) in 25:27 was Jamaica's best placed athlete in that event. Sherene Whyte (16th), Chante Roberts (17th), Shanese Young (20th), and Juliet Dinnall (21st) were the other Jamaicans to finish the race.

The 4K Junior Women's race went to Erin Finn of the USA, while Canadians Madeline Yungblut and Gabriela Stafford were second and third, respectively.

Mexico's Edgar Garcia won the Junior Men's 6K, with his teammate Victor Montanez claiming the bronze. Estevan de la Rosa of the USA was second.

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