Stunned - Dyke blames rash of late injuries for collapse

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer senior reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, March 18, 2013

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DESPITE collapsing and dramatically losing the
Inter Secondary Schools' Association (ISSA) GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships by just five points, Edwin Allen's head coach Michael Dyke still believes his team is 100 points better than champions Holmwood Technical.

Dyke, who watched agonisingly as Edwin Allen, who at one point held a 51-point lead on Friday after winning the Class Three 100m with Shellece Clark, highlighted crucial injuries to key athletes at critical times that robbed his team of victory.

"I am very disappointed because in no stretch of the imagination I thought that we could have lost. I know this team better than Holmwood by over 100 points, even without Christianna Williams. We know we could have won by 100 or over 100 points," said Dyke.

"Injuries to key players really affected our chances. We had some injuries where we had persons like (Saqukine) Cameron from early. She was one that would contribute a lot in the 400m, 200m and the two relays. But when we pulled her, we still worked out that we could have pulled it off without her. But there were some areas where some persons did not live up to expectations.

"Then with all of that, it came down to Marlena Eubanks where we had to pull her from the 800m because she had dizzy spells and just couldn't go out there and when the doctor checked her, they advised us not to send her," Dyke said.

"She was slightly dehydrated and they had to put her on drip and things. If she had competed we would
have won, as simple as that," the coach noted.

Both Cameron and Eubanks were favourites for at least two events and were expected to garner crucial points for Edwin Allen.

Eubanks is considered the new middle-distance sensation and was heavy favourite for the Class One 800m title and with a 52.8 4x400m relay split at Gibson, she was described as a true warrior.

"When it came around for the 4x400 the doctor had called and said she had recovered sufficiently and if we wanted to run her we could,"
said Dyke.

But having won their first championship last year by over 100 points after promising much in the previous two years but failed to deliver, Edwin Allen seemed to be starting a dynasty reminiscent of what Vere Technical did in the late-70s through to the early 90s, and more recently Holmwood in the 2000s.

The official Champs magazine had predicted Edwin Allen to amass 347 points, but they ended 42 points short with 305.5. Holmwood were supposed to finish second with 266 points, but instead they rattled up 44 points more to finish with 310.5.


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