Dyke banks on Cole to deliver the goods
COLE... set to compete in the girls' 100m and long jump(Photos: Garfield Robinson)

Michael Dyke, coach of defending girls' champions Edwin Allen High, is expressing quiet confidence that outstanding sprinter Serena Cole will step up to plate and win both of her events at this year's Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships.

The highly anticipated five-day championships is scheduled to start Tuesday at the National Stadium.

Cole, one of the favourites to win the Class One 100m gold medal, has been in excellent form going into the championships. In fact, the 18-year-old athlete produced a superb performance to win the girls' Under-20 100m final at the Carifta Trials in an impressive time of 11.18 seconds.

In winning the event, Cole turned the tables on rival Alana Reid from Hydel High. Reid had defeated her at the Central Championships in the 100m final a week prior.

If Cole should win the 100m gold medal in the final, which is scheduled for Wednesday evening, then it will be her first individual sprint title at the championships. She is also down to contest the long jump competition.

Dyke said that Cole, who is the fastest female 100m athlete entering the championships with a personal best time of 11.13, is in excellent shape going into the championships.

"I know that she realises and understands her role in the team and I am expecting her to do very well at these championships," said Dyke.

"She definitely has to step up to the plate because she is one of the most senior members of the team, but I know that she is very confident and motivated going into these championships," he said.

Cole is the defending Class One long jump champion going into this year's championships, but her form in the competition this season has been below par.

Nevertheless, Dyke said that once Cole remains focused she will retain the long jump crown.

"Serena is a big-time performer so I am not worried about the form in the long jump entering the championships because I know what she is capable of doing and once she executes properly on the day, then I am expecting great things from her.

"Her preparations have gone well entering the championships so we will take it in stride and so she will be ready for her events come the 28th of this month," Dyke said.

BY ROBERT BAILEY Staff reporter robertb@jamaicaobserver.com

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