Head coach unfazed by Edwin Allen sceptics
DYKE...the girls are in high spirits and they are very motivated Photo: Naphtali Junior

If anyone knows how to win an Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Girls' Athletics Championships, it is Edwin Allen High's veteran Head Coach Michael Dyke.

Dyke has led Edwin Allen to eight-straight girl's titles and nine overall in the last 10 years.

So there is no wonder he is not perturbed by his team's form after losing their Central Championships title to rivals Hydel High earlier this month.

Some track and field experts believe that this year's championships is going to be very close and the title could be decided on the final day of the event.

Dyke told the Jamaica Observer the Central Champs provided the opportunity to utilise the team's depth.

"I am feeling good and I feel like the girls are now ready for the championships. We did not allow the Central Champs loss to affect us," said Dyke.

"We knew where we could have got a lot more points... and the fact that it was Central Champs, we tried to spread the events so that nobody was overworked or anything.

"At the Central Champs, when you look at it, it was just the central schools so when all the other parties come into play, we should have enough strength and depth to do what is necessary to pull off the championships," Dyke said.

Edwin Allen will be without three members of their record breaking 4x100m relay team – in twin sisters Tina and Tia Clayton, along with Brandy Hall. Tina and Tia are now both professional athletes at the MVP Track Club, while Hall is attending university in the United States.

Dyke pointed out that they have a very rounded team going into the championships and therefore will not be solely dependent on any one individual.

"The girls are in high spirits and they are very motivated and they are all ready to go out there and deliver for us," he said.

"We are the defending champions and so everybody will be coming at you, so you have to be on your P's and Q's. Because mistakes are not allowed to ensure that we continue to do what we have been doing over the years, which is winning.

"We would have missed them, but if you look at what those girls contributed last year, between Brandy, Tina and Tia, we got 15 points from them with the exception of the relays. We [are] all strong in all areas and I am expecting everyone to turn up on the day for us," he said.

The five-day boys' and girls' championships are set to start Tuesday.

BY ROBERT BAILEY Staff reporter robertb@jamaicaobserver.com

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