Edwin Allen skipper confident of retaining girls' title
In this file photo, Edwin Allen High's sprint sensation Tina Clayton (left) and Captain Leanna Lewis lead the girls' team into the school for morning devotion on Monday, April 11, 2022. Last year, Edwin Allen successfully defended the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association/GraceKennedy Girls' Athletics Championships title. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

Despite losing their Central Championships title to bitter rivals Hydel High by half a point, Edwin Allen High Captain Leanna Lewis insists there is no pressure on her team to defend the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Girls' Athletics Championships title.

The high-anticipated boys' and girls' championships are to be held at the National Stadium from March 28 to April 1. Edwin Allen are seeking their ninth-straight hold on the girls' title.

At the recent Central Champs, Edwin Allen tallied 357 points to finish behind Hydel who won with 357.5.

Lewis, who knows all about winning, having been a member of the Edwin Allen's team that won six of the last seven girls' championships titles, put a positive twist on the Central Champs disappointment.

"Yes, we have lost our Central Champs title to them, but it is not a setback in anyway because that was not our main target because our main target is Champs," the 19-year-old Lewis said.

"I think that has an effect on us seeing that it has motivated us to see what we must expect and what we are expected to do when we enter into the ISSA Boys' and Girls' Championships.

"There is no pressure on us because this is a very experienced team and we have a very good coaching and our school community is behind a hundred percent and so we are just ready and raring to go," the middle distance runner pointed out.

Lewis, who will be aiming for her second-straight girls' title as captain of the Clarendon-based team, said they are expecting this year's championships to be competitive right down to the final day.

"The team is very confident because the girls are working hard and they are doing their best and everybody is in excellent shape," she said.

"We are also mentally focused on seeing what happens at the Central Championships and I think that has built us to be stronger and to focus more and also to have that fighting spirit that we must defend our title," Lewis added.

Lewis, who has stepped up from the 800 metres to 1,500 metres this season, was a fifth-placed finisher in the event at the Central Championships. She has a personal best time of 4:47.54 in the 1,500m.

"My event is very competitive, but I must say that I am working really hard and I am just willing to go out there and put out my best effort for the team. I think that if it is God's will anything is possible but I am highly motivated and ready to go out there," she said.

BY ROBERT BAILEY Staff reporter

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