It will be hard to retain title - Dyke
Raymond Graham, Gleaner Writer
WITH the outstanding Marleena Eubanks in their line-up last year, Edwin Allen was unstoppable on the road, as the Michael Dyke-coached team dominated the Burger King Grand Prix Series, winning the overall title.
This was on the back of Eubanks' dominance of the individual event, where she was crowned the female champion.
Fast-forward one year later and following the first of three events in the Grand Prix series - the Mandeville 7K held some two weeks ago - Edwin Allen is in danger of losing both titles.
Known for their strength in middle- and long-distance running and despite a big squad showing up at the first stop, it was a flat Edwin Allen team in the end, as they failed to finish in the top five among the females in the individual 7K and fourth behind the likes of Holmwood Technical, Hydel and Spaulding High. Based on that finish, it will be a steep climb for them to retain their title with the Portmore 10K event on Sunday and the final event in Montego Bay on December set to close off the series.
Head coach Dyke admitted that it will be tough to retain their title, but insisted that his team will bounce back on Sunday.
"Last year, we did very well because Marleena was the engineer behind the team and she really motivated the other girls and we have a young team and they are taking time to adjust, but come Sunday, we expect to get back at the top although Holmwood has a very strong and experienced team," said Dyke.
VERY HARD TO WIN BACK
"After coming fourth in Mandeville, it will be very hard for us to win back our team title as we would have to win the two remaining events and hope Holmwood does badly in them."
Dyke stated that his team's preparation for the season has not been the same as former years due to increased violence in the area.
"We have to do different things on the road now because of violence and we cannot allow the girls to take the normal routes they used to because we have to ensure that nothing happens to them, and this has really been a setback for us."