‘Our sweetest ever’, says coach Dyke of Edwin Allen's Penn Relays wins
"Our two victories in the relays this year at Penns is our sweetest ever," said Michael Dyke, head coach of Edwin Allen High girl's track and field team just after their 4x400 metres success.
The win on Friday followed their earlier victory in the 4x100 metres.
Dyke said both wins were sweet because they weren't rated as the best.
"We were not the favourite to win any of the relays, we were big underdogs behind St Jago," he remarked.
St Jago were hoping to break a long drought at Penns. Their last win, in the 4x100m, was back in 2005 and they last won the 4x400m in 2000. The Monk Street-based school had the fastest times in both events and defeating Edwin Allen quite easily in the 4x100m at the UTech Classic.
It was a very inexperienced Edwin Allen team that competed at Penn Relays. Three members of both the 4x100m and 4x400m teams were competing there for the first time.
St Jago, on the other hand, had a wealth of experience on both squads with the likes of Peta Gaye Williams, who had represented Camperdown twice, Shanice Reid, Natalliah Whyte, Genekee Leith and Andrenette Knight, who ran for Vere Technical thrice.
Cameron made difference
"Despite both teams lacking the experience, I knew that Cameron (Saqukine) would have made a big difference and she was rested for the preliminary round in both relays, as I wanted her to come fresh for both finals as she is our best athlete in both events," expressed Dyke.
"I knew that her presence would have made a big difference, and she also wanted to make up for her disappointment at the ISSA Boys and Girls' Championships where she false-started in the Class One 100 metres, and she wanted to make up for that," he added.
"I also knew that the St Jago coach was really nervous as he is yet to win an event at Penns, and going into the races from the warm-up track I could see the nervousness on him and I knew that would have transferred to his team," said Dyke.
"Being defending champions in both events, this was added motivation for us," he continued, and also stated that not running Cameron in the heats was also a tactical move as his main rivals could not know which relay leg she would be running.
Asked if there was a concern about running three Class Two girls on the team, he said: "At no stage I was concerned as these girls have been running together since they were in Class Four and they can close their eyes and pass the baton as they knew each other well," said Dyke.
"For our rivals, it will be scary for them as I see both teams winning for at least another three years," predicted Dyke.