Dyke confident of Edwin Allen hat-trick at Penns
SEVERAL of the country's top senior and junior athletes will be busy competing at the 122nd staging of the Penn Relays in Franklin Field, Philadelphia, from Thursday to Saturday. Most of these athletes from top high schools and colleges will depart the island today.
Top college team, the University of Technology, will be leaving the island this morning through the Norman Manley Airport, while top high school female team Edwin Allen High will depart from the Donald Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay this evening for New York, before driving over to Philadelphia.
Several schools, including Kingston College, Holmwood Technical, and Vere Technical, will also be leaving from Montego Bay this afternoon and will head straight to Philadelphia.
After winning two titles last year among the girls, head coach of Edwin Allen Michael Dyke is very optimistic.
"We are very strong in the 4x100 and 4x800 metres, and despite not running consistently well in the 4x400 metres so far this season, I am confident that the girls can pull it off," said Dyke.
St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), Holmwood, and Hydel have posted fast times in the event so far.
"Edwin Allen is yet to run at full strength all season, but come this weekend, we will be at full strength as we have three members from last year's winning team, and a member of the team who was injured for the majority of the season is now fully fit," Dyke advised.
Despite his top half-miler Cemore Donald, not competing at Penns this season, Dyke is confident that they will pull it off in the 4x800 metres.
"Donald (Cemore) is just in Class Three and we are not taking her this year as we risk not having her in the final year of competition as an athlete can only compete at this meet for four years," said Dyke.
Several years ago, Dyke saw one of his teams being disqualified after one of his athletes was deemed to have competed for more than four years.
Meanwhile, George Forbes, competition's officer of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA), is warning schools to ensure that all their athletes are 'legitimate' to compete at Penns as he does not want any embarrassment. Forbes recently sent letters to the various principals of the schools attending the meet, reminding them of Penn Relays' eligibility rules.
In the letter, he stated two things:
1. No athlete can participate at the Penn Relays for more than four years.
2. Eligibility is recorded when the athlete first competes. Example: If the student first attended in 2014, misses 2015 and 2016, then this student's final eligibility is 2017, even if there is a change of school.
In closing, Forbes is asking everyone to do their diligence in order not to cause embarrassment to schools or athletes.