Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Clarke Wants Big Home Showing

Published:Thursday | January 19, 2017 | 1:00 AMRaymond Graham
Calabar's coach Michael Clarke

The second staging of the McKenley/Wint Track and Field Classic will be held this Saturday at the home of defending ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' champions, Calabar High School.

Head coach of Calabar Michael Clarke has called on the school's fans to support the meet in what he calls great numbers as his team is expecting another strong performance.

"We want our home fans to help in celebrating the achievement of our success at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Championships last year, and we are hoping for them to come out in large numbers on Saturday as the team will be making a big statement in its bid to defend its title in a few months, despite it being early days in the season," Clarke said.

A few of his top athletes will not be opening their 2017 campaign as yet, but according to Clarke, this will not detract in the quality of performances expected.

"Chris (Christopher Taylor), Michael (Stevens), and Dejour (Russell) will not be competing on Saturday as they started their preparation late, especially Chris. We do not want to push them into early competition, but the team has enough quality for great performances," Clarke continued.

He said that preparation has gone very well so far and that his boys are ready for any challenge.

"I am extremely happy with our preparation so far, and after their performances at the Douglas Forrest meet last week, there were no surprises as the guys executed what they had been doing in training," he said.

At that meet, the Calabar team dominated in all areas, especially in Class One, where coming into the season, critics said that they were weak.

The likes of sprinter Taraj Smith, who clocked 23.27 seconds in negative wind, to defeat Kingston College's top man Terrique Stennett in the Boys 200m Class Three sprint; and long jumpers Nicolloyd Brown and Jordan Turner, with distances of 6.06 and 5.95 metres respectively, were the standouts for the Red Hills Road-based team.

"Every year is a new challenge and every team has a chance to win, and we are very happy for them all to be ambitious. We will not change our strategy in preparation, and we will always be ready for any challenge. The boys are being meticulously prepared and are ready for any challenges," he said.