Champs Watch 2017 | Dream teams Calabar and Edwin Allen
Everyone knows that the Calabar High School quartet of Tyreke Wilson, Christopher Taylor, Michael Stephens and Dejour Russell is the dream team of high school relay sprinting. With Brandon Heath on the third leg in their early days, the group is the fastest ever in classes 4, 3 and 2. They will have to fly if they are to add the Boys and Girls Championships class 1 4x100m record to their collection.
That mark is the fastest ever 4x100 time run by a high school team in the world, a stunning run of 39.08 seconds by Edward Clarke, Michael O'Hara, Juliane Walker and Sean Selvin for Calabar at Champs 2015. The dream team hasn't run together yet in 2017 and it's Kingston College that set the fastest time of the season at 39.90 seconds at the Gibson McCook Relays. The safe bet was that they would have a run at the record in 2018 but in the last week or so, their speed has begun to surface.
Stephens and Taylor ran 20.93 and 20.98 seconds for 200m in different races last week. Wilson cruised to win the Carifta Under-18 Trials 100m final, and Russell won the 110m hurdles in the same age category in 13.31 seconds. So the speed is there.
There are two more dream teams, and both are at Edwin Allen High School. Selisa Palmer, Kevona Davis, Lisandra Brown and Shanique Rowe became the first to break
the class four 47-second barrier in 2015. With Palmer concentrating on the 400m in class 3 last year, Salecia Myles has fitted in admirably. At the Gibson McCook Relays, Myles, Davis, Brown and Rowe sped to a phenomenal Class 3-winning time of 44.91 seconds. Not only is that faster than the Champs record of 45.33 seconds, but it is the first ever sub-45 clocking in this class.
To put that into perspective, the first ever Class 2 sub-45 run was done just last year by an Edwin Allen team including the outstanding Shellece Clarke. Clarke and company circled the track at Champs in 44.88 seconds. If your jaw dropped when you read that statistic, don't feel bad. It's just staggering that a Class 3 team has come within 0.03 seconds to the all-time class 2 best.
At Central Championships, Edwin Allen coach Michael Dyke unveiled another set of record smashers. Serena Cole, Tina Clayton, Brittany Thompson and Clayton's twin sister, Thia, destroyed the all-time benchmark in the Class 4 4x100m. With great speed and solid baton passing, the little ladies circled the pink track at the G.C. Foster College for Physical Education in 46.30 seconds.
That's 0.35 seconds faster than the standard set by Palmer, Davis, Brown and Rowe just two years ago at Champs.
These two Dream Teams in sky blue make a clear statement. Having worked through a decade dominated by nine straight Girls' Champs victories by Holmwood, coach Dyke is building from the foundation of his team to extend its current run of success. It's a winning formula you can't fault.