Thu | Mar 30, 2017

Harrison hoping to deliver title

Published:Monday | March 20, 2017 | 3:00 AMShayne Fairman
Harrison

Three years ago Neil Harrison took the job as head coach at Kingston College (KC). This year, Harrison says he remains just as optimistic about winning that institution's first ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletic Championships in almost eight seasons.

The purples, with 31 titles overall, lead reigning champions Calabar High, who have swept the championships on five straight occasions since 2012.

In this, Harrison's third season, he is optimistic about breaking the Calabar dominance and, hopefully, winning KC's first Mortimer Geddes trophy since 2009.

"Things have been going well. We have been doing well all season, so I am very optimistic and I am hoping that come March 28 to April 1, we will rise to the occasion," said Harrison, who feels his team could spring a secret weapon on the defending champions.

"If it is a secret, then I should not say," Harrison joked to The Gleaner, while stressing that he is under no pressure to deliver that long-awaited title.

"Quite honestly, there is not any pressure per say. If you have gone two seasons, and you have not been victorious, then you would want to really get a victory. At least one out of three would be satisfactory, and I think we have the material to get the job done," explained the coach.

 

PRESSURING CIRCUMSTANCES

 

In what could be pressuring and gruelling circumstances for KC athletes over the five days of competition, Harrison is hoping his charges will stay injury free.

"I am just hoping that we stay healthy and that we rise to the occasion come that day, but we are physically, mentally charged and ready to go," he assured.

The team will be captained by Kary McLeod and his vice, Shane Buchanan. They will be joined by sprint standout Jhevaughn Matherson, who, though not team captain, could show some leadership.

According to Harrison, KC has prepared and used the development meets as a yardstick to measure their strengths; now it is just to go to the championships and perform at their best.

Speaking of leaving former champions Munro College (where he stayed for 17 years) for KC, Harrison had no regrets, but visits home every weekend.

He said he was not mindful of critics of KC.

"You have to actually be in the Kingston College family to actually understand the KC family.

At KC, looking outside and being inside are two totally different scenarios," Harrison said.