Sat | Mar 23, 2019

Dyke not surprised by Clayton’s remarkable record

Published:Monday | March 4, 2019 | 12:15 AMRaymond Graham/Gleaner Writer
Tia Clayton
Dyke
1
2

It has been a dream season so far for Edwin Allen High School’s stable of female sprinters, who have been posting fast times over the 100 and 200 metres on a regular basis throughout the campaign.

At the Central Athletics Championships, the Michael Dyke-coached girls stepped things up a notch, with 14-year-old Tia Clayton producing an unbelievable performance, stopping the clock at 11.37 seconds (+1.7) to win the Class Three 100 metres.

That time makes Clayton the fastest female in the country and also puts her in the history books as the new owner of the age-group record, beating the 12-year-old mark of 11.40 seconds, which was set by the United States’ Ashton Purvis in 2007.

Dyke, who was understandingly thrilled for his charge’s performance, said he was not surprised by the run.

“It is an excellent achievement by Tia to be running that fast in her young age, and really, the sky’s the limit for her,” said Dyke.

“I was not surprised by her fast time, as she has been training very well and she started the season on a high when she ran 11.64 seconds in a negative wind of 1.6 metres per second at the JC meet (JC/Purewater/Danny Williams Invitational Meet) and followed that up with a faster time at the Youngster Goldsmith Meet, where she did 11.56 seconds, so it was on the cards that she was going to do some crazy things,” Dyke added.

The coach is convinced that there is more in store and thinks she could go much faster at this month’s ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships.

“With the expected competition with the likes of her sister, Tina, and Brianna Lyston (St Jago), I think she will go much faster once she remains injury-free, as these three girls are extremely talented, and they do feed off each other, although this will depend on several factors, including the weather,” Dyke reasoned before sharing how a competitive environment has fuelled his sprinters.

“At training, they push each other, and also, it is about bragging rights, as they want to prove who is the fastest in the camp, and they are really enjoying this friendly rivalry,” Dyke shared.

With the Clayton sisters set to go head to head at Champs, Dyke admitted that he is a bit nervous about their expected face-off.

“Honestly, I am very nervous when both of them compete in the same race. I have no special sentiments for anyone, and on the day, it can go any way, as both are very talented, and it really does not matter who wins as both are teammates,” Dyke concluded.