Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
Edwin Allen were favourites going into the last three Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Cham-pionships to capture the girls' title, but were only successful in 2012, leaving some persons to question if head coach Michael Dyke is the right person to lead the Clarendon-based institution's track programme going forward.
"I can tell you that persons are out there talking, but if they get a chance to get into this programme, they will run leave it in one week," Dyke hit back. "This is my alma mater and I have fought long and hard to get it (track programme) to where it is. A lot of persons don't know the challenges of this programme. It is a programme with very limited support. I am the one who sources almost everything for this team."
Dyke, who has been coaching at Edwin Allen for the past 22 years, has been branded a one-man band, a claim he strongly dismissed.
"I am not a one-man band. We have a whole bunch of coaches that work with the team, and we all sit and make decisions together."
The official Champs magazine had predicted that Edwin Allen would have won the 2013 championships, which were staged from March 12-16 inside the National Stadium, by 81 points. They looked on course to doing so after entering the final day with a 39-point advantage, but ended up losing by five points to Holmwood Technical (310.5) after amassing 305.5 points, 42 fewer than forecasted.
"We were unfortunate during the championship, because despite all the problems we had going in, we were confident that we would have won," Dyke revealed. "We suffered some mishaps, as we had injuries that really affected our chances.
"This one, in particular, had been a challenge from the start becausewe started out with serious training field issues and what compounded it was that Champs was early. We still thought we were prepared enough to win the championship, and we were, but it is just unfortunate that we had some injuries along the way."
Two of the injuries to which Dyke referred were those suffered by Saqukine Cameron and Marleena Eubanks. Cameron was favourite to win the Class Two 200m and to medal in the 400m. She was also down to form part of the 4x100m and 4x400m teams.
Eubanks won the Class One 1,500m, but did not compete in the 800m and 3,000m after suffering from dizzy spells, which the doctor attributed to dehydration.
"We had other persons that I think should have delivered, for example, Claudette Allen in the Class One long jump, who was the clear favourite and did not make it to the final," Dyke said. "But you won't have perfect championships, so things like those will happen. But I personally believe that even without Cameron, if Eubanks was just able to compete, we would have won."