Bennett plays down Hydel’s Champs chances
Despite his team’s impressive showing at last weekend’s Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association Qualifying meets, Hydel High School’s head coach Corey Bennett says his team is still a long way off from their best.
The Hydel girls stamped their class at the Jamaica College meet last Saturday, with a clean sweep in the Open 400m hurdles event, where Garriel Whyte won in 1:00.02, ahead of Oneika McAnnuf, 1:02.67, and Diana Dyer, 1:03.12 seconds. Hydel also bullied the 200 metres, with quinellas in three of these contests.
Shenese Walker, 24.92, took the Class One event ahead of teammate Whyte, 24.97, as Annalee Robinson of Vere was third in 25.17.
However, despite the outstanding early performances, Bennett was quick to point out that there was a lot more in the tank.
MANY WEAK AREAS
“We are still way off, but it is a start and we just have to build from here,” said Bennett. “We have a lot of weak areas and a lot of the girls are way off in terms of their conditioning.”
“Normally, when we get to March, the girls would be in better shape, but this year, we feel like we are in about December shape and so we have a lot of work to do, but let’s see how we can progress from here,” Bennett added.
Hydel, have been knocking on the door for some time for their first ISSA/GraceKennedy Girls Championships title. They finished second to Edwin Allen in the 2019 championships, however, with last year’s event, which many expected them to win, being postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bennett noted that his priority this year has been focussed on securing scholarships for his athletes and getting them ready for national representation, rather than winning Champs .
“You have to be careful what you read. Everything is relative because winning a race doesn’t mean you are impressive because you have looked at the performances and how the kids feel after their performances,” he said.
“We are not looking at challenging for the title this year because I don’t know if we have a team that can make it into the top five,” Bennett said. “We have people who are up for scholarships and we are trying to get scholarships, and so this is one of our main focuses this year.”