Coach sees progress from young Levell
TINA CLAYTON isn’t the only sprinter from Edwin Allen High School who might have a shot at this year’s Jamaica team to the senior World Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Clayton’s teammate Bryan Levell impressed in 2021 with his run to the National Championships senior men’s 100 final, and his coach says he is on the improve.
Levell was the only schoolboy in the National 100 final, having scored a notable second place in the Class 1 200 metres at the ISSA Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships, beaten by 2017 World Under-18 400 champion Antonio Watson. Levell’s coach, Leon Powell, has been seeing encouraging signs during background training for the 2022 season.
“In comparison to last year, he’s a lot better. He’s a lot better technically. He’s a lot stronger. In terms of speed, based on the tests that we have done, he’s also faster,” Powell reported on January 5.
The 18-year-old Kellits native walloped his 100 personal best down to 10.21 seconds in June, and backed that up with a time of 10.25 in the semi-finals at the National Championships. In the 200, he clocked 20.60 seconds and reached the semis of both events at the World Under-20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.
“Well, I’m just expecting improvement, you know, improvement based on what he has done last year, the fact that he was somewhat inexperienced. Well, he is inexperienced, basically, and just to improve on his times, the 100 and the 200,” Powell explained.
However, neither coach nor athlete has put any numbers up on the wall.
“We really and truly don’t set any target like that,” said Powell.
In Class 2, Levell dabbled in the 400 and 400m hurdles and surprised some observers when he reappeared in the 100 last season. Most had forgotten that he contested the 100 and the 4x100 in Class 3.
NEXT YOUNG PROSPECT
His acceleration in 2021 has some observers wondering if he will be the next young prospect to go professional or if he will go to college when his Edwin Allen days are over.
“We haven’t spoken about that as yet. We’re just focusing on what we have in front of us now, and it’s the picture of this season and see what this season produces and then we see where we go from there,” the coach reported.
Levell and Powell are taking the same measured approach to a 2022 calendar that includes the World Under-20 Championships, the senior World Championships and the Commonwealth Games.
“It depends on how the season progresses, you know, depends how he performs leading up to that time and will determine whether or not he is good enough to be a part of the senior national set-up. In terms of the Trials, if he is in that shape, he will be a part of the Trials. If not, we just focus on the junior games,” Powell calmly outlined.