Mon | Aug 8, 2022

LSU getting a special one in Lyston - Bennett

Published:Wednesday | June 29, 2022 | 12:07 AMDaniel Wheeler/Staff Reporter
Brianna Lyston cruises to girls’ Under-20 200-metre title at the 49th staging of the Carifta Games at the National Stadium on April 18.
Brianna Lyston cruises to girls’ Under-20 200-metre title at the 49th staging of the Carifta Games at the National Stadium on April 18.

HYDEL HIGH School track team head coach Corey Bennett says Louisiana State University (LSU) will be fortunate to have Carifta Games Under-20 200m champion Brianna Lyston in their programme but is hopeful that they give her the care she needs in making the transition to the collegiate ranks.

LSU announced last Thursday that Lyston would be joining the programme this fall, following in the footsteps of World Championships 800-metre finalist Natoya Goule and 400-metre hurdler Nickiesha Wilson.

While Bennett says Lyston would have been better served with more time locally, she has his best wishes in her new chapter.

“I think she would have benefited from staying locally a little bit more but she made the choice along with her family. That’s where she wanted to go. The opportunity came up where she could go. I really wish her all the best for her future. She is a talented child and they will be getting a very talented (athlete). And I hope that they treat her as such,” Bennett told The Gleaner.

CHAMPS RECORD

Lyston’s 2022 season has been highlighted by her exploits at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships in April, winning the Class One girls’ 200-metre title in a Champs record, 22.53 seconds. She would go on to dominate the Carifta Games over the distance that same month.

She set world age-group records in the 100m and 200m as a 12-year-old but was hit with injuries during her years in Class Three and Class Two.

Bennett, who has worked with Lyston since her transfer to Hydel High three seasons ago, says it will be up to LSU to properly manage her, given her massive potential, and history of injuries.

“They’re getting a special one. They’re getting one from the top shelf. And they are getting one that almost every university in the United States would have wanted. They are pretty fortunate to get this talent out of Jamaica,” Bennett said.

“I am really hoping that they treat her with care and I hope that they don’t over run her because I don’t think that she has the body and the physique to really run week in and out. I am hoping that whoever gets her, treats her with some amount of care for her to last and to go towards her future as a professional athlete.”

Lyston is currently nursing an injury and did not compete at the recently concluded National Junior Championships but a medical exemption was sought as she hopes to recover for the World Under-20 Championships in Colombia. Bennett says that he is confident Lyston will be back to full fitness before the championships.

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com