The year of Serena Cole
Sprinter ready to prove fearsome sprinting reputation
THE 2023 SEASON may have ushered in change at Edwin Allen High, but World Under-20 100-metre silver medallist Serena Cole is excited.
Cole, a fearsome sprinter in her own right, has been in the shadow of twins Tia and Tina Clayton, who both joined the professional ranks last season, but now, the powerfully built athlete will be able to unleash her sprinting gifts to the world as the torch bearer of Edwin Allen’s sprinters at this year’s ISSA/GraceKenndy Boys and Girls’ Athletic Championships (Champs).
Cole enters Champs with the fastest time among potential Champs medallists with 11.18, reminding those who may have forgotten just how good a sprinter she is.
Tia and Tina’s exploits last season limited Cole’s exposure on the track, the sprinter relegated to running in the 4x100m relays so she could focus on competing in the long and triple jump event. Cole won the Class I long jump
Cole has long been a feared sprinter with just the twins eclipsing her, but the rise of other challengers this season has pipped the event to be one of the most exciting at Champs this year.
“There has been a lot of change. People usually know me as a long jumper, triple jumper, and 4x100m runner. But coming out in the 100m this year is really exciting, knowing that my past teammates, who I normally train with, are no longer here,” Cole told The Gleaner.
“But coming out as myself competing in a new event is very exciting.”
It is exciting because she is coming into her own this year as a sprinter with higher expectations, something that her coach, Michael Dyke, is looking forward to seeing.
“She has always been there [as a sprinter], but this year, in particular, she realised that everything is now on her shoulders to keep that Edwin Allen sprint progress over the years growing. And I think she is going to deliver because she has always been delivering,” Dyke said.
“The twins were there, which kept her limited to the jumps. But this year, she will get a full opportunity to show the world who Serena Cole is.”
Balancing the 100m with long jump duties has been challenging this year because of an injury, which kept her from training for a month. Still, it is the speed work from training for the sprints that Cole believes will help her defend her long jump title.
“I did a lot more sprint training this season than jumping. I had to sit out more than a month from training. But I did a lot of sprinting training, and in the jumps, the sprint training helps you a lot in the jump events,” Cole said.
In her final year at Edwin Allen, Cole, while aware of the tough competition that she faces, she is focused on what she can control and is eager to show Jamaica what she can do.
“The Class I Girls’ 100m final at Champs will be the event of the championships. I know that everyone will be coming out to see the finals,” Cole said.
“I don’t need to focus on anybody else but go out there and show the world and myself what I am capable of. “