Wed | Nov 29, 2023

Edwin Allen’s boys aiming to stay in top five

Published:Tuesday | March 28, 2023 | 1:16 AM
Edwin Allen’s Delano Kennedy
Edwin Allen’s Delano Kennedy

The overwhelming success of the female team at ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships (Champs) led some people into the misconception that Edwin Allen High School was an all-girls school. That misunderstanding has begun to fade.

At the last three Champs, Edwin Allen have risen from ninth, to sixth, to fifth last year.

“You never want to go worse than what you did the previous year either in terms of the placings or the number of points scored. You want to improve in some areas,” said coach of Edwin Allen’s boys Leon Powell.

Powell thinks his 2023 squad will survive the departure of Christopher Young and Trevor Gunzell, who, last year, won the Class One shot and discus, respectively.

“We have persons whom we never had in the event last year, if you look at the 2000m steeplechase and the 5000m, middle and long distance, which has improved a lot since last year,” he tabled as evidence.

Class Three runner Moses Johnson was his only middle-distance standard-bearer, but he said, “now we have quite a few who can hold their own and score some points”.

Johnson did a solid 800m, 1500m double at Central Champs and is chasing medals in both events at Champs.

“The aim is to score as many as possible and to take two medals. I know it will be difficult, especially in the 800m, but he’s somebody who wants to do well and is looking forward to any competition. He’s not scared or afraid of anybody and what time they want to run,” the coach said of the stout-hearted Johnson.

He credited the work of hurdles technician Kirk Douglas for the development of potential scorers in the barrier races. Tyrece Hyman placed third in the Carifta Trials under- 20 400m hurdles, while his teammate Shemar Williams was second in the Central Championships Class One 110m hurdles.

“He’s doing well,” he said in praise of Douglas, “but we need to get some more athletes for him to work his magic on them.”

Last year’s Class One 100m and 200m champion Bryan Levell will return. Injury prevented Levell, a World Under-20 200m finalist, from qualifying for the 100m, but he will go in the longer sprint.

“We’re just trying to get him ready mentally, but physically, he’s OK,” Powell said.

With Levell restricted, the top man in Edwin Allen’s sky blue will be Delano Kennedy. He missed a medal in the 2022 Class One 400m final but later won the Carifta Under- 20 title and lowered his lifetime best to 45.47 seconds in the sprint friendly climes of Cali, Colombia, at the World Under-20 Championships. This year, Kennedy is undefeated and faster than all his challengers on the clock with a sprightly 46.24 dash to win the recent Carifta Trials.

If Powell’s boys continue their stay in the top 5, that old misconception might just disappear.

– Hubert Lawrence