Hydel High girls hope Chairman’s Award will inspire excellence

By Sports Desk April 01, 2024

Hydel High School’s track and field athletes are expressing hope that their achievement in earning Chairman’s Award will inspire others at the institution to excel while representing their school. Led by the versatile Class One sprint-double champion Aaliah Baker, four of the school’s top performers at the recent ISSA Boys’ and Girl’s Athletics Championships were rewarded for their outstanding output.

Baker, Abigail Campbell, Teixeira Johnson and Shania Myers will all share in the JMD$300,000 award that was donated by Chairman of the school’s board, Ryan Foster, in recognition of the athletes’ effort.

“This Chairman Award recognizes the strong ethos of what a student athlete represents, and also the strong character of what champions are made of,” the chairman said. “These girls displayed commitment, determination, school spirit and overall fight within the team to give Hydel a chance to defend our title. They went beyond the call to pull a team along despite some of the rigours and obstacles they encountered.”


Foster had recognized Hydel High School’s team for winning its first ever ISSA Girls Champs title in 2023 with the Chairman’s Award, along with the outstanding sprinter Alana Reid.
This year, the team gave an exceptional performance as it placed second with 326 points. Edwin Allen High won with 335.5 points.


Leading Hydel’s charge was Baker, the 400m, 400m hurdles champion in 2023 who showed her range of sprinting by winning gold in the shorter individual sprints, 11.34 seconds in the 100m and another personal best, 23.89 seconds in the 200m. Baker also led her school to victory in the Class One girl’s 4x100m and 4x400m gold medals.


“I hope my story will motivate younger kids so they’ll be able to help our school and win the Chairman’s Award,” Baker expressed. “I stepped down from the 400m and 400m hurdles to the 100 and 200 metres and won two gold medals. Hopefully someone will be able to say if she did it I can do it too.”


Continuing, she said that her accomplishments are even more satisfying because she had to overcome challenges.
“Preparing for Champs was not easy because I went back and forth with injuries and just some bad days at training. But I just kept my composure, I trained hard when I could train hard, I went, I didn’t question my coach, I just did what he asked,” she admitted of Corey Bennett’s tutelage.


“I’m pretty happy I just listened to him and that I trusted the process and then I did my thing and ended up winning four events. I’m proud of myself, my family is proud of me, my teammates are proud of me and my school is proud of me,” said the final year student.
Campbell won three gold medals and a silver, claiming the 400m gold and 800m silver in 52.27 and 2:09.07, respectively.
Reflecting on the tough, sparely run 400-800 double, Campbell expressed joy at making the Chairman’s Award list, noting that “I’m pretty excited and elated because what I did was very phenomenal”.
Continuing, she said: “I’m very proud of myself because last year I couldn’t compete at Champs but this year I came back, winning three gold medals and a silver for my team and myself and it was a pretty good championship because I came out here to do the best for my team and to score good points.


“For next year I would like to produce more, I would like to stand out for next year, I would like to continue doing my best for my school and for myself and my coach,” Campbell added.
Johnson won three gold medals, the Class Four 100m in 11.87 seconds and 200m in 25.44, as well as the sprint relay.


Myers fought off an emotional roller-coaster following the death of her mother, promising, delivering and dedicating victory in the Class One 100m hurdles to her mom, as she won in a time of 13.14 seconds. She also won silver in the long jump final, leaping 6.30 metres in the event won by St Catherine’s Roanna Sudlow (6.37m).


“Though the team was much smaller than Edwin Allen, we certainly made it into a competition until the final race,” expressed Foster. “These girls went beyond to place their bodies on the line and for that I must applaud and recognize them. Alliah won four gold medals, Abigail and Teixeira Johnson won three golds and Shania Myers won two.
“I am extremely proud of them and the overall team to include Korey and his coaching staff,” the Hydel board chairman added. “We will have an even bigger celebration with the team after the Easter break.


“The Hydel spirit is very much alive and the Board of Management, myself included, will continue to shape the future of our students and student athletes."

Related items

  • Kenenisa Bekele says London Marathon field will be ‘remembering’ Kelvin Kiptum Kenenisa Bekele says London Marathon field will be ‘remembering’ Kelvin Kiptum

    Kelvin Kiptum will always hold a special place in the hearts of all marathon runners, according to veteran three-time Olympic track champion Kenenisa Bekele.

    Kenyan long-distance runner Kiptum won last year’s London Marathon for the third time, but was killed in a car accident in February at the age of 24.

    The death of Kiptum, who had gone on to become the first man to run the marathon under two hours and one minute in Chicago, sent shockwaves through the sport.

    In winning last year, Kiptum set a new London Marathon record time of two hours, one minute and 25 seconds. He is to be remembered before Sunday’s race with 30 seconds of applause.

    Ethiopian Bekele – who won Olympic gold in both the 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres at the 2008 Games in Beijing – has run the London Marathon five times, and was runner-up in 2017.

    The 41-year-old, who also has five World Championship titles on the track, has seen plenty of talent come through during his long career, but is in no doubt of the lasting impact made by Kiptum.

    “Kelvin of course, all of us miss him,” Bekele said. “Even within his short time, he has been setting an amazing history.

    “The course record is also under his name and we are all remembering him.

    “We put him in a special place in our heart because in a really within a short time he has done a lot for our sport.”

    Bekele feels a lot of factors will come into play if Kiptum’s course record is to be challenged.

    “Most of the time in London, maybe the first half is a very fast start because of pacing, but with me it can depend,” he said.

    “I can read my body, listening to my feelings and of course the circumstances – like with the weather.”

    Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola comes into London as the reigning New York Marathon champion, which followed on from his victory at the 2022 World Championship in Eugene.

    Tola, who claimed 10,000m bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics, feels in good shape heading into Sunday’s showpiece race.

    “I have been working hard to prepare my body for the marathon in London,” he said.

    “My training is OK and my body is okay, so we will see (what happens) on Sunday.”

    Olympics selection could also be secured this weekend, but Tola will not let that distract his focus.

    He said: “If I am selected for the Olympics, I will be happy, but it will depend on our race – and after Sunday we will know.”

  • World record holder Tigst Assefa out to make history in first London Marathon World record holder Tigst Assefa out to make history in first London Marathon

    World record holder Tigst Assefa hopes to set a new women’s-only best time in the TCS London Marathon on Sunday and believes it will be tougher to win than this year’s Paris Olympics.

    Ethiopian Assefa smashed the world record in September when she finished the Berlin Marathon in two hours, 11 minutes and 53 seconds.

    Next in Assefa’s sights is success in her maiden London Marathon and the women’s-only record, which is 2:17:01 and was set by Kenyan Mary Keitany at the 2017 event.

    “I am very happy to be in London for the first time,” Assefa said via a translator.

    “I did train very well for Berlin and I have trained well for this one. God will show how good I am on Sunday.

    “I have prepared very well for this race and I am sure I can beat the course record here. As I am sure all my competitors here will feel as well.

    “Regardless of whether it is London or Berlin, it will not change my strategy at all.

    “I am here to win.”

    Assefa took part in pre-race press duties on Thursday and was joined at the media centre in St James’ Park by Brigid Kosgei, Ruth Chepngetich and Peres Jepchirchir.

     

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by TCS London Marathon (@londonmarathon)

     

    Kosgei of Kenya held the world record until Assefa broke it in September but has won the London Marathon twice.

    All four athletes were asked if victory in Sunday’s 26.2-mile race would be harder than winning the marathon at the Paris Games after London Marathon race director Hugh Brasher suggested that would be the case on Wednesday.

    Only Kosgei felt the Paris Games would be harder with Assefa, Chepngetich and Jepchirchir all in agreement this weekend’s strong field made Sunday’s race the most difficult to win.

    After Kosgei failed to finish last year’s race due to injury, she revealed preparation this time had gone well.

    “I am happy to be here again this year,” Kosgei said. “Last year when I reached here I was not feeling well.

    “I have been preparing well in Kenya and I am ready.”

    Olympic champion Jepchirchir finished third in 2023 and backed a women’s-only record to be set this weekend.

    Jepchirchir added: “On Sunday I know the field is strong and I know it is not easy. We are running with strong ladies.

    “For myself, when I see the field is strong, I see the (course) record on Sunday. Yes, may the best win.”

  • Jamaican sprinter Oblique Seville eager for clash with 100 World Champion Noah Lyles at Racers Grand Prix Jamaican sprinter Oblique Seville eager for clash with 100 World Champion Noah Lyles at Racers Grand Prix

    Jamaican sprinter Oblique Seville is gearing up for an electrifying showdown against world champion Noah Lyles at the upcoming Racers Grand Prix on June 1, setting the stage for a thrilling test of readiness ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

    Seville, who finished fourth at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest where Lyles clinched his first 100m world title, is optimistic about his chances this season, having managed to steer clear of injury thus far. Seville's coach, Glen Mills, revealed earlier this year that an injury at a crucial stage last season hindered Seville's performance in Budapest, where he clocked 9.88 seconds, narrowly missing out on a medal.

    Reflecting on his preparation for the upcoming races, Seville expressed confidence in his improved health and training regimen this season. "This year I have taken some drastic steps with regards to my injuries and injury management. I am cautious with what I'm doing so I am healthy at this point, and everything is going well," Seville explained at Tuesday's launch of the Racers Grand Prix at the Jamaica Pegasus in Kingston.

    Seville's recent performances, including a 47.44-second 400m and a 20.17-second 200m, demonstrate his dedication and hard work leading into this pivotal season. "The 47.44 and the 20.17 that I ran show my dedication and hard work, so it is a possibility that I can make it onto the medal podium if things work out as planned," Seville remarked.

     “Last year, I didn’t get to train the way I really wanted to but this year I got to train the way I wanted so everything is working out. I am stronger because I have got more chances training wise to do things I didn’t get the chance to do last year because of some niggles that I had.

    “I had some issues with my back and stuff which caused me not to be able to lift weights as much as I could but I got it sorted out now and I am good.”

    Looking ahead to the Racers Grand Prix, where he will face off against Lyles and training partner Zharnel Hughes, Seville expressed excitement about the opportunity to race against the world's best. "The last time I competed against Lyles was at the World Championship finals, so it's good to run with him before the Olympics to get a feel of what is to come," Seville emphasized.

    The clash between Seville, Lyles, and Hughes at the Racers Grand Prix at the National Stadium in Kingston, promises to be a thrilling preview of what's in store for the Olympic Games in Paris, as Seville aims to secure his first global medal.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.