Pundit picks KC, Edwin Allen as Champs favorites

By April 04, 2022

ISSA Boys and Girls Championships pundit Hubert Lawrence believes that Kingston College and Edwin Allen are favourites to win the Boys and Girls titles, respectively, as the competition get underway at the National Stadium on Tuesday.

“It looks to me as if the boys' side could be quite close. Both KC, the 2019 champions, and JC, the 2021 champions, are quite strong,” Lawrence said.

“Early in the season, it looked as if JC was not as significantly strong as KC in Class III, but each week I saw the JC Class III look better and better and it may be that on balance now, the two teams are quite strong. I don’t think there’s a walkover even though, in general, KC might look a little bit ahead,” he added.

Lawrence also expressed where the main strengths of both teams are.

“Where KC is brilliantly strong is in hurdles across the classes while JC is brilliantly strong in the 800, 1500 area across all the classes. It may be that those strengths and balances cancel out and in the 800s and 1500s, there is an extra race than the hurdles because there is no Class III 400m Hurdles but there’s Class III 800m and 1500m,” he said.

On the Girls' side, Lawrence believes that despite the fact that Hydel looked good all season, Edwin Allen is still the team to beat.

“Girls Champs will be quite competitive as well. Edwin Allen is coming on every week. They’ve had a late start to training and rain in the hills in Frankfield but they look to be coming on each week and I would have to say they’re the favourites to defend their title,” he said.

“Who’s coming at them? Hydel. One of the remarkable things about coach Cory Bennett is his ability to hide a great side in plain view. So, you might go and score them 10 points but they’re really worth 17. St. Jago is also like that this year but coach Michael Dyke at Edwin Allen is a master at getting his teams to peak at the right time so that is up in the air but I say Edwin Allen would go in feeling in a stronger position than KC on the Boys' side,” he added.

Switching gears from teams to individuals, who, apart from the obvious candidates, does Lawrence have his eyes on to do big things at Champs?

“I’d go Alexis James from Petersfield in the Girls Class I sprint hurdles. Because Class I has a glittering 100m and 200m compliment of athletes like the Clayton twins and Briana Lyston, not many people are looking at the sprint hurdles," he said.

"James won at Carifta trials and in that race too, Oneika Wilson of Hydel got to the World Junior final but couldn’t run because of COVID protocols. Both of them are not far away from the Champs record of 13.12 so I think that’s an event we have to look at. We’re very sprint focused but I think the sprint hurdles with Megan Tapper getting the bronze in Tokyo, with us having two world champions in that event in Danielle Williams and Brigitte Foster-Hylton, that’s an event now at the Class I level that might just move forward,” he said.

“On the Boys' side, one athlete that we might not watch too much because we’re sort of track-focused is Christopher Young of Edwin Allen, former Class II discus champion. He’s been fantastic in the shot put, discus and javelin. I think his teammate, Trevor Gunzel, is just as good as he is in the shot as well as World Under-20 finalist Kobe Lawrence of Calabar so he won’t have it easy,” he said.

 

 

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