Five straight! - Edwin Allen increase win streak in 4x800
"I always look forward the 4x8, especially going to Gibson, that's one race I always don't want to lose." Those are the words of Michael Dyke, the coach of Edwin Allen High School after his team won the girls' 4x800 metre relay at the Gibson McCook Relays last Saturday at the National Stadium.
Edwin Allen have now won the eight-lap relay five years in a row. That is the longest current winning streak in the Gibson McCook high school division.
Jessica McLean, Kayan Green, Lashanna Graham and Rushana Dwyer won in a season leading time of eight minutes 51.9 seconds and extended a winning streak started by the school in 2016. The reliable McLean battled her way to the front on the first leg and then a pair of 2019 Boys and Girls Championships gold medallists broke the race wide open. Green, the 2019 1500 and 3000 first-place finisher, stepped through the second leg in two minutes 09.9 seconds and then Graham, the tall 400 hurdles champion, added a 2.10.8 third leg to give Dwyer an easy ride home.
It was Graham's first run on this relay team this campaign. Known more for her prowess in the hurdles, Graham was a finalist in the class One 800 metres last year.
Have more to give
Dyke thinks the quartet did well but knows they have more to give. "As a matter of fact, I was expecting probably 8.48, 8.47 but probably the sort of contest I was anticipating did not materialise," he said of a race won by more than 14 seconds over Holmwood Technical and Alphansus Davis High.
"I was expecting a bit more from Rushana but I guess she keeps getting these long leads so she tends to sometimes play with it," he said, perhaps recalling a late race challenge by Alphansus Davis at the Western Relays on February 8.
Noting that Green and Graham ran his team's fastest legs, Dyke said, "I guess the best of the running is coming from the middle and I recognise that." With a title defence at the Penn Relays next on target for the undefeated light blues, Dyke predicted faster times. "Once we have good Penns weather, I know by the time, I'm expecting them to run under 8.50," he said.