STETHS’s Dennis praises coach for improvement
BALTIMORE, Maryland, USA:
St Elizabeth Technical High School's (STETHS) Jasauna Dennis is heaping praises on coach Joycelyn Gibson for his improvement in the 400 metres since last year.
Dennis was a top performer at the Puma East Coast International Showcase in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, finishing second in 47.01 seconds, behind winner Quincy Wilson of the USA, in 46.11.
"I must big up my coach Ms Gibson as she is a phenomenal coach because she has done wonders with me this season, knowing where I was coming from a year ago, and I know it will get better going forward," Dennis said.
Rastafarian Gibson is among a minute set of women coaches on the island working with male athletes. She is only in her second year at STETHS, after stints at Enid Bennett High and recently Vere Technical.
On Saturday, top athletes from Jamaica and the USA went toe to toe, and Dennis finished ahead of Edwin Allen High's Delano Kennedy for the second time this season.
Kennedy is ranked by World Athletics above Dennis but had to settle for fourth on Saturday in 48.96 seconds. Kennedy is ranked at No 2 with 45.27 seconds, while Dennis is at No 6 with 45.87.
Dennis has made strides during the season, as he was third in the Class One boys' 400 metres at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships (Champs), but turned that into gold in the Under-20 boys at the recent Carifta Games, where he surprised Kennedy.
Dennis was pleased with his performance on Saturday, despite acknowledging that he could have done better.
"I am happy for my second-place finish but think I could have gone faster," Dennis said.
"I think the season has been a bit tough, and after coming off two big meets, Champs and Carifta Games, my body felt burnt out, but I am still pleased with the result, and I will just have to take some rest before preparing for the National Championships and Junior Pan Am.
"To beat Delano twice this season is a great accomplishment for me, knowing where I am coming from last year when he was consistently running 45s, and I was running high 47s," Dennis continued.