Dane Hyatt ran a personal best of 44.83 seconds to capture the men’s 400m title at the Jamaican Championship on July 1 at the National Stadium in Kingston. Dane finished ahead of 19 year old Rusheen McDonald (45.10) and Jermaine Gonzales (45.18). Dane’s impressive victory may be the sparks that the Jamaican 4×4 relay team needs as the injury bug has kept stars Ricardo Chambers and Allodin Fothergill from performing at their best. But how much do track fans know about Dane and his seemingly meteoric rise to become national champion? To find the answers Trackledger.com spoke to Dane’s coach, the legendary George Williams.
Dane’s Performance & Preparation for the Trials
“I think he had a good performance; one thing about Dane is that he is easy to coach and he has done everything that we have asked him to do,” said coach Williams, who is the athletic director and head track coach at Saint Augustine College in Raleigh, North Carolina. Coach Williams continued, “I expected him to do better; we worked hard for it. He got all of his base training done; he worked on his techniques so it was a matter of time before he runs fast.”
Dane is currently enrolled as a student at Saint Augustine College where he is schedule to compete for the college in the upcoming season. Dane had previously spent several seasons competing for Lincoln University.
Reasons for Dane’s 44.83 Performance
“His techniques and mechanics have changed immensely over the past year. Look at him now, his stride pattern, his arm action is smooth; you can see where he is well-coached,” coach Williams beamed with pride.
Coach Williams also attributed Dane’s success at the Jamaican Trials to Dane preparation during the indoor season, during which time Dane raced sparingly with the focus being on building his base. Coach Williams also pointed out the importance of rest for his athlete during the season.
Could Dane have done better than 44.83?
“Overall I think he had a little more left in the tank. I really do. I have already seen the phase that we will have to work on when we resume training.”
In his analysis of the Dane’s championship race, Coach Williams pointed out that Dane did not hold his drive phase long enough and that if he had done so, he would have run a faster time. Coach Williams praised the relaxation and recovery part of Dane’s race as well as his finish.
“We worked hard on the last 80m of his race,” said Coach Williams, who was expecting Dane to run very fast, once Dane was exposed to a competitive field that would push him to do so.
Coach Williams also believes that Dane has the potential to run in the low 44’s or the high 43’s in the 400m.
Preparing for London and running the rounds
“I can get him prepared mentally; he is already prepared physically,” said Coach Williams who will also be in London.
Dane has resume training this past week and the coaching staff intends to keep his body relax and in good shape. The intent is not to over-train him but to keep his body just right for the London games.
Coach Williams, who has over 36 years of coaching experience, said that he will instruct Dane on running the rounds in London. Dane is being prepared by an experience coach who has been there and done that and who knows how to get things done. So going into London, Dane will be well-prepared.
Concerns about not having access to Dane in London
“The only problem I have is that he is with the Jamaican Team and I don’t know if they will allow me to get with him. If I can’t, I will be in London to support him. We do talk and I will tell him what he needs to do,” said Coach Williams
Coach Williams needs not worry about having access to Dane; just recently, in an article in the Jamaica Observer, Maurice Wilson, one of the head coaches of the Jamaican delegation to London, was quoted as saying, “that their role was to be facilitators between the athletes and their respective coaches and that it was only fair that they do so since the coaches know the athletes better than they do.”
Dane’s future looks bright
Asked whether Dane’s will race before London, coach Williams said, “The Jamaican team will tell him what they have plan for him and he will let me know. My job is to get him ready.”
Dane’s future is bright and he is in good hands under the guidance of Coach Williams, who also coaches Jamaican Adrian Findley and American Bershawn “Batman” Jackson, among others.
“If you look at the history of Saint Augustine, it is probably one of the only schools that have 14 sub-45 quarter-milers. Quarter-mile is what we know; I don’t think anybody knows it better than we do. We also know hurdles,” said coach Williams.
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