At the prestigious 2010 Jamaica Boys and Girls Athletics Championships or “Champs 100”, Dwayne Extol lead his high school team, Wolmer’s Boys, to victory. The versatile Extol was instrumental in giving his team valuable points by competing in the 200m, 400m, 400m hurdles and the 4x1 and 4x4 relays. He will be remembered as the team captain who could have won gold in the 200m but eased up close to the line to allow teammate Julian Forte, who had earlier won the 100m title, to claim the sprint double.
Extol later explained his decision to the media: "Julian had a problem with his hamstring and I could see he really wanted to win and I saw him pushing and pushing and I decided that we would still get the 16 points if I won or he won."
The then 19-yr-old Extol capped off his senior year by again leading his Wolmer’s team to victory in both the 4x1 (39.78secs) and the 4x4 (3:14.59) 2010 Penn Relays Championship of America relays races. That was after he took silver in the under-20 boys 400m hurdles (51.50) behind Trinidad’s Jehue Gordon and ran on Jamaica’s gold medal 4x4 team at the 2010 Carifta Games in Cayman.
Extol, who has personal best 47.13 in the 400m, enrolled at the University of Alabama (Alabama) in the fall of 2010 to be coached by American Olympian Harvey Glance. Expectations were high for Extol, and then he seemed to have vanished. Caribbean TrackLife Magazine (CTL) caught up with him as he prepared for the current SEC Outdoor Championship which ends tomorrow, May 15.
“I got injured running the 200m indoor on a wooden track at a meet in New Mexico back in the third week of January ,” said Extol who was looking forward to a stellar season. The injury was an obvious setback for him as far as his training was concerned. Extol said that he still talks to his high school coach (David Riley) who encouraged him and advised him to consider this season a learning experience and get ready for next season.
Having missed the entire indoor season, Extol is cautiously on his way back to full recovery and has competed in several outdoor events, posting a season best 47.56 in the 400m on April 16. He also ran a season best 52.32 in the 400m hurdles at the Drake Relays on April 30, which is below his personal best 51.50, which he ran at Wolmer’s.
“I am feeling much better. Coach Glance had me on a special rehab program and I am slowly working my way back,” Extol said.
Extol is competing in the 400m hurdles, as well as the 4x1 and 4x4 relays at the SEC championships this weekend. He will not be running the individual 400m; however, he’s an integral part of the Crimson Tide’s sprint and mile relay teams with season bests 40.81 and 3:08.65, respectively.
Initially, adjusting to life at Alabama wasn’t easy for the usually upbeat Extol due to the differences in food, culture and weather. However, he has risen to those challenges and is now doing fine.
The Telecommunications and Broadcast Media major said, “I had a shaky start in the classroom but I have adjusted well, and now I am maintaining a high B average for all of my classes.”
Extol also noted training practices at Alabama are different from what he was used to at Wolmer’s. Now they are more compact than in high school. He currently trains for about 45 minutes each day with emphasis on techniques.
Extol who did not compete at the 2011 Penn Relays but at the Drake Relays, reflected: “My four years competing at the Penn Relays was a wonderful experience that was unique and unmatched.” His goal for the summer is to get a lot of rest so that his body can recover for next season. He also has identified the need for proper diet during the summer.
Ask if he was hesitant to run indoors next season due to his experience with injury sustained this season, Extol said he isn’t hesitant but was looking forward to next season, because he knows now what to do.
While the 200m is Extol’s favorite event, he will focus on the 400m hurdles in the future. “I can do all three [200m, 400m, 400m hurdles] at a very high level,” said the confident Extol. “I will definitely be better next year.”