Speaking after Dennis joined Donald Quarrie, Remaldo Rose, Dexter Lee and Michael O’Hara by completing a collection of 100 metres gold medals won in classes 1, 2 and 3, STETHS coach Reynaldo Walcott said, ‘’One thing we tried to do early was to try and get the standard and that’s why we had chosen to compete at the Velocity Fest because of when it would be held and favourable conditions because we foresaw that based on the schedule for the Qualification Trials, most of those hours wouldn’t be favourable to get good times so that we had opted to go to the senior meet instead. That meet we got the qualifying time so we got it out of the way.’’
The race in question took place at the National Stadium on March 13, with Dennis timed in 10.54 seconds while chasing Britain’s Jamaica based European champion Zharnel Hughes, 2019 Carifta winner Oblique Seville and 2016 Olympic semi-finalist Andrew Fisher of Bahrain.
Dennis surpassed the qualifying mark of 10.58 seconds twice last week but expected blustery winds at the Stadium meant there was no guarantee. He faced a -2.2 metres per second wind in his heat, had the help of a 1.6 m/s aiding breeze in the semi before bucking a -2.3 m/s wind wall in the final and produced times of 10.75, 10.41 and 10.53 seconds respectively. “For Champs was a little bit better for two of the rounds”, coach Walcott analysed, “but it was still more or less the same, headwind, headwind, headwind.”
In any case, the athlete’s target at Champs was survival. “His biggest goal was just to finish the race’’, explained Walcott with quiet reference to the injuries that kept Dennis out of the world’s greatest high school meet in 2019. ‘’I can tell you he’s one of those kids who will never get severely injured unless it’s in the moment when you’re in the middle of the race and it just happens but other than that, once he feels something, he’s going to be stopping. He’s going to be concerned and he’s not going to go again until it has been cleared up and when it’s cleared up, he has the confidence that he can go without reinjuring the area’’, he affirmed.
Dennis out-started 2017 World Under 18 400 metres champion Antonio Watson to complete his Champs 100 metre hat-trick last Friday. ‘’It was just about his individual goals and his individual targets. If it so happens that it becomes part of history, so be it and we’re grateful to be fortunate’’, Walcott added.