Bean hopes for best from Houston and Webb
DeVon Bean, the Bermuda director of athletics, enjoys a special bond with sprinters Tre Houston and Kyle Webb.
It is hardly surprising, given that he has helped shape and nurture his pair of protégés since they were both teenagers.
Houston has worked with Bean since 2010 and returned to the island to train under him in preparation for the Gold Coast.
“We’ve built up a good relationship over the years and he seems to run fast when it counts when he’s back home training with me,” Bean said. “We’re looking for a solid performance from him.”
Houston, 27, will be competing in the 200 metres at his third Commonwealth Games.
He reached the semi-finals in his favoured event at the 2010 Delhi Games with a time of 21.25sec, but failed to advance from the heats at Glasgow 2014, clocking 21.39.
Bean admits he will be disappointed if Houston, who has a personal best of 20.42, misses out on the semis when he runs in the qualifying heats at Carrara Stadium on Tuesday.
“The sprints are the marquee events of any Games and we’re looking for him to make the semi-finals,” Bean said.
“He’ll have to be at his best. It’s not about just waking up, wishing and hoping. He has to go to the line believing in himself and seeing himself in that situation. The semi-finals will definitely do him justice as his next major goal.”
Webb, who will also run in the 200 heats, has been in Bean’s sprint stable since he was 12 years old. His personal best is someway slower than Houston’s at 20.82.
“I’ve coached Kyle since he was 12 years old and he’s had a couple of good seasons at Purdue University in Indiana,” Bean said. “He represented Bermuda at the 2014 World Youth Championships [in Oregon], but this will be his first major senior competition.”
Webb, who Bean describes as a complete sprinter as he runs the 100, 200 and 400, insists the 22-year-old will not be a “fish out of water” on the Gold Coast.
“Kyle sees these types of guys day in, day out at Purdue,” he said. “He runs at the NCAA Division 1 level gainst the LSU’s, the Texas’s and Nebraskas. He’s definitely not just here for the experience.”
Bean’s personal best of 10.27 in the 100 still stands as a national record, although Houston came within one hundredth of a second of breaking it at a meet in Guyana in 2016.
It would be most fitting, Bean said, if Houston or Webb, finally shattered his 22-year-old record.
“Along with Mr [Cal] Simons and Gerry Swan, we’ve progressed Tre and Kyle to the athletes you see today,” Bean added.
“Up at 5.30 in the gym, running those sand dunes at Horseshoe Bay, missing out on family gatherings.
“I don’t live vicariously through my athletes; I just want the best for them.”
It has been almost 18 months since Bean succeeded Troy Douglas as the Bermuda National Athletics Association director of athletics.
It is a post that requires him to lead a team of coaches including Mike Watson, another former Olympian, Wayne Bean, Terry-Lynn Paynter and Rohaan Simons.
“It’s definitely been challenging as it’s the first time I’ve been in a position of authority,” Bean said. “I’ve had to step on a few toes and realise that not everyone is going to like the decisions you make.
“I’m a people-pleaser; I want the best for everyone and I want everyone to get along, but that’s in a fairytale world. I’ve definitely learnt that you need a thick skin!”