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Slack inspired for 2015 season by strong outdoor debut

Published:Wednesday | April 8, 2015 | 12:00 AMLeighton Levy
Salcia Slack

Salcia Slack believes she is on the right track to an outstanding outdoor season, following a strong series of performances at the University of New Mexico (UNM) Tailwind meeting at UNM on Saturday.

Slack, a heptathlete who attends the University of Mexico Highlands, entered four individual events and won three and was second in the other.

The 2015 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Women Track Athlete and Field Athlete of the Year won the triple jump with a mark of 13.22 metres, well ahead of Monica Lopez of the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) 12.19m and Andrea Olstead of Grand Canyon, 12.08m.

She also won the javelin with a throw of 44.44m. Kayli Farmer of New Mexico was next with a best effort of 43.43m, while Michelle Traynham of New Mexico Highlands was third with 43.34m.

Demonstrating her diversity in the sport, Slack, running into a headwind of -2 metres per second, won the sprint hurdles in 14.11 seconds and was second in the 200m in 24.11 seconds.

The 25-year-old former Holmwood Technical standout was pleased with how things went on the day.

"It is a good indicator for my outdoor season. It showed me where I am in my first outdoor meet and I did well," said Slack, who is hoping to earn a spot on Jamaica's team to the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) World Athletic Championships in August.

"This makes me see that I can a lot more."

The RMAC Indoor heptathlon champion said she chose those specific events because she wanted to have an idea of how many points she can amass this summer. Based on Saturday's results, she now believes 6100 or more points is possible. Her success indoors, she said, is proving to be a great boost to her targets outdoors for 2015.

"When I started improving in every competition that I went to, my times getting faster and my jumps started improving despite my knee injury, that's when I started to realise I could have a great outdoor season," she said. "I have also learned that if one event goes badly, I must not beat myself down because there is always the possibility of a great comeback.

Slack suffers from an injured patella, that causes blood to settle inside the knee. She began feeling the effects of the injury and it got progressively worse. However, lately, thanks to rehab work, she has been able to produce better performances despite the lingering condition.

"The knee has come a far way. I have been working with my doctor and coaches and I tell them I am very proud of where it is at right now. It would be great for it to be 100 per cent, but right now I don't think that is going to be possible. But if it stays like this right now I would be happy," she said. "I can do a lot more now and that makes me happy and more confident."