Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Slack on track in early part of 2015 athletics season

Published:Tuesday | April 14, 2015 | 4:00 AMLeighton Levy
Slack competing in the shot put
Julian Forte (foreground) runs alongside University of Technology (UTech) teammate Kemarley Brown, during the men's 100 metres at the UTech Classics at the National Stadium on Saturday. Brown won in 10.11 seconds, while Forte clocked 10.12 for second.
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It was on April 4 after competing at the Lobos Tailwind meet at the University of New Mexico (UNM) that Jamaica's Salcia Slack said she felt like 6100 points in the heptathlon was possible this outdoor season. Last weekend she proved it.

Slack, a senior at the UNM Highlands, scored 6141 points to win the heptathlon at the Jim Click Combined Events, which took place at the University of Arizona from April 9-10.

The Jamaican finished ahead of Kansas State University's Akela Jones (6049) and Arizona's Alyssa Thompson (5320).

Slack set personal bests in the sprint hurdles (13.68 seconds), 200 metres (23.92) and shot put (14.97). In addition to the personal bests, she won the javelin and the 800m as she overhauled Barbados' Jones on the final day to win by 92 points.

"I am very happy with my performance. I am so proud of me, it's like I was searching for it and now that I have found it I am ready to hold on to performances like this and make them regular occurrences," she said.

Despite the personal best performances on day one of the seven-event discipline, Slack found herself trailing Jones. Slack had accumulated 3631 points, 100 points behind the Kansas State freshman, but she was not worried bout catching her rival.

"I knew my second day was my strong point and so I was not worried. I wanted more from the long jump, which I know I can get and so I went all out in the 800m after dropping some points in the javelin and long jump," she said, adding that the rivalry between herself and Jones helps them both.

"On my first day all I wanted was to score 3600 points and I did that and I knew I was on my way to 6000 points. I was not thinking about Akela at all. I was thinking about what I had to do, but she gave me a lot of push to score this much. She is a good competitor and we motivate each other."

Coming off a strong indoor season, during which she won awards as the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) - Track Athlete of the Year, as well as Field Athlete of the Year, Slack opened her outdoor season by winning the individual events of sprint hurdles, triple jump and javelin at the Lobos Tailwind meet at the UNM. She said afterwards that her performances, including a second place finish in the 200, proved that she could get to 6100 points in her pet event. Now that she has achieved it, there is a lot more work to be done.

"The indoor season set me up for a good outdoor season and now that I have proven that I will try to maximise on all my events," she said. "It still doesn't mean I will have a great outdoor season. I have to work for it and keep pushing myself."