Tue | Sep 26, 2017

FSU load up with Jamaican talent

Published:Sunday | September 20, 2015 | 9:00 AMRaymond Graham

Florida State University (FSU) has boosted its track and field programme with a lot of Jamaican ammunition for the upcoming season.

One of the Seminoles' chief recruit is former Wolmer's Girls and national junior sprinter Shauna Helps who will forego her final year of high school to take up a full scholarship at the Tallahassee-based institution.

Among the females she will be joined by the much-travelled Peta Gaye Williams, who broke the Class One 100 metres hurdles record at the GraceKennedy ISSA Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships this year, former Immaculate High jumper Safia Morgan, who won the Under-20 girls high jump at this year's Carifta Games and former Holmwood Technical athlete, the outstanding and multitalented Gleneive Grange, who just completed two successful years at New Mexico Junior College.

The four will join up with former St Jago High thrower Kellion Knibb, who has already made a successful mark at that institution in her area. Not known for a strong showing among the females, it is expected that with the calibre of female athletes now at the institution, they are expected to put in a stronger performance at the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Championships, which should enable them to improve on their sixth-place finish at last season's NCAA Outdoors.

According to the school's website, Helps is excited about her new school and is looking forward to the upcoming season.

"It's actually a very comforting feeling, not just because of the freshmen coming in," said Helps.

"You have some seniors and juniors who are also from Jamaica. I know them from high school in Jamaica, we've been through numerous Champs and numerous national teams. It's great that I come here and know that they have my back and also the freshmen have my back. It's great all round," noted Helps.

When asked why she opted for Florida State despite having other options," she replied: "It's a champion school."

Known for its strong male programme, as they have won the Atlantic Coast Conference 11 times - FSU have also strengthened that aspect with Calabar High sprinter Edward Clarke and Wolmer's Boys' sprinter Raheem Robinson.

They will be joined by St Jago High sprinter Chad Walker, in January, plus former Kingston College jumper Keneil Grant, who just transferred from Texas Tech University.