Jamaicans stand tall at NCAA meets
LAST Saturday saw the completion of both the NCAA Division 1 East and West preliminary round track and field championships in the United States. The top 12 athletes to finish in their respective events booked their tickets for the National Outdoor Championships to be held in Eugene, Oregon, between June 7 and 10.
A host of Jamaican athletes were involved in both Championships, where 28 advanced in their individual events. Sixteen came from the east, and 12 from the west, with former Kingston College quarter-miler Akeem Bloomfield leading the way from the east and former Hydel High thrower Shardia Lawrence the top performer from the West.
Competing at the East Meet on the campus of the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Bloomfield was the top performer in the Men's 400m. Competing for the University of Auburn, he won his quarter-finals in a personal best of 44.74 seconds. Two other Jamaicans also went under 45 seconds in advancing as Steven Gayle, competing for the University of Alabama, and Nathan Allen for the University of Auburn, both clocked 44.99 seconds to win their heats and were the third and fourth best, respectively, to qualify.
Following her recent National record in the Women's Discus throw, Lawrence continued her excellent form at the West Meet on the campus of the University of Texas, Austin, after a big throw of 60.58m, to be the number one seed moving on to Nationals. Former St Jago High athlete, Samantha Hall, competing for the University of Texas El Paso, also moved forward after finishing seventh overall with 56.50m.
Former Wolmer's Boys sprinter Odean Skeen won his heat in the Men's 100m for Auburn in 10.24 seconds to be the fourth fastest qualifier in the event. Also advancing with him was his teammate Raheem Chambers, formerly of St Jago High, who was eighth overall after finishing fourth in his heat in 10.37 seconds.
Former Convent of Mercy Academy (Alpha) athlete Sashel Brown continued her good form this season for Auburn in the Women's 400m hurdles after finishing second in her heat and third overall in a personal best of 56.20 seconds.
Other qualifiers on the track were former Wolmer's Girls athlete Joneil Smith and St Jago High's Natalliah Whyte, who both competed for Auburn, along with Peta-Gaye Williams and Jeanine Williams. Smith finished sixth overall in the Women's 100m in 11.40 seconds, while it was seventh overall for Whyte in the 200ms in 22.88 seconds.
Peta-Gaye, formerly of St Jago High, now competing for Florida State University, was third overall in the Women's 100m hurdles in 12.99 seconds, while Jeanine, formerly of Immaculate Conception, now competing for Georgia Tech, was fourth overall in 13.09 seconds.
List of qualifiers
Discus Throw - Women
1. Gleneve Grange- Florida State 56.24m, formerly Holmwood Technical
3. Daniel Thomas - Kent State 55.44m formerly Edwin Allen High
6. Kellion Knibb - Florida State 54.56m, formerly St Jago High
12. Shanice Love- Florida State 53.19m, formerly Excelsior
Shotput - Women
3. Daniel Thomas - 17.48m
Triple Jump Men
2. Clayton Brown - University of Florida, 16.14m, formerly Jamaica College
3. Jordan Scott - University of Virginia 15.96m, formerly Campion College
High Jump Men
5. Clayton Brown - 2.14m
400m Hurdles Women
3. Andrenette Knight - San Diego State 58.66s, formerly St Jago High
10. Ranae McKenzie - Kansas State 58.89, formerly Manchester High
2. Chrisann Gordon - University of Texas, 51.29, formerly Holmwood Technical
3.Rushelle Burton - University of Texas, 12.75 +2.4
Triple Jump Women
5.Shardia Lawrence - Kansas State - 13.39m, formerly Hydel
5. Senoj-Jay Givans - University of Texas, 10.03 +3.7, formerly Munro College
7.Senoj-Jay Givans 20.36 +2.9
400m Hurdles Men
3.Kemar Mowatt - University of Arkansas, 49.10 seconds, formerly Munro College
High Jump Men
1.Christoffe Bryan - Kansas State 2.18m, formerly Wolmer's Boys
Triple Jump Men
2.Clive Pullen - University of Arkansas, 16.64m, formerly Kingston College