Thomas-Dodd improves national shot put record
Shot putter Danniel Thomas-Dodd and 400m runner Akeem Bloomfield were the star Jamaican performers on the US Indoor circuit last weekend. Thomas-Dodd upped her national shot put record to 18.46m at a meet in Northwest Ohio, while Bloomfield produced a stunning 4x400m relay anchor in South Carolina for Auburn University. In that same meet, Bloomfield's Auburn teammates Jonelle Smith, Raheem Chambers, and Natalliah Whyte also stepped into the spotlight.
Thomas-Dodd continued her fine start to the 2018 season at the Findlay Classic. The World Championship fourth-place finisher pushed her shot 6cm past her old Jamaican indoor record of 18.40m. Two weeks ago, the former Frome Technical and Edwin Allen Comprehensive High thrower launched her best-ever season opener with a distance of 18.21m.
Even though World Championship 400m finalist Nathon Allen was on the third leg, Bloomfield faced a big deficit on the 4x400 at the Bob Pollack Invitational at Clemson University. Undaunted, the tall Jamaican zoomed past to wrap up an Auburn University win with an anchor leg timed in 44.44 seconds. That is the fastest indoor 4x400 leg found on record.
It is not the first time Bloomfield has shown his relay prowess. Running for Kingston College at Boys and Girls' Championships in 2016, he breezed through his anchor duties in 44.5 seconds - the fastest leg ever by a Jamaican schoolboy.
There were wins for Jamaicans Tovea Jenkins and Tamara Moncrieffe. Jenkins toured the 600m in 1:31.17, while Moncrieffe, who is now at the University of Alabama, triple jumped 12.80m. Fellow Bloomfield's Auburn Jamaicans Chambers and Smith won the men's and women's 60m final with times of 6.63 and 7.20 seconds, respectively. Whyte was just 0.03 behind Smith. During the meet, Whyte set an indoor personal best in the 200m with her runner-up effort of 23.38 seconds.
NOTABLE JAMAICAN ACTIVITY
There was also notable Jamaican activity in New York, Fayetteville, and Penn State University. At the Sander Invitational in New York, former St Jago High jumper Hanifah Abdul-Qadir triple jumped 13.21m, representing the University of South Carolina. Fresh from a world-leading 800m run on the previous weekend, Natoya Goule lost a squeaker to World Championship bronze medal winner Ajee Wilson. The American slipped away to win in 2:00.90 seconds with Goule just 0.17 behind.
Goule's World Championship teammate, Jazmin Fray, had better luck in Fayetville at the Razorback Invitational. She set a season's best of 2:02.30 seconds to win for Texas A&M University. Florida-based Jamaican Damion Thomas, now at Louisiana State University, was victorious, too. He clocked a lifetime best of 7.75 seconds to win the 60m hurdles.
This competition saw runner-up finishes for Kemar Mowatt in the 400, Gleneve Grange in the shot, and Shardia Lawrence in the triple jump. Mowatt, who was not too far from a podium place in the 400m hurdle last year at the World Championships, set a personal best of 46.83 seconds.