J'cans all over US college conference meets
While Nathon Allen was showing his speed at the South Eastern Conference Championships in Knoxville, Tennessee, other Jamaicans were producing strong performances elsewhere on the US college circuit.
Minutes before Allen toured the Tom Black track in 44.28 seconds for 400m, Sharrika Barnett took the women's event for the University of Florida with a lifetime best of 50.69.
Barnett, the former St Andrew High sprinter, came back to drive Florida to the women's team title with a strong effort on the runner-up 4x400 team.
There was a Jamaican hurdles double at the Big 12 Conference Championships at the Waco, Texas, home of Baylor University. In the 100-metre hurdles, 2016 World Under-20 silver medal winner Rushelle Burton led her Bahamaian University of Texas teammate Pedrya Seymour home in 12.65 seconds. That matched her personal best and broke the stadium record. Seymour, a 2016 Olympic finalist, clocked 12.72 seconds.
Ranae McKenzie blazed home in the 400m hurdles in 56.06 seconds. That damaged her old personal best and contributed to a Big 12 team victory for Kansas State University where McKenzie has continued where she left off at Manchester High. Another assist came from discus ace Shadae Lawrence, who placed second with a distance of 59.04 metres.
The Western Athletic Conference Championships in Texas saw 2016 Olympian Tarasue Barnett give Grand Canyon University a title with a 60.74-metre discus success.
Gawain Williams, the former Herbert Morrison sprinter, took the 100 metres in 10.26 in front of the fans in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He attends the University of South Dakota.
Andre Ewers, Gleneve Grange, Shanice Love, Demar Robinson, and Jeanine Williams were all triumphant at the Atlantic Coast Conference meet. Ewers impressed with a nifty sprint double for Florida State University with times of 10.13 and 19.98 seconds, with the wind just over the allowable limit in the 200m. His Florida State teammates Love and Grange took the discus and shot respectively, with throws measured at 57.14m for Love and 16.89m for Grange.
There were also a win in this meet at Coral Gables, Florida, for Robinson, the former Calabar High captain. He cleared 2.24m for the University of Louisville and Williams, the ex-Immaculate Conception hurdler, gave Georgia Tech University the 100m hurdles title in a wind-aided 12.83.
Waseem Williams, formerly of Jamaica College, continued his progress at Purdue University with a personal best of 10.10 seconds to win the 100 at the Big 10 Championships.