Lawrence on top at NCAA West Prelims
FORMER Hydel High thrower Shadae Lawrence was in fantastic form last weekend for Kansas State University at the NCAA West Preliminary Meet at California State University, Sacramento, winning the women's discus throw with a distance of 62.10m.
Lawrence led nine Jamaican athletes from the West to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, between June 9 and 12, making it a total of 21 Jamaicans, following 12 moving forward from the East Preliminary Regional Meet. Lawrence was joined by five other females and three males.
Former Wolmer's Girls' School sprint-hurdler Janeek Brown continued her impressive form in her first season at the University of Arkansas. Aided with a positive wind of 2.6m per second, she won her heat in the women's 100m hurdles in 12.90 seconds, edging out the outstanding Dior Hall of the University of Southern California (USC), who was second in 12.91 seconds. Brown advanced with the third-fastest time overall. Joining her was former St Andrew High and Camperdown High hurdler Rushelle Burton. Competing for the University of Texas at Austin, Burton, the Big 12 champion was seventh overall after ending third in her heat in 13.02 seconds.
Renai McKenzie and Titania Markland also advanced from the track. McKenzie, former Manchester High intermediate hurdler now competing for Kansas State University, finished second in her heat of the Women's 400m hurdles in 57.44 seconds, which was sixth overall. Markland, formerly of St Mary High School, had a second-place finish for the University of Minnesota in the women's 400m in 52.42 seconds, which had her 11th overall.
Shardia Lawrence, like her twin sister, Shadae, moved forward to the championships in the field. The former Hydel athlete ended ninth in the women's triple jump for Kansas State with 13.24m.
Kemar Mowatt, a finalist at last year's IAAF World Championships in London, England, and Odane Lewis were the two Jamaican males to advance individually. Mowatt won his heat of the men's 400m hurdles in 49.33 seconds to advance with the second-fastest time, where Rai Benjamin of USC had a winning time of 47.98 seconds in his heat.
Lewis, a former Cornwall College jumper, was sixth in the men's triple jump for Texas Tech University with a mark of 15.96m.
Obrien Wasome, a former Jamaica College jumper, also moved forward after ending 11th in the men's triple jump with 15.62ms for the University of Texas at Austin.