Sun | Oct 24, 2021

McLeod leads impressive performances

Published:Tuesday | March 2, 2021 | 12:13 AMRaymond Graham/Gleaner Writer

Former Kingston College jumper Carey McLeod led the dominant performances by Jamaican collegiate athletes in NCAA Division 1 Conference Championship meets in the United States over the weekend.

Jamaican athletes picked up seven wins, along with several top-three finishes, in an impressive showing.

McLeod, who in 2017 starred for the North Street-based institution at Champs in both the long and triple jump events, had a win and a second-place finish for the University of Tennessee at the South East Conference in Fayeteville, Arkansas.

After a second-place finish in the long jump with 8.25 metres, which brought him in behind winner Juvaughn Harrison, 8.33m, of Louisiana State University (LSU), McLeod returned to nail the triple jump win with his final attempt of 17.17 metres, as Christian Edwards of the University of Arkansas had to settle for second place with a 16.64m effort.

2018 World Under-20 110m hurdles champion Damion Thomas, a senior at LSU, was the other Jamaican winner at the meet, after taking the men’s 60m hurdles in 7.60 seconds, getting the better of teammate Eric Edwards Jnr, who was second in 7.67 seconds.

Former Jamaica College hurdler Phillip Lemonius, competing at home, barely missed out on a top-three finish, after crossing the line fourth in 7.71 seconds, just behind his teammate TreBrian Goldsmith, who was third in 7.70 seconds.

At the same meet, there were second-place finishes for Daszay Freeman and Christopher Grant.

Competing at home, Freeman, the former Manchester High and The Queen’s School student, clocked 8.07 for the runner-up spot in the women’s 60m hurdles final, which was won by Milan Young of LSU in 8.03 seconds. Grant, formerly of St Catherine High School, competing for the University of Auburn, stopped the clock at 6.71 seconds to finish behind his teammate Dante Brown, who won in 6.67.

There was triple success for Jamaicans at the Atlantic Coast Championships (ACC) at Clemson University, as Trishauna Hemmings, Fabian Hewitt and Owayne Owens all won their respective events.

200M WIN

Competing at home, Hemmings, formerly of Hydel High School, captured the women’s 200m in 23.12 seconds, while she also had a third-place finish in the 60m hurdles in 8.09 seconds, which saw Tiana McMinn, 8.00, taking the win.

Hemmings’ teammate, Hewitt, formerly of Calabar High School, won the men’s 60m in 6.65 seconds, with former Cornwall College jumper Owayne Owens of the University of Virginia winning the men’s triple jump with 16.48m.

Meanwhile, former St Elizabeth Technical quarter-miler Stacyann Williams picked up a win at the Big 12 Championships held in Lubbock, Texas.

Williams had a big win for the University of Texas at Austin in the women’s 400m, after romping to victory in 51.60 seconds, way ahead of her teammate Kennedy Simon, who was second in 52.24 seconds.

Freshman, Kevona Davis had two second-place finishes competing for the University of Texas at Austin.

The former Edwin Allen High School standout lost by centimetres in the 60m, after clocking 7.25 seconds, the same time as the winner, her teammate Kynnedy Flannel.

In the 200m, she clocked 22.87 seconds, as Flannell won in 22.57 seconds to take the double. Davis, who started the season a bit slowly, was happy with her progress.

“I feel wonderful ,and it only can get better. I am giving myself time to learn and adjust to a new life,” Davis said.

After a record run of 7.91 seconds to win the preliminary round of the women’s 60m hurdles, former Excelsior High athlete Ackera Nugent had a second-place finish in the final. Nugent clocked 7.98 seconds as the University of Texas at Austin’s Chenel Brissette, whose parents are Jamaicans, won in 7.89 seconds.

The other win by a Jamaican over the weekend saw former St Mary High School athlete Abbigail Schaffe taking the women’s 600m in 1:27.96 seconds for her school, the University of Minnesota at the Big 10 Conference in Geneva, Ohio. Her teammate, Janielle Josephs, formerly of St Andrew High School was third in the women’s 400m in 53.96 seconds.

Former Mount Alvernia High School sprinter Kemba Nelson closed off a good weekend by Jamaican athletes, finishing second in the 60m in 7.27 seconds for the University of Oregon, in Colorado Spring at the Championship at the Park.