Tue | Dec 7, 2021

Nairne, Thomas, Nelson win first outdoors of season

Published:Tuesday | March 30, 2021 | 12:59 AMRaymond Graham/Gleaner Writer
NAIRNE
NAIRNE

Xavier Nairne, Damion Thomas, and Kemba Nelson had wins in their respective events in their first outdoor collegiate meets of the season on Saturday.

The University of Oregon had a win and a third-place finish at 42nd Aztec Invitational Meet at San Diego State University.

Nairne, the 2019 Carifta Games Under-20 200m champion, was in record-breaking mood in the men’s 100m after winning the event in 10.20 seconds, and in the process breaking the 38-year-old meet record of 10.23s set by Ron Brown in 1983. Nairne then returned for a top-three finish in the 200m after coming in third in 20.73s as his teammate Micha Williams won in 20.47s. Nairne was also a member of his college’s 4x100m relay team which won the event in a record 39.02s.

SURPRISE WINNER

Kemba Nelson, the surprise winner of the women’s 60m event at the NCAA National Indoor Championships two weeks ago, maintained her form on the collegiate circuit with a win in the women’s 200m. Aided by a positive wind of 2.5m per second, she stopped the clock at 22.79s.

Fresh off his NCAA indoor 60m hurdles success, Thomas started his outdoor campaign on a successful note at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays at the University of Texas, Austin campus.

Thomas, the 2018 World Athletics Under-20 110m hurdles gold medallist, competing for Louisiana State University (LSU), romped to victory in the men’s collegiate event in a meet record of 13.22s.

Sean Bailey and Lamara Distin had top-three finishes on the day. Bailey, the former St Jago High School quarter-miler, now competing for the University of Texas El Paso, was second in the men’s collegiate 400m in 45.56s, as LSU’s Jonathon Sawyer won the event in 45.35s. Competing at home, Distin, the former Rusea’s, Vere Technical and Hydel High jumper, grabbed third in the women’s high jump with a clearance of 1.88m.

Following her disappointment at the NCAA Indoors where she did not make the final of the 60m and 200m, former Edwin Allen High standout Kevona Davis made a reasonable start to her outdoor season. Competing at home in a strong field in the Women’s Invitational 200m, she clocked 22.93s for a fourth-place finish as American Gabrielle Thomas, competing for New Balance, won in a meet record and world leading 22.17s.

Former Holmwood Technical quarter-miler, Kavia Francis, and sprint hurdler Daszay Freeman also had fair outdoor starts. Representing Baylor University, Francis was fourth in the women’s collegiate 200m in 23.14s, while Freeman, the former Manchester High and Queen’s athlete, now competing for the University of Arkansas, was fifth in the women’s 100m hurdles in 13.06s.

sports@gleanerjm.com