Ruddock in fine form
Raymond Graham, Gleaner Writer
Two-time World Junior 100 metres hurdle finalist Natasha Ruddock was in devastating form at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational Track and Field Meet at the Armory track in New York on Friday night, as she blazed to a career best and meet record of 8.06 seconds to win the women's 60 metres final.
Competing for Texas A&M University, the former St Jago High hurdler was slow out of the block but gained ground rapidly to join teammate Gabby Mayo at the third hurdle, as both had a battle royal to the finishing line with Ruddock out-leaning her rival for the win.
The clocking was good enough to break Houston University Seun Adigun's one-year record of 8.09 seconds. Mayo stopped the clock at 8.06 for her second-place finish while former Queen's High athlete Latoya Greaves - competing for Oklahoma University - ran on strongly for third place in 8.26 seconds.
Ruddock, who is now the number-two ranked collegiate athlete in the event, was naturally pleased with her performance.
"I am very happy that I was able to win although I did not expect to run so fast. My coach told me to stay focused and I followed his instruction as I knew it was going to be a competitive event, especially from my teammate Gabby who is a great competitor," said Ruddock.
There were fourth-place finishes in the long jump for former St Jago High athlete Sasha Kaye Matthias and Alain Bailey, formerly of Kingston College. Competing for Texas A&M University, Matthias leaped 6.25 metres and Bailey did 7.74 metres.
Former Queen's High sprinter Samantha Henry, competing for Louisiana States University, had to settle for seventh place in the women's 60 metres in 7.35 seconds while Texas A&M's Jeneba Tarmoh won ahead of LSU's Lakya Brokins in an identical time of 7.29 seconds.