Jamaicans impress at NCAA Div II meet
Raymond Graham, Gleaner Writer
Former St Andrew Technical track and field coach, Victor 'Poppy' Thomas, piloted Lincoln University's women team to another overall win in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II Championships at the Albuquerque Convention Centre in New Mexico on the weekend.
The team which includes several Jamaicans tallied 56 points to win ahead of Ashland and Grand Valley, which both finished in second with 47 points.
After indoor victories in 2004, 2006 and 2009, Thomas' male team which also finished fourth overall at the meet was very pleased with his team's success.
"This victory is very special. Although we were the top-ranked team going into the championships, it came down to the final event, the 4x400 metres as several of my top athletes got injured couple days before the meet. The girls who competed showed a lot of resilience and fight," said the former national senior coach.
Former Vere Technical hurdler, Indira Spence, competing for Adam States College had the best performance from a Jamaican at the meet after picking up gold and silver medals at the championships.
Spence claimed gold in the women's 60 metres hurdle event as she turned back former Convent of Mercy Alpha Academy hurdler Shermaine Williams of Johnson C. Smith University. Spence clocked a meet record of 8.05 seconds to erase Williams' one year mark of 8.07 seconds and in the process inflicted the first-ever defeat for Williams by a Division II collegiate athlete.
Williams ended second in 8.07 seconds with her teammate and another former Alpha Academy athlete, Rosemarie Carty taking the bronze in 8.27 seconds. Spence was the runner-up in the 200 metres in 23.61 seconds.
Lincoln University's 4x400 metres relay team, which included three Jamaicans in former St Jago High athletes Yanique Haye, Keneisha Jones (Vere Technical) and Nyoka Cole (Holmwood Technical), won the event in an impressive 3:40.98.
Two Jamaican males were also among the medallists as Lincoln University's Kemour Bruce captured gold in the men's 60 metres while Johnson C.Smith University's Leford Green got the silver in the men's 400 metres.
Bruce, formerly of Camperdown High, clocked 6.66 seconds while Green, the former Kingston College quartermiler, clocked 46.67 seconds in his event.