Budding poet Dominique Clarke aiming to get faster one year at a time

By February 27, 2023
Dominique Clarke Dominique Clarke

As someone who didn’t excel at the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships in her home country of Jamaica, Dominique Clarke has gradually made a name for herself at the University at Albany in New York. A sophomore, Clarke is now a two-time America East 60m champion and the 2023 200m champion despite the fact that she is not a fan of running indoors.

At the America East Indoor Championships at the Track at New Balance in Boston just over a week ago, Clarke defended her 60m title, winning in 7.45, 0.10 faster than the time with which she won last year and led her teammates Adaliz Hunt and Rori Lowe in a sweep for UAlbany.

She repeated the feat in the 200m that she won in a championship record of 23.69 with teammates Jazmen Newberry and Lowe also ending up on the podium. It was the first time in UAlbany history that anyone had accomplished that feat.

This was a significant milestone for Clarke, who grew up in the tiny community of Constitution Hill in St Andrew and attended Papine High School where she didn’t even take up track until 2016 while she was in Grade 10.

“In 2019 I didn’t get past the first round because I was hurt and then 2020 Champs got cancelled and that was the first year I broke 12 seconds,” she recalled.

“Champs was one of the hardest things to get a medal at since I started so late in my Class II years.”

Unfortunately, her winning times were not fast enough to qualify her for a place at the NCAA Division 1 championships set to begin on March 10 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. However, she has found a silver lining in the disappointment.

“I did not get to qualify for nationals but I am very grateful,” she told Sportsmax.TV.

“I’ve run the fastest times ever so early in the season. I am looking forward to a better outdoor season because indoor has been great. I’ve never been one to set goals. I just try to be in front of where I was the year before. As long as I am training, I just need to know I am clocking a faster time than last year.”

Notwithstanding the success she has found running indoors at UAlbany, Clarke admits she is not a fan of indoor running but is grateful for the opportunities it has afforded her.

“Everywhere you go you are going to have so pros and cons, some good and bad. At Albany, the weather is the worst part but it has been okay so far. My experiences here at Albany have been great even though my path has sometimes been rocky but I am so grateful that I am here,” she said.

“I don’t really like indoors, the experience has been very hard for me because I am not one of the best starters but if I get it on a day I will run a proper time. It is very hard to compete indoors because it’s way shorter because I am a 100/200 runner. The 200 indoor is not for me either but nevertheless I always try my best because you can’t defeat yourself from the beginning say you can’t do it.”

UAlbany has also given Clarke the chance to develop some of her other skills that she intends to exploit in the years to come.

 “I am majoring in sociology and minor in creative writing,” she said.

“After track of whenever, I am definitely going to write some books because I am a really good poet, many people don’t know that about me. I am also going to write sociology books about the 20th century those are the things I am interested in.”

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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