Ackelia Smith wins long jump at Big 12 Championships with world leading 7.08m

By Sports Desk May 13, 2023

Texas’s Ackelia Smith continued her excellent 2023 season with a personal best 7.08m for victory at the 2023 Big 12 Outdoor Championships at John Jacobs Field in Oklahoma on Saturday.

The 21-year-old had jumps of 6.74m and 6.61m in the first two rounds before jumping out to her massive new personal best and world leading jump in the third. She subsequently passed on her next three jumps.

Oklahoma’s Pippi Lotta Enok produced 6.65m for second while Kansas State’s Shalom Olotu jumped 6.41 for third.

On the track, St. Lucians had an excellent day. First, Kansas’s Michael Joseph ran a personal best 44.77 to advance fastest into the men’s 400m final. Texas’s Jonathan Jones also advanced to the final with 45.70.

Then, Texas’s 2022 Commonwealth Games silver medallist, Julien Alfred, produced 10.74, albeit with a 3.4m/s wind, to advance fastest to the women’s 100m final.

Texas also had the second and third fastest qualifiers to the women’s 100m final through Kevona Davis (10.93) and Ezinne Abba (10.93).

Bahamian Terrence Jones ran 10.35 to advance third fastest in the men’s equivalent.

The 100m hurdles saw Jamaican Texas Tech senior Demisha Roswell advance fastest with 12.92.

Roswell’s Bahamian Texas Tech teammate, Antoine Andrews, ran 13.57 to advance in the men’s 110m hurdles.

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    2022 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Julien Alfred made history despite a second-placed finish in the 200m at the London Diamond League on Saturday.

    She established a new personal best and St. Lucian national record 21.86 in finishing second behind American Gabby Thomas who ran a meet record 21.82 to win.

    After narrowly missing out on medals in both the 100m and 200m at last year’s World Championships in Budapest, the 23-year-old looks set to leave Paris with at least one medal based on her excellent form this season.

    In an interview with Trackstaa after her race in London, Alfred spoke about what it means to represent her country on the world stage.

    “I feel honoured to be an ambassador for my tiny island every day I step on the track,” Alfred said.

    “We’re small but we’re mighty and we have amazing talent in St. Lucia just waiting to come out,” added the former University of Texas standout.

    The 2023 Bowerman Award winner went undefeated indoors at the beginning of the year, culminating in her first World Indoor Championship 60m title in Glasgow in March, before switching her focus outdoors in the build up to the Olympics.

    In four 100m races this season, Alfred has produced times of 11.15 at the Texas Invitational on April 27, 10.93 at the Prefontaine Classic on May 25, a personal best 10.78 at the Racers Grand Prix on June 1 and 10.85 at the Monaco Diamond League on July 12, the last two races resulting in wins.

    In her two 200m races before Saturday, she ran 22.58 at the Mt. Sac Relays on April 20 and 22.16 at the Gyulai Istvan Memorial on July 9.

    Alfred, who currently lives and trains in Texas, plans to return home to St. Lucia at the end of her season.

    “Oh Definitely. I haven’t been home to actually relax. It’s always been a quick in and out, especially this year in April, so I’ll get a chance to just go home, get back to my roots and go have fun and be with my people. That’s all I want,” she said.

    “I miss the food, the people and the environment. Just being around family, being on the beach. It’s an absolutely amazing place,” she added.

     

  • Jamaica’s Powell, T&T’s Bertrand among podium finishers at Holloway Pro Classic in Gainesville Jamaica’s Powell, T&T’s Bertrand among podium finishers at Holloway Pro Classic in Gainesville

    Jamaica’s Jevaughn Powell and Trinidad & Tobago’s Leah Bertrand were among the Caribbean podium finishers at Friday’s Holloway Pro Classic in Gainesville, Florida.

    Powell, who took third in the 400m at both the NCAA Championships and Jamaican National Championships in June, completed his final preparation for Paris with a 20.21 clocking for second in the 200m on Friday.

    American Erriyon Knighton ran 19.92 to win while another American, Robert Gregory, ran 20.33 in third.

    Bertrand, fresh off her second national 100m title in June, ran 11.18 for third behind American Candice Hill and Nigerian Favour Ofili. Hill and Ofili both ran the same time of 11.07.

    The upcoming Olympic Games in Paris will be the first for the 21-year-old Ohio State Junior.

    Bertrand's countrywoman, Tyra Gittens, was second in the long jump with a best mark of 6.37m in the sixth and final round. The event was won by American Tionna Tobias with a massive personal best of 6.94m while countrywoman Jasmine Todd was third with 6.17m.

    Bahamian Charisma Taylor, who will be competing in the 100m hurdles in Paris, finished third in the triple jump on Friday with 13.63m.

    American’s Kenturah Orji and Jasmine Moore finished first and second with 14.08m and 14.06m, respectively.

    Jamaica’s Skyler Franklin ran 51.01 for third in the women’s 400m behind Americans Aaliyah Butler (50.14) and Bailey Lear (50.51).

  • Hudson-Smith shines with British record 43.74 at London Diamond League; T&T’s Richards, St. Lucia’s Alfred establish new personal bests Hudson-Smith shines with British record 43.74 at London Diamond League; T&T’s Richards, St. Lucia’s Alfred establish new personal bests

    British World Championship silver medallist signaled his intent to go one better at the Paris Olympics with a brilliant performance to win the 400m at the London Diamond League on Saturday.

    In his home stadium, Hudson-Smith, whose mother hails from Hanover in Jamaica, covered the field in the first 300m before showcasing his endurance and strength in the last 100m on his way to a new personal best, national record and world leading 43.74, his first time under 44 seconds.

    American Vernon Norwood ran a personal best 44.10 in second while Trinidadian Jereem Richards scaled to new heights in the event with a personal best of his own, 44.18, in third.

    Signaling the speed on display in the race, Britain’s Charlie Dobson ran a personal best 44.23 in fourth while Olympic and World champion Kirani James’ season’s best 44.38 was only good enough for fifth.

    The women’s 200m saw St. Lucian Commonwealth Games 100m silver medallist Julien Alfred produce a personal best and national record 21.86 for second.

    American Olympic bronze medallist Gabby Thomas won in a meet record 21.82 while British 2019 World Champion Dina Asher-Smith was third in a season’s best 22.07.

    The women’s 800m saw multiple time World Championship and Olympic finalist Natoya Goule-Toppin run a season’s best 1:56.83 for fourth.

    Great Britain swept the top three spots led by World Championship silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson’s personal best, national record and world leading 1:54.61. Jemma Reekie was second in a personal best 1:55.61 while Georgia Bell also ran a personal best 1:56.28 in third.

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