Jamaican trio - Lamara Distin, Brianna Lyston and Ackelia Smith - make Bowerman Watch List

By Sports Desk February 08, 2024

Three Jamaican female athletes have once again stamped their mark on the prestigious Bowerman Watch List for the week of February 7, 2024. Lamara Distin, Brianna Lyston, and Ackelia Smith have earned well-deserved spots on the coveted list, showcasing their exceptional prowess in the world of collegiate athletics.

The Bowerman Award, presented annually to the most outstanding NCAA male and female athletes in the USA, is a testament to the incredible talent and hard work displayed by these athletes. The recent announcement follows the historic achievement in 2023, where two Caribbean athletes, Jaydon Hibbert and Julien Alfred, claimed the coveted award for the first time ever.

Lyston's inclusion in the list is particularly noteworthy as she joins teammates Alia Armstrong and Michaela Rose, making LSU the eighth program to place at least three athletes on the same Women’s Watch List.

From Portmore, Jamaica, Lyston won the 60m dash at the Razorback Invitational in 7.07 becoming number four all-time on the collegiate list. She has also run 7.14 in a 60m prelim as well as 23.16 in the 200. Lyston is the 12th athlete in LSU women’s history to be named to the Watch List.

Distin, representing Texas A&M, returns to the Watch List after an impressive high jump clearance of 1.94m at the Ted Nelson Invitational. With a personal record of 1.97m indoors, Distin aims to secure her third consecutive NCAA DI Indoor crown, adding to her already illustrious career. Her PR of 1.97m indoors puts her number three all-time. This is her eighth career Watch List appearance.

Smith, hailing from Clarendon, Jamaica, has showcased her versatility by dominating the long jump event so far this season. With a series of impressive leaps, including a 6.85m victory at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic, Smith is making her mark as a force to be reckoned with in collegiate track and field.

Last year’s NCAA DI Outdoor long jump champion, Smith is number two all-time collegiately at 7.08m and also has chops in the triple jump – an event she hasn’t contested this year but rates No. 3 all-time outdoors 14.54m and No. 5 indoors (14.29m. This is her fourth career Watch List appearance.

 The next Bowerman Watch List will be announced on February 28.

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