St Lucia Athletics Association president commends Julien Alfred for historic Bowerman win: "It means there are no limits...you can go out there and be somebody!"

By December 15, 2023

St Lucia's Julien Alfred made history on Thursday night by clinching the coveted 2023 Bowerman Award in Denver, Colorado, becoming the first athlete from St Lucia to win the prestigious award.

In the wake of that momentous occasion, President of the St Lucia Athletics Association, Brendaline Descartes, has commended the sprinter for her outstanding achievement.

In her senior year at the University of Texas in Austin, Alfred, contributed to five NCAA titles for the Longhorns, securing victories in the 60- and 200-m at the NCAA indoor championships and the 100- and 200m outdoor crowns in the same year. She also played a crucial role in Texas winning the 4x100 relay at the Division 1 outdoor final, contributing to the women's team title.

She also became the first female athlete to break the seven-second barrier in the 60m dash in the NCAA, a feat she accomplished three times culminating in a lifetime best of 6.94, the second fastest time in history. She also ran the second fastest time over 200m indoors, clocking an incredible 22.01. Only Merlene Ottey, who ran 21.87 in 1993 has run faster.

Alfred's win, alongside Jamaica's Jaydon Hibbert who secured the men's award, marked a significant Caribbean sweep of the prestigious accolade.

Descartes, elected as the president of the St Lucia Athletics Association in January, expressed her pride in Alfred's accomplishment and highlighted the broader significance for the sport and the country.

"Well, for me as president, it means that one, that this sport is growing and there is an opportunity for others to go out there and to also shine, but even more so for the country as well," Descartes stated.

"It means that there are no limits really. So beyond your shores, you can go out there and be somebody. You can go out there and stand tall. You could go out there and basically get the world to look in your direction," she added, emphasizing the transformative power of athletics on the global stage.

 

Descartes praised Julien Alfred's discipline and highlighted the athlete's calm demeanor, noting that Alfred's achievements were a result of meticulous preparation and focused expectations over the years.

"You could see her growth and her outstanding season. It's a testament to her winning this specialist award. So I think overall as a country, I think we are all very pleased that she has won this award, and of course, we support her wholeheartedly."

On behalf of the Saint Lucia Athletic Association, the sporting community in Saint Lucia, and the entire island, Descartes extended congratulations to Alfred and expressed continued support for her future endeavors.

"So all the best to Julien. And of course, again, it is an encouragement to all of us that yes, you can become something as long as you put your mind to it and you keep working hard at it."

Julien Alfred's historic win not only brings pride to St Lucia but serves as an inspiration for aspiring athletes in the Caribbean, showcasing that with dedication and hard work, they too can make a significant impact on the international stage.

 

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.

Related items

  • Pinnock jumps 8.03m to book spot at NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships Pinnock jumps 8.03m to book spot at NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships

    World Championship silver medallist Wayne Pinnock has officially booked his spot in the field for next month’s NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships.

    The 23-year-old Arkansas junior, who won gold at the 2022 NCAA Championships, produced 8.03m at the NCAA West First Round in Fayetteville on Wednesday to advance with the day’s second furthest jump behind USC’s Johnny Brackins who jumped a personal best 8.15m to advance.

    Another Jamaican, Oklahoma junior Nikaoli Williams, produced a personal best 7.99 to book his spot in the 24-man field set to compete from June 5-8 at Hayward Field in Oregon.

    Arizona State junior Brandon Lloyd threw 19.26m to secure qualification in the men’s shot put.

    On the track, a number of Caribbean men booked spots in Friday’s quarterfinal round to determine who will make the trip to Oregon.

    Trinidadian Minnesota junior Devin Augustine (10.28), Jamaican USC junior Travis Williams (10.30) and Jamaican Baylor sophomore Riquan Graham (10.32) all made it through to the quarterfinals of the men’s 100m.

    Augustine also ran 20.66 to advance in the 200m.

    The top 12 fastest men from Friday’s quarterfinals will advance to the NCAA Championships.

    In the 400m, Jamaican Texas Tech sophomore Shaemar Uter (45.68), Jamaican Baylor senior Demar Francis (45.75) and Grenadian Arizona State senior Gamali Felix (45.90) advanced to the quarterfinals.

    A pair of Jamaicans, Texas A&M junior Kimar Farquharson and Iowa junior Rivaldo Marshall, ran 1:47.72 and 1:48.31, respectively, to advance to the quarterfinals of the 800m.

    Jamaican Arkansas senior Phillip Lemonious and UTEP junior Jordani Woodley advanced in the 110m hurdles with times of 13.38 and 13.41, respectively.

    Lemonious is the defending NCAA champion.

    The 2024 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships is set for June 5-8 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

     

  • Jamaican quarter-miler Ackeem Bloomfield retires at age 27 Jamaican quarter-miler Ackeem Bloomfield retires at age 27

    Jamaican quarter-miler Ackeem Bloomfield has announced his retirement from track and field at the age of 27, Sportsmax.TV has confirmed.

     The two-time World Championship 4x400m relay silver medalist has reportedly informed the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association of his decision and has also requested to be removed from the Registered Testing Pool (RTP) with the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO). Marie Tavares, Executive Board Member of the JAAA confirmed Bloomfield’s retirement on Thursday, saying “He has. I got confirmation yesterday, either yesterday of the day before.”

    Tavares opined that it sounds as if Bloomfield, a former Kingston College star, will be concentrating on his academics but was otherwise uncertain about his motivations.

    Bloomfield, who holds the distinction of being the second-fastest Jamaican ever over 400m with a personal best of 43.94 seconds, first burst onto the scene as a promising young talent. He became the first Jamaican schoolboy to break the 45-second barrier, a feat that heralded a bright future in athletics. However, his career trajectory was hindered by a series of prolonged injuries and personal challenges, including the emotional toll of his mother's death in 2021.

    After a standout collegiate career at Auburn University, where he set his remarkable 400m time at the NCAA National Outdoor Championships in 2018, Bloomfield signed with Puma and joined the MVP International training group in Florida. His talent and potential were on full display at the 2019 World Athletics Championships, where he finished eighth in the 400m final with a time of 45.36 seconds.

    In 2021, seeking a fresh start and recovery from a debilitating hamstring injury, Bloomfield moved to train with Rana Reider’s Tumbleweed group, where he reunited with high school rival and Calabar star athlete Christopher Taylor. Bloomfield declared himself fully recovered and expressed optimism about his future in the sport. “It was a really bad injury to my right hamstring. I did an intensive rehab process after I got injured. Even though I shut down my season I was still doing rehab. So, I can say for the most part, right now I’m 100 percent healthy,” he said in an interview with On Point.

    Despite his determination, Bloomfield’s journey continued to be marked by transitions. In September 2022, he left Tumbleweed to train under former Jamaican Olympian Sanjay Ayre at Chase Athletics Track Club. However, he departed from Chase Athletics a year later, signaling the turbulence that characterized the latter part of his career.

    Bloomfield’s last known competitive performance was at the Tom Jones Invitational in April 2023, where he ran 45.52 seconds to finish sixth. This race marked the end of a career that, despite its ups and downs, offered glimpses of what could have been.

  • Yohan Blake records season-best 10.16 in 100m at Raiffeisen Austrian Open, Christania Williams impresses in women's race Yohan Blake records season-best 10.16 in 100m at Raiffeisen Austrian Open, Christania Williams impresses in women's race

     Double Olympic silver medalist Yohan Blake demonstrated that he is far from finished at the 2024 Raiffeisen Austrian Open in Eisenstadt, Austria, on Wednesday, clocking a season-best 10.16 seconds in the 100m heats. However, the final did not go as planned for the Jamaican sprint star, as he was disqualified for a false start, negating his third-place finish time of 10.26 seconds.

    The 34-year-old Blake's performance in the heats was a testament to his experience and competitive edge, as he comfortably advanced to the final with the fastest qualifying time. This season-best effort underscored Blake's determination to remain a formidable force in sprinting, even as he continues to navigate the later stages of his illustrious career.

    In the final, Blake crossed the finish line third with a time of 10.26 seconds. However, his results were invalidated due to a false start that led to his disqualification. The disqualification came as a significant disappointment, especially after his promising performance in the heats.

    Fellow Jamaican sprinter Christania Williams also impressed at the meet. Williams, who is based in Austria and trained by Coach Phillip Unfried, ran a strong race in the women's 100m, clocking an impressive 11.33 seconds. Her performance highlights her consistent progress and potential as she continues to train and compete in Europe.

    The Raiffeisen Austrian Open served as a crucial platform for athletes like Blake and Williams to gauge their form and readiness as they prepare for upcoming national champions in just over a month’s time. Despite the setback in the final, Blake's season-best time in the heats remains a positive takeaway, indicating his capacity to compete at high levels.

    For Williams, the meet was an opportunity to showcase her talent and the results of her training under Coach Unfried's guidance. Her time of 11.33 seconds is a solid mark as she aims to continue improving and achieving new personal bests.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.