Jamaica's O'Brien Wasome, University of Texas happy with NCAA gold

By March 12, 2018
O'Brien Wasome O'Brien Wasome

University of Texas sophomore O'Brien Wasome leapt to a personal best 16.82m to win the gold medal in the triple jump in at the NCAA Division One Indoor Championships at College Station in Texas on Saturday. It was a big deal for the athlete and his school.

Wasome, who won the bronze medal at the 2017 edition with a mark of 16.49m, was superior to the field, winning by 15cm ahead of Florida’s KeAndre Bates (16.67m) and Chengetayi Mapaya of Texas Christian University (16.38m).

"I've been working so hard. I'm just really happy to have this right now," Wasome said. "I hit each phase of my jump and my body reacted the way I wanted. As soon as I hit the pit, I was like, 'Yes! I finally put a good one out there.'"

Assistant Coach Zach Glavash said the win validates the hard work the former Jamaica College student has put in and the confidence he has in himself. It also sets the bar for the rest of the team.

"He kept himself calm. He has found a good rhythm of staying calm in the moment and of making sure he's not forcing something," Glavash said.

"He's really found his composure, which to go to the next level is what you have to have. Just hearing the people in the stands and the number of texts we've gotten, this is big. Texas Track & Field needs to set the bar and we need to vie for national championships."

Wasome was among several Jamaicans who had podium finishes albeit for different schools on the weekend.

Among them was Raheem Chambers who ran a personal best 6.53s to finish second in the 60m dash behind Houston’s Elijah Hall (6.52). Antigua and Barbuda’s Cejhae Greene, a senior at the University of Georgia, was fourth in a personal best 6.61s.

Meanwhile, Auburn freshman Natalliah Whyte, who ran a personal best 7.12s, secured a bronze medal in the 60m dash. Medal favourite Jonielle Smith, who ran a personal best (7.15s) in the heats, was fourth in 7.19s.

Perhaps, the most outstanding performance on the weekend from a Caribbean athlete was the 44.86s run by Akeem Bloomfield, for a silver medal in the 400m. It was one of the fastest times ever run indoors, a new national record for Jamaica and a school record for Auburn.

The race was won by University of South Carolina's Michael Norman in a world-record 44.52. It was also a facility record, a championship record and a meet record.

 

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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