In a moment that will resonate through the corridors of track and field history, Lamara Distin, the high-flying Jamaican representing Texas A&M, soared to unprecedented heights at the SEC Indoor Championships.

Last weekend, the 23-year-old SEC champion shattered the women's NCAA indoor high jump record, scaling a breathtaking 2.00 metres, not only claiming her third-straight SEC title but etching her name as the first NCAA athlete to conquer this elusive mark. The feat also holds special significance as Distin becomes the trailblazing woman from the English-speaking Caribbean to achieve such an extraordinary height and by that virtue establishing a Jamaica national indoor record.

It was a moment of relief and reward for the talented Jamaican. "Achieving the long-awaited goal was an incredible and rewarding feeling. I have been going after this mark for years so for it to finally happen, it’s such a great feeling. I’m super-elated that my hard work is paying off."

Distin's journey at the Randal Tyson Track Centre was nothing short of a masterclass in precision and execution. She cleared her initial six heights on the first attempt, securing her SEC indoor high jump title with a jump over 1.97m. With history beckoning, she boldly raised the bar once more. On her third and final attempt, she defied gravity, clearing the record-breaking 2.00m, etching her legacy into the NCAA and Jamaica history books.

In doing so, Distin awarded the 2024 SEC Indoor Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

 

The former Hydel High School star shared the depth of emotion and accomplishment tied to this historic moment. "Being among an elite class of high jumpers and the first Caribbean woman to achieve this height fills me with a deep sense of gratitude and motivation to continue pushing my limits," she shared, reflecting on the significance of this achievement.

The journey to this moment, however, was not without its challenges. The 2022 Commonwealth Games champion opened up about the transformative year of 2023, marked by a change of coach from Sean Brady to Mario Sategna.

During the year, Distin was well below her best even though she won the Indoor title with a clearance of 1.91m. However, after only clearing 1.87m, she relinquished the national outdoor title to Ball State’s Charity Griffith, who soared over a height of 1.93m to claim the crown.

“The change of coach was a bit of a challenge for me last year as I know that I would be doing completely different workouts that I was used to with my old coach since I was a freshman,” she explained.

“I’m used to the (new) program now so I’m super grateful everything is falling into place at the right time. There are little things that still need to be fixed but we’ll get there. Change can be daunting, but it can also be a catalyst for growth and improvement.”

For Distin, reaching the 2.00m mark was not just a physical breakthrough; it also marked a profound mental transformation.

“Reaching that two-metre mark is not only a physical breakthrough but also a significant mental breakthrough for me. It’s like a weight has lifted off my shoulders. This has opened up new possibilities and has shown me that I am capable of achieving greater heights,” she stated.

“It has given me the confidence to set bigger goals and strive for even more success in the sport. I will continue to have faith in God and remember that his timing is always better than me.”

With the summer approaching at the Paris Olympics looming ever closer, Distin and her coach are meticulously planning her competitions, ensuring she peaks at the right time for the Olympic challenge ahead.

“An Olympic year means I have to also be smart as it relates to competitions. Competing at the collegiate level is totally different than the professional level as our season starts earlier. Moving into this season, my coach and I are taking the necessary measures in order for me to be fresh enough for the Olympics which is being strategic with competition planning. We have a plan and we’re sticking to that plan.”

As she sets her sights on consistently clearing higher heights, Distin shared the key factors for sustained success. "Maintaining a positive mindset, consistency in practice, taking care of my overall well-being, and seeking support when needed" are the cornerstones of her approach.

Grounded in her faith and armed with a renewed sense of self-belief, Distin is not merely defying gravity; she's rewriting the script of what's possible in high jumping and aiming for nothing less than Olympic glory.

In a triumphant display of school spirit and athletic prowess, Christine Day, the Jamaican Olympian and Commonwealth Games champion, spearheaded her eponymous house to a resounding victory at Tacky High School's sports day last Thursday. Despite her significant achievements, Day had largely flown under the radar in her home country until her high school honoured her by renaming a school house after her last year.

Formerly known as Grant House, Day House, after a 12-year hiatus, clinched the sports day crown with an impressive total of 486 points, overcoming challenges from rival houses Hudson, Ashton, and Crawford. This marked a significant milestone for Day House, as their last victory dated back to 2012.

The decision to rename the houses came as part of an initiative by the school administration to honour contemporary past students who have excelled in various fields. School principal Errol Bascoe explained the reasoning behind the change, stating, “What was happening is that the patrons for the houses have been some old-timers, business people in the area. Some have died, and we think that the sport itself was dying with the patrons, and so it was a consensus of the school that we look for past students who are doing well and who have done well; in whatever area.”

Day was a natural choice for this honour. Principal Bascoe revealed that Day wasn't merely a patron in name; she brought a burst of energy and enthusiasm to the sports day preparations. "Christine was integral in the planning. She gave them jerseys, she came with her energy drinks, she gave them everything, and she was there jumping up and blowing the vuvuzelas with them."

Day, the 2015 national 400m champion, 2015 World Championship 4x400m gold medalist and a two-time Commonwealth Games 4x400m relay gold medalist, has often been overshadowed despite her impressive athletic achievements.

 When her high school named a house in her honor last November, she was visibly moved by the gesture. "I felt really elated and overwhelmed that my high school considered using me, my name for one of the school houses. It actually makes me realize that I am appreciated and loved by my school community," Day expressed.

Buoyed by this recognition, Day went above and beyond to support her house. She garnered donations from friends, including notable Olympians, to provide essential items for the athletes. The support included shirts, energy drinks, banners, fruit, water, and even a massage gun.

“I got help from Andisports Management, my besty, Kaliese Spencer; Stephenie-Ann McPherson, Rusheen McDonald, my daddy Hope Day, sister Jonique Day; as well as Andre Edwards, Aundrae Drummonds, Miguel Melbourne, Miquel Emmanuel and Jerald Irons,” she said.

Her efforts paid off as Day House secured a convincing victory, echoing the excitement and energy of the renowned ISSA GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships.

Reflecting on the success, Christine Day said, "The energy was like at Champs vibes. There was a lot of excitement and joy coming from both teachers, students, and supporters." The win not only showcased the athletic prowess of Tacky High School's students but also highlighted the impact a dedicated and honored alumna like Christine Day can have on inspiring future generations.

Reigning Women’s World Athletics 200m champion, Shericka Jackson, has achieved another remarkable feat as she secures a spot among the nominees for the highly prestigious 2024 Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year. The announcement, made on Monday, February 26, recognizes Jackson's outstanding achievements on the track.

Jackson, who clinched her second world 200m title in Budapest last year with a remarkable time of 21.41 seconds, stands as the second-fastest of all time, just seven hundredths of a second shy of Florence Griffith-Joyner's 35-year-old record. Additionally, she earned a silver medal in the 100m at the World Championships and dominated the 2023 Diamond League, claiming titles in both the 100m and 200m events. Her exceptional form was further emphasized by a personal best of 10.65 seconds at the Jamaica national championships in June.

The Jamaican sprinter finds herself in the esteemed company of two other track and field luminaries: Women's World 100m champion Sha’Carri Richardson of the USA and Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon, who made history by becoming the first woman to triumph in both the 1,500 and 5,000 meters at the World Championships.

The list of nominees is completed by outstanding athletes from various disciplines, including Spanish footballer Aitana Bonmati, American skier Mikaela Shiffrin, and Polish tennis sensation Iga Swiatek.

It's worth noting that Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce claimed the prestigious Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year award in 2023. This adds an extra layer of distinction to Jackson's nomination, as she follows in the footsteps of her illustrious compatriot.

The Laureus World Sportsman of the Year category boasts an equally formidable lineup, featuring Noah Lyles, Novak Djokovic, Mondo Duplantis, Lionel Messi, Erling Haaland, and Max Verstappen.Mikae

 

Jamaican athlete Lanae Thomas expressed her immense pride after being selected to represent Jamaica at the upcoming World Indoor Championships in Glasgow from March 1-3. The 23-year-old sprinter, who completed her transfer of allegiance from the United States to Jamaica in October 2023, is set to make her national team debut at the championships.

Thomas, a two-time NCAA champion, will compete in the 400m category in Glasgow, aiming to showcase her talent and contribute to Jamaica's success at the championships. Despite facing setbacks in her previous attempt to represent Jamaica at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, due to delayed paperwork, Thomas is determined to make a significant impact in her first international appearance for Jamaica.

Expressing her gratitude for the selection, Thomas stated, "I am honoured to have made this team, especially since they had to purposely select me." She emphasized her commitment to helping the team secure victories and using the experience as a stepping stone for future competitions.

Thomas, born in Jamaica and an alumna of Vaz Prep, migrated to the United States for high school and attended the University of Southern California (USC) before completing her collegiate career at the University of Texas. Her notable achievements include impressive times of 51.67 and 51.88 in the 400m event during the current indoor season, along with a swift 22.72 run over 200m in early February.

Reflecting on her journey, Thomas sees this season as a period of growth and views the World Championships as a valuable opportunity to strengthen herself and contribute to the team's success. She highlighted the importance of each meet as an opportunity for improvement, emphasizing her dedication to making her team stronger.

Thomas concluded, "This has been a season of growth, and I think that’s one of the most important parts of the sport, and where better to grow than at a World Championships."

 Wayne Pinnock, the long jump sensation from Jamaica and University of Arkansas, has signed with 7venz Media Agency for public relations and media representation. Pinnock won the SEC long jump title, his second, with a leap of 8.28m on Friday.

With a personal best of 8.54 meters, Pinnock is taking the track and field world by storm. His impressive performances have earned him a spot on the PUMA roster, signing a NIL deal with the global sports brand.

"I'm excited to partner with 7venz Media Agency to share my story and showcase my abilities on a global stage," said Wayne Pinnock. "Their expertise will help me build a strong brand and inspire others to chase their dreams."

7venz Media Agency will leverage its expertise to elevate Pinnock's profile, increase his visibility, and propel him to new heights in the sports industry.

"We are thrilled to welcome Wayne Pinnock to our roster," 7venz Media Agency said in a statement. "His dedication, passion, and talent make him a perfect fit for our agency. We look forward to helping him achieve his goals and making a lasting impact on the sports industry."

Pinnock won the silver medal at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in 2023, losing the gold medal on the final jump by Greek jumper Miltiádis Tentóglou.

Pinnock has joined a growing number of Jamaican athletes who have signed with 7venz Media Agency, who boasts Olympic champion Hansle Parchment, World champion Danielle Williams, and Olympic relay gold medalist Briana Williams, on its roster.

 

 

 

 

Lamara Distin of Texas A&M once again etched her name in the record books, as she became the first female high jumper in NCAA history to clear 2.00m (6-6.75) at the South-Eastern Conference (SEC) indoor championships at the Tyson Sports Complex in Fayetteville, on Saturday.

The 22-year-old Distin, who won gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and was a finalist at last year’s World Championships, once again demonstrated her class and rich vein of form in her winning mark.

Along with rewriting her previous national record of 1.97m set last year, Distin also shattered her own meet record of 1.95m, as well as the previous championship record of 1.98m set by Hooker Tex in 2016. She also equaled the facility record.

Distin won ahead of Arkansas’ Rachel Glenn (1.94m) and University of Georgia’s Elena Kulichenko (1.91m). Another Jamaican Nia Robinson or Arkansas was 12th with a new personal best mark of 1.75m.

Jamaica’s Romaine Beckford representing Arkansas also topped the men’s high jump after clearing the bar at 2.25m. He won ahead of Mississippi State’s Sherman Hawkins (2.16m) and Texas A&M’s Ushan Perera (2.11m).

On the track, Brianna Lyston of Louisiana State University, also continued her rich vein of form when she clocked a meet record equalling 7.08 to win the women’s 60m final. She equalled the time set by another Jamaican Remona Burchell of University of Alabama in 2015.

Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president Christopher Samuda and chairman of the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) George Soutar said the void left by Hubert Lawrence will be hard to fill, as they paid tribute to the respected track and field analysis, whose untimely passing has cast a pall of gloom over the sporting fraternity.

Lawrence, 64, who was also well-known for his authorship, and historical documentation, passed away at home on Friday.

Samuda remembered Lawrence as an authority on Jamaican and global track and field, who played a crucial role in television coverage of various athletic events, including the Olympics, World Championships, and local meets.

The veteran analyst had been an integral part of the track and field commentary for more than three decades, his passion for the sport evident in his dedicated contributions to both television and written media.

“Hubert Lawrence was not simply an encyclopedia of statistics and historical data of others, but more importantly, he was himself a landmark that gave a nation in his commentary a self-portrait in track and field. A man in the mirror vision of where an athletic fraternity stood in his development and the journey must take in order to progress and mature,” Samuda shared.

“He gave statistics context in his written and spoken word, so that players could understand the culture of the sport more, their role and responsibility, and be guided by the principles of Olympicism, which is pen-inked in personalizing successive Olympic Games. The Olympic family mourns his mortality, but is assured and assures his family that his soul now rests eternally,” he added.

Beyond his on-screen presence, Lawrence was a prolific author, having written and co-authored significant books on track and field. Some notable works include "Champs 100" in 2010, "The Power and the Glory: Jamaica in World Athletics, From World War II to the Diamond League Era" in 2012, and "50 Days of Fire" in 2022.

Lawrence, who Soutar described as a true champion for athletes and sports development in Jamaica, inspiring generations with his passion and knowledge, leaves behind a profound impact on the track and field community in Jamaica and beyond.

“He was well known for his balanced and insightful commentaries and interviews, not only to local sports but also in the region and internationally.

“Jamaica has lost a dedicated, and one of our most knowledgeable sports analysts and commentators. On behalf of the Sports Development Foundation, our condolences go out to his family and the sports fraternity,” Soutar said.

Wayne Pinnock of the University of Arkansas won his first indoor long jump championships at the South-Eastern Conference (SEC) indoor championships on Friday.

Pinnock, who was second last year to then teammate Carey McLeod, secured his first indoor title with a leap of 8.28m at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Arkansas.

The World Championships silver medallist, Pinnock, stamped his class and led from the second round after a foul in the first round.

His teammate Nia Robinson was second in the women’s long jump with 6.44m. Robinson also recovered well after she fouled her opening attempt.

Meanwhile, Brianna Lyston is among a number of Jamaicans down to contest finals on Saturday. The Louisiana State University (LSU) representative is down to contest the women’s 60m final, after she clocked 7.12 seconds to win her heat on Friday.

Rosealee Cooper of Mississippi State will enter the women's 60m hurdles with as the sixth fastest qualifiers, as she clocked 8.21s for third in her heat.

Nickisha Pryce of Arkansas will line up in the women’s 200m and 400m finals, after she clocked personal best times of 22.94 and 50.90, when she finished tops in the heats. She is one of five Razorback athlete in the 400m final.

Jevaughn Powell also displayed good early season form with a personal best 45.35-clocking to lead qualifiers to the final of the men’s 400m.

Meanwhile, Tyrese Reid of Mississippi State and Kimar Farquharson of Texas A&M, both booked their spots in the men’s 800m final, after placing first and second in their respective heats in 1:50.50 and 1:50.95 respectively.

The track and field community is mourning the sudden and untimely death of Hubert Lawrence, a beloved and respected figure in the world of track and field analysis, authorship, and historical documentation.

Born in 1960, Lawrence would have celebrated his 64th birthday this year. He passed away at home on Friday, leaving a void in the hearts of those who knew and admired him.  According to reports, his body was discovered at his St Catherine home by a concerned neighbor.

Lawrence, an authority on Jamaican and global track and field, played a crucial role in television coverage of various athletic events, including the Olympics, World Championships, and local meets. Additionally, he contributed as a columnist for the Daily Gleaner, exhibiting his profound knowledge and insights into the sport.

The news of Lawrence's passing came as a shock to many, especially on the eve of his scheduled participation in Television Jamaica’s coverage of the 2024 Gibson McCook Relays later today (Saturday, 24).

The veteran analyst had been an integral part of the track and field commentary for more than three decades, his passion for the sport evident in his dedicated contributions to both television and written media.

Beyond his on-screen presence, Lawrence was a prolific author, having written and co-authored significant books on track and field. Some notable works include "Champs 100" in 2010, "The Power and the Glory: Jamaica in World Athletics, From World War II to the Diamond League Era" in 2012, and "50 Days of Fire" in 2022.

Lawrence's legacy extends far beyond his written words and televised analyses; he leaves behind a profound impact on the track and field community in Jamaica and beyond. His absence will be deeply felt, and his contributions to the understanding and appreciation of the sport will be remembered for years to come.

 

Bahamian sprint hurdler Devynne Charlton dazzled at the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Madrid, coming within a hair's breadth of equaling her own world indoor 60m hurdles record. The impressive performances unfolded on Friday as athletes geared up for the impending World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow.

 Two-time European indoor champion Nadine Visser set the tone with a 7.79-second victory in the first 60m hurdles heat, equaling the meeting record. Charlton seamlessly matched this time in the second heat, visibly easing down toward the end of the race. The Bahamian sprinter then took center stage in the final race of the evening, showcasing her prowess.

 Devynne Charlton's flawless performance saw her gracefully navigate the hurdles, ultimately crossing the line in 7.68 seconds. Although slightly adjusted from an initial 7.67, this remarkable time stands as the equal third-fastest in history and set a new meeting record. Nadine Visser secured second place in 7.78, just 0.01 seconds shy of her personal best, while Pia Skrzysowska claimed third in 7.83.

 Expressing her joy, Charlton said, "I set myself all of these goals. I said I wanted to win the World Indoor Tour and break the world indoor record and I want to be a world indoor champion, so I’m just ticking all of the boxes. There’s just one more to go. If this is any preview to the World Indoors, then I’d say I’m on the right track. I’m having fun."

 In the men's shot put, Jamaican athlete Rajindra Campbell delivered a stunning performance, saving his best for last. While two-time world indoor champion Tom Walsh initially seized the lead with a 21.44m heave, Campbell responded with a 21.75m throw in round three. Walsh counteracted with a meeting record of 21.95m in round four.

 In a dramatic turn of events, Campbell, competing in the city where he set an outdoor Jamaican record last year, unleashed a colossal 22.16m throw in his final attempt. This not only secured his victory but also established a new meeting record and a Jamaican indoor record. Walsh concluded with a season's best of 22.02m, earning just enough points in the World Indoor Tour to clinch the series title, despite falling short of individual victory.

Ackeem Blake and Sashalee Forbes will lead Jamaica's contingent to the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. Jamaica will compete in the 60m, 60m hurdles, 400m, 4x400m relay, 800m, long jump, triple jump and shot put at the championships set to run from March 1-3.

Blake, the second fastest Jamaican ever,  will be Jamaica's sole competitor in the Men's 60m while Forbes and Briana Williams will contest the 60m dash.

Olympic bronze medalist Megan Tapper is the lone female in the 60m hurdles. Tyler Mason and Damion Thomas will go in the men's event. Giano Thomas is named as the reserve.

Meanwhile, Stacey-Ann Williams and Charokee Young will take on the world's best in the Women's 400m. Rusheen McDonald will run the two-lapper for the men.

Williams and Young are also named among the relay squad that includes Junelle Bromfield, Stephenie-Ann McPherson, Andrenette Knight, Leah Anderson and Lanae-Tava Thomas.

In the field, Carey McLeod and Tajay Gayle have been selected to contest the long jump competition with Kimberly Williams will take on the triple jump.

Daniniel Thomas-Dodd and Rajindra Campbell will throw the shot put.

Former JAAA president Dr Warren Blake is the team manager with Maurice Wilson being the Technical Director.

Wilson will have on his coaching staff Reynaldo Walcott, Paul Francis, Orville Byfield and Mark Elliott.

 

 

The University of Albany reinforced their dominance at the 2024 America East Indoor Championships that concluded in Boston on Monday winning both men and women’s titles.

Led by their Jamaican star sprinter Shakur Williams UA’s men amassed 165 points to secure their 15th title in 19 years while the women, led by Dominique Clarke were even more impressive scoring 191 points winning their 15th overall championship and third in the past four years.

Albany’s dominance was led by their short sprinters who have now won seven consecutive 60m titles at the conference level while enjoying their third sweep of the event indoors.

Following in the footsteps of 2023 champion, Travis Williams, Shakur, a junior at UA, led a sweep of 60m men’s dash winning in 6.67 over teammate Shavar Staats Jr (6.78) and Lucas Casab (6.91). The former Meadowbrook High School sprinter completed the sprint double in a UA 1-2 in the 200m. He strolled to victory in 21.35 with Staats Jr taking the silver medal in 21.58.

Vermont’s Alex Siaton claimed the bronze medal finishing third in 21.62.

 

UA’s men continued to showcase their quality in the 60m hurdles. Antwone Messado blew away his rivals hurdling to a time of 8.07. Left in his wake was his teammate Adrian Rippstein (8.43) and Luke Stelmach of UMass Lowell, who ran 8.43 to take the final podium spot.

It was a similar situation in the men’s high jump where Ja’Lil Reynolds cleared 2.12m to claim gold with teammate Zhi Luncheon-Lowrie’s cleareance of 2.09m securing the silver medal. Bryant’s Michael Marshall took third with his best leap of 2.00m.

Former Kingston College jumper Louis Gordon led an Albany sweep of the long jump competition. The Caymanian athlete soared out to a mark of 7.57m with teammates Marcus McFadden and Christian Quinn finishing second and third with marks of 7.31m and 7.23m, respectively.

Travis Robinson imposed his class on the shot put field. The Jamaican put 18.53m more than a metre better than his nearest rival, Maine’s Jonathan Prell (17.03m) and New Hampshire’s Caden Zalenski (16.16m). The winning mark was a personal best, school record and championship record.

 

Meanwhile, UA’s women were showcasing their own prowess on the track led by former Papine High School standout Dominique Clarke who led a remarkable 1-2-3-4 sweep of the women’s 60m dash. Clarke, who won the title in 7.45 in 2023, was even faster this time, taking the gold medal in 7.41. UA’s women have won the 60m dash for the seventh consecutive year.

Shenequa Vassell took the silver in a personal best 7.63 edging teammate Jazmen Newberry (7.64) and freshman Shantae Pryce (7.65).

Clarke, however, was unsuccessful in her defence of the 200m title she won in 2023. She finished second to University of Maryland, Baltimore County sprinter Caitlyn Bobb, who clocked 23.95 to Clarke’s 23.96. Newberry was third in 24.09 in the closely contested event.

UA went 1-3 in the 60m hurdles. Antoinette Galloway earned a valuable 10 points when she won in 8.25 ahead of Binhghamton’s Jenna Chan (8.52). Katelyn del Gandio took bronze in 8.59.

Albany’s Amelia Benjamin won the high jump with a clearance of 1.80m. Lucciana Robinson of Binghamton cleared 1.71m for the silver medal while UMass Lowell’s Erin Jensen was third with her best leap of 1.63m.

University of Albany’s women also claimed two of the three podium places in the long jump. That event was won by Ofe Omokeni with her leap of 5.73m. Her teammate, Rebeca Valerie Barrientos Alpha, took second place with 5.50m, a single centimetre ahead of UMass Lowell’s Rebecca Crosier (5.49m).

Leann Nicholas won the triple jump and Barrientos Alpha took second place with efforts of 12.55m and 11.88m respectively.

Albany’s Kiana Nosile was just edged out in the weight throw with her mark of 18.91m being bettered my Maine’s Cheyenne Figueroa, who threw 18.93m. Mackenzie Wilson, also of Maine took bronze with her throw of 18.09m.

Among the men, UMass Lowell finished second in the standings with 144.5 points with Binghamton third with 119.5.

Binghamton scored 134 points for second place among the women with UMass Lowell third on 114.

 

 

The Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) has named a 23-member team for the 51st edition of the Carifta Games scheduled for March 30 to April 1, in Grenada.

Headlining the team are, Tianna Springer and Javon Roberts, along with Nerissa McPherson, Attoya Harvey, Malachi Austin, all of whom bring valuable experience to the team having enjoyed success at previous stagings of the Games. The likes of Sahel Cornett, Charisa December, Nalicia Glen, Rondell Green, Jamal Sullivan, Robert Marcus and Dhanielson Gill, who will compete in Under-20 category, are also expected to represent the Golden Arrowhead well.

Meanwhile, the Under-17 unit consist of Athaleyha Hinckson, Duel Europe, Skylar Charles, Kaidon Persaud, Ezikeil Millington, Easter Mc Kinnon, Ryan Joseph, Akilla Blucher, Keneta Fraser, Marissa Thomas and Nathaniel Samaroo.

The selection process involved a rigorous three-day trial recently, where 19 members were initially selected, 11 of which gained selection through qualifying process. The other four members were eventually shortlisted after several meetings, to complete the final squad. The AAG has high expectation that this team will make its mark at the three-day Easter Weekend meet.

Thelson Williams (Manager), Akeem Stewart (Physiotherapist), Wayne Pantlitz (male coach), Trishel Thompson (female coach), will accompany the team.

NB: The Carifta Games will be live on SportsMax and the SportsMax App. 

 

Retired American track legend Allyson Felix, accompanied by her husband Kenneth, recently enjoyed a blissful vacation on the picturesque island of Jamaica. The couple, expecting their second child later this year, took time off to unwind and relish the beauty of the Caribbean paradise.

Felix, who bid farewell to her illustrious track career at the end of the 2022 season, has had a storied connection with Jamaica. The island served as the backdrop for some of her fiercest competitions against Jamaican rivals like Veronica Campbell Brown and Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce. The retired sprinter reminisced about her first encounter with Jamaica in 2002 when she competed as a junior at the World U20 Championships.

Sharing her Jamaican experience on Instagram, Felix expressed gratitude for the warm reception she received despite being a competitor. She reminisced about her 22-year journey, highlighting her medal-filled career that included an impressive tally of 22 gold medals at global championships, seven of which were Olympic and 14 World championships gold medals.

Felix, who shares a daughter named Camryn with Kenneth, posted a heartfelt message on Instagram, saying, "22 years ago, I went to Jamaica for the World Junior Championships and met my now-husband on that team. I also fell in love with the incredible people and the beautiful country. Even though they always cheered against me, I honestly feel so appreciated when I am here. It was only right for us to come back for our babymoon. Jamaica will forever hold a special place in my heart. Thank you for all of the love and hospitality, Jamaica."

The post garnered responses from fellow athletes, including Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, who welcomed Felix "home." In response, Felix conveyed her delight, stating, "@realshellyannfp definitely! Hahahah always good to be home."

Allyson Felix's Jamaican babymoon not only provided her with an opportunity to relish the island's beauty but also allowed her to reconnect with the memories of her impressive track career and the warm camaraderie she shares with her Jamaican competitors and her legion of fans on the island.

 

‘Our Athletes, Our Ambassadors.’ Those are the words that govern the actions of one of the leading organizations in sports, Team Jamaica Bickle.

For the past three decades, TJB, a not-for-profit corporation based in New York State, has been providing support services for Caribbean athletes, particularly Jamaicans, who compete at the annual Penn Relays Carnival, which is held at the University of Pennsylvania, (UPENN) in Philadelphia, PA.

Their services also extend to a delegation of approximately six hundred & fifty (650) students and coaches from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent & The Grenadines Guyana and Grenada. 

“We have always said that whatever we do, it’s for our athlete’s welfare,” TJB founder and CEO Irwine G. Clare Snr. told SportsMax.tv.

“When all is said and done, all the fandangles, all the bells and whistles, all the verbal commentary and the niceties, at the end of the day, it’s about the welfare of the athletes because in essence, in our business, it takes cash to care. It means that, at the end of the day, we have to ensure that we have the resources and all the necessities in place to satisfy our athletes’ requirements. That’s the business we’re in,” he added.

Over the years TJB has welcomed and extended its services to delegations of students and coaches from the United States Virgin Islands (USVI), Bahamas, Barbados and most recently Belize.

Team Jamaica Bickle provides the following: Meals and other refreshments, physical therapy, chiropractic, mentorship and medical services, ground transportation, daily hotel to stadium shuttle, airport transfers for arrival & departure, subsidized hotel rate and subsidized airfare.

Additionally, the Team Jamaica Bickle “Defibrillator to Schools Program,” was initiated in 2014 after the loss of St. Jago High School athlete, Cavahn McKenzie at a cross-country meet in Tobago.

This caused the organization to consider the lack of emergency resources in Jamaican schools.  That year, an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) unit was donated to St. Jago High School at the Penn Relays.

A Medical Pavilion in his honor was erected in the TJB Village where athletes could get medical and dental information and be trained in CPR. It continues to be a feature today.

In 2016 another athlete, Dominic James of St. Georges’ College, tragically lost his life during a Manning Cup game. This unfortunate event spurred TJB to ramp up the CPR training & AED donations to better prepare schools for emergencies.

The program has received the support of the Ministry of Education, Government Agencies, The Inter-Secondary School Sports Association (ISSA), Corporate Jamaica and the Diaspora.

Since 2014 the organization has donated over 130 AED units to schools, trained over 250 staff and influenced the donation of several others to various institutions. The goal is to outfit each high school across the Island with a unit.

“We have seen where our efforts have inspired other Diaspora organizations contribute AEDs to several schools and medical institutions,” said Clare.

“We are encouraged and remain committed to the goal of outfitting all High Schools,” he added.

In 1999, Team Jamaica Bickle became the first Jamaican organization to be a participating sponsor at the Penn Relays.

As a result, the Jamaican flag became the first foreign flag to be flown at the Penn Relays, a distinction unmatched. Over the years, TJB has received numerous proclamations and awards from several local and national entities.

As it relates to growth of the organization, Clare said it comes down to continuing to be able to meet the needs of athletes as they evolve.

“Our athletes over the years have brought a sense of tenacity, professionalism and discipline to their craft, making them better. We too have to adopt that principle,” he said

“When we speak of growth, it is growth from the standpoint of efficiencies and finding ways to leverage what we have so that we can remain relevant to the causes of the athletes because the athletes are not stagnant. If you want to win you have to step up your game, it’s the same thing with us,” he added.

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