Texas junior Ackelia Smith made history at the recently concluded NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships when she became the first Longhorn to ever sweep the horizontal jumps.

Smith first defended her title in the long-jump event on Thursday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon with a mark of 6.79 meters, becoming the first Texas woman to win back-to-back titles in 18 years.

Two days later, the 22-year-old won the triple-jump title with a season’s best mark of 14.52m. 

In an interview with CITIUS MAG after her win in the triple jump, Smith, who is now a three-time NCAA Champion, expressed her joy at winning the double.

“I am so happy that I could come out there and get both of them done for my team and for myself. I was a little mopey about the long jump but I got back to the triple definitely took it out there,” she said.

“When I got to the triple jump I just told myself ‘hey, we’re here to compete.’ I was trying to get a personal best and, even though I did not get that, I was pretty consistent with my jumps,” she added.

In the long jump competition, half of Smith’s six attempts were fouls and her three legal jumps were the winning 6.79m, 5.21m and 6.77m.

She had a much better and more consistent showing in the triple jump, producing four legal jumps that all cleared 14m.

Smith says the key in the triple jump was to embrace the nervousness a bit more.

“I re-evaluated what I did for the long jump and realized that I might’ve been a bit too comfortable so I went out there trying to be more anxious and keep that edge. That’s what pushed me through out there,” she said.

Smith is a part of a golden generation of young Jamaican jumpers and sees a bright future for the island nation in the discipline.

“Growing up I used to hear about Kimberly Williams then after Kimberly came Shanieka (Ricketts). I’ve been looking up to these ladies and it’s been great to see the Jamaican jumps growing, especially the triple because not many people do the triple,” she said.

“It’s good to see actual growth and I’ve seen a lot more Jamaicans competing here at the championships. I think it’s wonderful for the future. Even on the guys side, it definitely looks good for Jamaica in the jumps,” Smith added.

Her next goal is to make it onto Jamaica’s team to the Paris Olympics and, hopefully, find herself on the podium at those Games.

The Jamaican trials are set for June 27-30 at the National Stadium in Kingston.

 

 

 

 

Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt has sustained a serious injury during Sunday night's Soccer Aid 2024 charity match, held at Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge stadium. The world-famous sprinter was seen leaving the pitch on a stretcher after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon, a devastating blow for the athlete and his fans.

Bolt, who has previously scored in the ITV-televised game, was eager to add to his Soccer Aid tally. Leading the line for the World XI alongside former Italian pro and Juventus megastar Alessandro Del Piero, Bolt showed his characteristic enthusiasm and determination. Del Piero managed to find the net, giving the World XI a 2-1 lead in the first half. Unfortunately, Bolt didn’t manage to score, and his team ultimately lost their lead, ending up on the wrong end of a 6-3 scoreline.

The situation worsened for the 37-year-old in the second half. Bolt went to ground with an injury and had to be replaced by comedian Jason Manford. The sight of the Olympic legend being stretchered off the field caused significant concern among fans and fellow athletes alike.

Late Sunday night, Bolt took to Instagram to reveal the extent of his injury. He posted a photo of himself in a moon boot, next to a pair of crutches in the World XI dressing room at Chelsea’s ground.

 In his caption, Bolt wrote: "Ruptured Achilles but done know we a warrior." The post garnered numerous supportive comments, including one from fellow sprinter Justin Gatlin, who joked: "Bro what you out here doing?!? We retired remember," and a message from the official Olympics account, which read: "Sending positive vibes, and wishing you a speedy recovery."

Bolt's injury cast a shadow over what is usually a celebratory and charitable event. His participation in Soccer Aid has always been a highlight, drawing fans worldwide to see the track icon showcase his love for football. Despite the unfortunate incident, the event continued, with both teams and the crowd offering their support and well-wishes to Bolt.

In a statement following the incident, Bolt expressed his gratitude for the outpouring of support, saying, "Thank you to everyone for your kind messages and support. I’m in good hands and will focus on my recovery. It’s a setback, but I’ll be back stronger."

Despite Bolt's injury, Soccer Aid 2024 successfully raised significant funds for UNICEF, continuing its mission to support children in need worldwide. Bolt’s involvement, even under such difficult circumstances, once again underscored his commitment to charitable causes and his enduring impact on the world of sports.

 

 

 

 

 

Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt recently revealed that he considered coming out of retirement after being offered a lucrative deal by Björn Gulden, the then-CEO of Puma, two years after he hung up his spikes in 2017. The revelation came during an interview on Drive on talkSPORT ahead of the Soccer Aid 2024 charity match.

Soccer Aid 2024 took place at Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge stadium on Sunday, June 9, where Bolt once again captain the World XI FC team.

Speaking with talkSPORT ahead of his sixth Soccer Aid match, Bolt expressed his enthusiasm for football and the annual charity event. Despite his undeniable love for football, it was in track and field where Bolt truly made his mark. The conversation shifted to sprinting, where the eight-time Olympic gold medallist disclosed that he considered a return to the sport following his retirement in 2017.

Bolt shared that two years after retiring, he was approached with an enticing offer by Adidas CEO Björn Gulden, who was the Chief Executive of Puma at the time. Although the idea of returning to the track intrigued him, Bolt’s coach was firmly against it.

“My coach told me, he said to me, ‘Listen, if you’re gonna retire, that’s it. I’m not gonna coach you again. This is it; there’s no coming back after this.’ So when I went to him, he was like, ‘No, absolutely not,’” Bolt explained. “I would do it because when you go away from the sport then you start missing it.”

Bolt admitted that he still misses being on the track and believes he could have performed better than some of the current athletes. Regarding his unbeaten 100m record, Bolt remains confident that it will stand for some time. He acknowledged the talent of American sprinter Noah Lyles, noting that while Lyles is improving, he is not yet at the level needed to break Bolt’s record.

World championship long jump silver medallist Wayne Pinnock has officially turned professional, signing a contract with global sportswear giant PUMA. Pinnock, who just completed his junior year at the University of Arkansas, has decided to forego his final year of college eligibility to focus fully on his burgeoning athletic career.

The 23-year-old Jamaican has been making significant waves in the track and field world with his impressive performances on both international and collegiate stages. Pinnock led the world in 2023 with a lifetime best of 8.54m and secured the silver medal at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest. His collegiate accolades include being the 2022 NCAA Outdoor Champion and winning Indoor titles for the Razorbacks in 2022 and 2024.

Previously, Pinnock was signed to PUMA through a Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) deal, allowing him to balance his academic commitments with his professional aspirations. However, his recent decision to turn pro marks a significant shift, as he now fully dedicates himself to his athletic career.

"I'm incredibly grateful and humbled to be signing with PUMA as a professional athlete," Pinnock said. "This is a dream come true for me, and I'm excited to represent the brand at the highest level."

Pinnock's excitement for his new professional chapter is palpable, and he is confident that PUMA's support will be instrumental in his future successes. "I'm looking forward to this new chapter in my career, and I'm confident that with PUMA's support, I'll be able to achieve great things in the world of track and field. I'm ready to put in the work and make Jamaica and my fans proud," he added.

With his signing, Pinnock joins the ranks of elite professional athletes sponsored by PUMA. His presence is expected to be a significant asset in the brand's marketing efforts moving forward, solidifying PUMA's commitment to supporting top-tier athletic talent.

 

 

Caribbean athletes showcased their prowess at the New York Grand Prix on Sunday, delivering a series of standout performances. However, the event was marred by a potentially devastating setback for double-double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, who sustained an injury just weeks before the Jamaican national championships.

Kirani James, Devynne Charlton, Rasheed Broadbell, and Carey Johnson emerged as the stars of the day, demonstrating their elite capabilities on the international stage.

Thompson-Herah, who has been eyeing a historic third consecutive 100m and 200m Olympic double in Paris this summer, saw her season cast into doubt. Competing in the 100m dash, she appeared to start well but ultimately finished last in 11.48 seconds, visibly limping and requiring assistance off the track afterward.

“I felt something uncomfortable as I began to push. I still tried to go but it got worse so I am awaiting professional advice moving forward. Thanks for your continued support,” Thompson-Herah posted on Instagram.

The race was won by Favour Ofili, who clocked a season’s best of 11.18. The USA’s Morolake Akunison and Aleia Hobbs finished second and third in 11.20 and 11.21, respectively.

In the women’s 100m hurdles, Devynne Charlton showcased her dominance by clinching victory in a tightly contested race. Battling a headwind of -1.9m/s, the world indoor 60m champion edged ahead to win in 12.56 seconds. Alaysha Johnson was a close second in 12.58, while 100m hurdles world record holder Tobi Amusan finished third in 12.66.

The men's 110m hurdles saw another thrilling race, with Rasheed Broadbell narrowly missing out on victory. In a repeat of their Racer’s Grand Prix encounter, the USA’s Trey Cunningham held off Broadbell, winning in 13.21 seconds to Broadbell’s 13.28. Michael Dickson of the USA took third in 13.45, with Jamaica’s Tyler Mason finishing fourth in 13.52.

The men’s 400m was a highlight of the meet, delivering a nail-biting finish. As the runners entered the home stretch, Kirani James surged ahead to clinch victory in 44.55 seconds. Chris Bailey secured second place in 44.73, narrowly edging out South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk, who finished third in 44.74. Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards also impressed, finishing fourth with a season’s best of 44.82.

However, the performance of the meet came from Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, who delivered a spectacular performance in the women’s 400m, clocking 48.75 seconds despite running into a headwind. Her time was the second fastest ever by an American woman and eclipsed the previous world lead of 48.89 set by Jamaica’s Nikisha Pryce just a day earlier. Talitha Diggs finished a distant second in 50.91, with Jamaica’s Stacey-Ann Williams close behind in 50.94 for third.

In the 200m events, Gabby Thomas won the women’s race in 20.42, while Noah Lyles dominated the men’s event, finishing in 19.77.

Despite the mixed fortunes, the performances of Caribbean athletes like Kirani James, Devynne Charlton, and Rasheed Broadbell highlighted their readiness for the upcoming championships and underscored their potential for the Paris Olympics. However, the injury to Elaine Thompson-Herah cast a shadow over the day, leaving fans and fellow athletes hoping for her swift recovery and return to the track.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The hearts of Jamaican track fans sank on Sunday as two-time Olympic sprint double champion Elaine Thompson-Herah appeared to suffer an injury while competing in the 100m at the New York Grand Prix. The incident has raised significant concerns, especially with Jamaica's national championships less than three weeks away.

 Thompson-Herah, who had opened her season with an eighth-place finish at the recent Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting in Oregon, started her race well at the Icahn Stadium. However, she ended up finishing ninth in 11.48 seconds and was visibly limping shortly afterward.

The situation took a worrying turn when Thompson-Herah was seen being carried off the track moments later, leading to fears that she might have sustained a serious injury. This comes as a significant blow to the sprint queen, who had been gearing up to defend her titles at the upcoming Jamaica National Championships set to begin on June 27 in Kingston, Jamaica.

 Thompson-Herah, who spectacularly won the 100m and 200m double at the 2016 Rio Olympics and then defended those titles in Tokyo in 2021, has been aiming to achieve an unprecedented three-peat double in Paris this summer. However, the current outlook appears uncertain given the apparent severity of her injury.

 As fans and fellow athletes await further updates, the hope remains that Thompson-Herah will recover swiftly and be able to compete at her best in the national championships and beyond. Her potential absence would be a significant loss not only for Jamaica but also for the global track and field community, as she remains one of the most electrifying sprinters in the sport.

 Thompson-Herah's situation will undoubtedly be closely monitored in the coming days, with everyone hoping for a positive outcome that will see her back on the track, continuing her pursuit of greatness.

 

Nikisha Pryce etched her name in history on Saturday by running an astounding 48.89 seconds in the 400m on the final day of the 2024 NCAA National Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. In doing so, Pryce not only shattered the two-decade-old Jamaican national record held by Lorraine Fenton but also set a new collegiate record and the world-leading time for the year.

Pryce's performance was the highlight of an incredible day for the University of Arkansas, as she led a Razorback 'super sweep', with their athletes finishing in the top four positions to secure 29 critical points, propelling the team to the national women's title.

Fenton, the now former Jamaica national record holder whose 49.30 mark stood for over 20 years, expressed her joy at Pryce's achievement. "I’m happy for Nikisha. Twenty plus years is a long time for a record to stand. I wish her and other Jamaican 400m runners the very best,” Fenton said, acknowledging the monumental nature of Pryce's accomplishment.

Shericka Williams, who recently shared the second-fastest Jamaican 400m time with Pryce, was equally impressed. "Her performance was exceptional. She ran a well-distributed race; she was just floating down the track effortlessly. While watching the race I was watching the clock at 350m and she was still going strong, very impressive!" Williams noted.

Williams also offered advice to Pryce, emphasizing the importance of focus and hard work. "She just needs to focus on trials and then after just continue to train hard and get ready for the Olympics and remain focused on her goals," she advised.

Pryce attributed her record-breaking run to the meticulous guidance of her coach, Chris Johnson. "I did what my coach told me to do, execute the race properly and that's what I did," she said.

Coach Johnson, in his first year as Head Coach of the University of Arkansas Track Programme, has led the team to both NCAA Indoor and Outdoor national titles. He praised Pryce's exceptional talent and the collective effort of his team. "That's the goal. That's the Arkansas tradition so we're just trying to uphold the tradition. I was blessed with a great team and we have great coaches, great staff and everybody is invested so we just want to be able to represent the Hogs really well. Go out and compete to the best of our ability. Winning is the goal and we were able to get it done and obviously we have some special ladies and this young lady broke the Jamaican national record, the collegiate national record and is the fastest time in the world and we are just elated by it," Johnson said.

Pryce and her teammates capped off a phenomenal championship by obliterating the NCAA record in the 4x400m relay. The quartet of Pryce, Kaylyn Brown, Amber Anning, and Rosey Effiong ran an incredible 3:17.96, smashing their own record by almost four seconds and winning by a significant margin ahead of Tennessee (3:23.32) and Texas (3:23.68).

Nikisha Pryce's historic run marks a new era for Jamaican 400m runners, with her performance setting a new benchmark and inspiring the next generation of athletes to reach even greater heights.

 

 

Lorraine Fenton’s 22-year-old Jamaican 400m record is no more as Arkansas senior Nickisha Pryce produced an excellent display to establish a new mark in a winning effort at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday.

Pryce produced a time of 48.89 to win gold and smash Fenton’s previous mark of 49.30 set back in 2002.

The 23-year-old’s time is also a collegiate record, erasing Britton Wilson’s 49.13 done in 2023.

Arkansas occupied the first four spots in Saturday’s final through Kaylyn Brown (49.13), Amber Anning (49.59) and Rosey Effiong (49.72).

In the Women’s 100m, LSU’s Brianna Lyston produced 10.89 (2.2 m/s) for second behind Ole Miss senior McKenzie Long who won in 10.82. Texas Tech senior Rosemary Chukwuma was third in 10.90.

 

 

Arkansas senior Romaine Beckford successfully defended his NCAA Division I Outdoor high jump title on day three of the NCAA Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene on Friday.

The 21-year-old cleared a height of 2.26m on his second attempt to add to his gold medal at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March.

The reigning Jamaican national champion also had three unsuccessful attempts at 2.33m, a jump that would’ve secured a personal best and the Olympic qualifying standard.

Nebraska junior Tyus Wilson was second with 2.23m while Arkansas-Pine Bluff senior Caleb Snowden was third with a similar height.

Jamaican USC freshman Racquil Broderick produced 61.77m to finish second in the men’s discus behind South Alabama senior Francois Prinsloo (63.51m).

Kansas junior Dimitrios Pavlidis was third with 60.97m.

The men’s 400m final saw Jamaican Florida senior Jevaughn Powell produce a big personal best 44.54 to finish third behind Georgia sophomore Christopher Morales Williams (44.47) and Alabama freshman Samuel Ogazi (44.52).

Jamaican Clemson senior Tarees Rhoden was also in personal best form with 1:45.70 for fourth in the 800m final behind Virginia senior Shane Cohen (1:44.97), Texas A&M junior Sam Whitmarsh (1:45.10) and Iowa State junior Finley McLear (1:45.66).

 

 Jamaica’s Olympic relay gold medalist Briana Williams delivered a spectacular and confidence-boosting performance in the 100m dash at the Last Chance Sprint Series meeting held at the Notre Dame High School Athletic Facility in Sherman Oaks, California, on Friday night.

In what can only be described as a thrilling display of speed and determination, Williams, who recently joined John Smith Athletics in March after spending a year and a half training in Jamaica, set the stage for an electrifying evening. She began with an impressive run in the preliminary round, clocking 11.19 seconds, the second-fastest time behind Destiny Smith Barnett’s 11.13.

However, the final round saw Williams elevate her performance to new heights. Racing with poise and power, she clocked a massive season’s best of 11.08 seconds, finishing in second place just behind Smith Barnett, who achieved a lifetime best of 10.99 seconds. Kiley Robbins secured third place with a time of 11.13 seconds.

Elated by her performance, the two-time World Championship silver medalist shared her joy and optimism on Instagram, stating, “After what was an intense week of training today I ran a season’s best in my prelims 11.19 (0.3) with a second place finish. An hour later in my finals, another season’s best 11.08 (0.6) with a second place finish and a stumble in my start.”

She praised her coach John Smith for his support, adding, “Thank you @coachjsmith and my whole team for believing in me and getting me ready at the right time. @drrashnoor for getting my body ready. This is just the beginning of something great, still so much I’ve got to improve on. I look forward to going into my Olympic trials at the end of June.”

Williams' path to this moment has not been without its challenges. Prior to Friday night’s races, she recorded times of 11.54, 11.39, 11.47, and 11.81 seconds as she adapted to her new training regimen under Coach Smith, who also mentors World Championship medalist Marie-Josée Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast. After competing at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational in May, Williams spoke to Sportsmax.TV about her transition, stating, "Training, I am taking it day by day. I’m learning new things; it’s a new program so I’m getting adjusted every day, loving the progress. I’m just taking my time, we have six weeks to go to trials so I want to get everything in, start running every week, and just getting race ready, taking it one day at a time to prepare and make the team."

Friday night’s performance marks a significant step forward for Williams as she continues her journey towards the Jamaica National Championships in June with the hope of qualifying for her second Olympic Games.

Vincentian 800m record holder Shafiqua Maloney says she’s right were she needs to be ahead of the Olympics in Paris this summer.

The 25-year-old former Arkansas Razorback most recently competed at the Edwin Moses Legends Meet at Morehouse College in Atlanta on May 31 where she won the women’s 800m in 1:59.31, her fastest outdoor time of the season.

“I think I’m where I need to be,” Maloney said in an interview with Trackalerts after her race.

“Not happy with it but it could’ve been worse,” she said about her time.

“I finished healthy and ran faster than I did two weeks ago so I’m taking the positives and moving on,” she added.

This summer will be Maloney’s second experience at the Olympic Games. She failed to advance from the heats at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

She hopes to go two-rounds further in Paris.

“The goal is always Paris so when I get there I’ll take it one round at a time. Hopefully, I make the final. That’s the plan so we’ll see what happens,” she said adding that once she executes properly, anything is possible.

“I think everybody that goes to the Olympics wants a medal, that’s one of the things on my mind. The most important thing is to focus on practice and competition. When you focus on executing your races everything else will fall in place,” she added.

 

 

Jamaican Olympic icon Veronica Campbell-Brown was inducted into the NJCAA Foundation Hall of Fame on Thursday night. The prestigious event, part of the fourth annual NJCAA Foundation Awards, took place at the Hilton Charlotte University Place in Charlotte, North Carolina where Campbell-Brown was recognized for her illustrious career that has left an indelible mark on the sport of track and field.

Expressing her gratitude on Instagram, Campbell Brown wrote, “Thank you @njcaa for the Hall of Fame induction, I deeply appreciate this prestigious recognition. I want to thank everyone who supported and believed in me throughout my journey.” She received her award with her husband Omar and their two children proudly looking on from the audience.

The NJCAA Hall of Fame aims to celebrate individuals who have significantly contributed to opportunities at the two-year college level, both athletically and professionally. The Hall of Fame honours administrators, coaches, student-athletes, and influential contributors who have been pioneers throughout the association's history.

Campbell Brown's journey to greatness began in Trelawny, Jamaica, and led her to Barton Community College (KS), an NJCAA member, on a track and field scholarship. As a Cougar, she set numerous records, some of which still stand today.

She holds NJCAA records in the 200m outdoor and the 60m indoor track and field events. After her successful stint at Barton, she moved to the University of Arkansas, where she continued to break records and is now celebrated as the most decorated Olympic athlete associated with the state.

Turning professional in 2004, Campbell Brown made history at the Athens Olympics, becoming the first Jamaican woman to win a gold medal in a sprint event. Her performance at these Games, which also included a gold in the relay and a bronze in the 200m, established her as the most successful Caribbean athlete at a single Olympics.

She continued to shine at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, becoming only the second woman to defend her 200m title successfully.

Her Olympic career spanned five Games, from 2000 to 2016, where she competed in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay, medaling in each edition. Her rivalry with Allyson Felix is one of the most memorable in athletics, with both athletes dominating the 200m event from 2004 onwards.

Beyond the Olympics, Campbell Brown's achievements include multiple medals at the World Championships, Commonwealth Games, World Indoor Championships, Continental Cup, World Athletics Final, World Relay Championships, World Junior Championships, CAC Junior Championships, and Carifta Games.

 

Since retiring, Campbell Brown has taken on roles such as a UNESCO Sport Ambassador and founder of the VCB Foundation, which provides mentorship and financial assistance to young women in Jamaica.

Campbell Brown’s induction into the NJCAA Hall of Fame recognizes her remarkable contributions to track and field and her enduring impact on the sport and beyond.

The second day of the 2024 NCAA Division 1 Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, Thursday proved to be a day of mixed fortunes for Caribbean athletes. While there were moments of triumph, disappointments also marked the day.

Leading the way for the Caribbean contingent was Jamaica’s Ackelia Smith, a junior at the University of Texas in Austin, who successfully defended her long jump title. Smith soared to a distance of 6.79m, fending off a strong challenge from the University of Florida’s Claire Bryant, who took silver with a leap of 6.74m. Stanford’s sophomore Alyssa Jones secured third place with a jump of 6.64m.

In the sprints, Louisiana State University (LSU) sophomore Brianna Lyston showcased her prowess in the 100m. Lyston, the reigning NCAA 60m champion, cruised to victory in her heat, clocking an impressive 10.99 seconds, the second-fastest time of the semifinals. Only Ole Miss's McKenzie Long was faster, winning her heat in 10.91 seconds. Unfortunately, Lyston's luck did not extend to the 200m, where she finished fifth in her heat with a time of 22.76 seconds, missing out on a spot in the final.

Similarly, Tennessee’s Joella Lloyd, Antigua's fastest woman, fell short of her own expectations in the 100m. Aiming to break the 11-second barrier, Lloyd clocked 11.19 seconds, the 11th fastest time in the semifinals, and thus did not advance to the final.

There was another setback 200m, where Texas' Dejanea Oakley failed to make it to the final. Oakley finished sixth in her heat with a time of 22.82 seconds.

On a brighter note, Jamaica’s Nickisha Pryce delivered a stellar performance in the 400m semifinals. The University of Arkansas senior, who recently etched her name into Jamaica’s track and field history with a personal best of 49.32 seconds, continued her impressive form by winning her semifinal heat in 49.87 seconds. This was the second-fastest time advancing to the final, bested only by her teammate Kaylyn Brown, who clocked 49.81 seconds. Notably, the University of Arkansas dominated this event with four women advancing to the finals.

Jamaicans Tarees Rhoden and Kimar Farquharson both advanced to the final of the men’s 800m on day one of the 2024 NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field in Oregon on Wednesday.

Rhoden, a senior at Clemson, and Farquharson, a junior at Texas A&M, were both in the second of three semi-finals.

In the heat won by Farquharson’s teammate and current NCAA leader Sam Whitmarsh in 1:46.01, Rhoden ran 1:46.18 to be the second automatic qualifier for the final while Farquharson was third in 1:46.32 to advance as the fastest non-automatic qualifier.

Bahamian Florida junior Wanya McCoy ran 10.15 and 20.22 to advance to the finals of both the 100m and 200m.

Jamaican Florida senior Jevaughn Powell (45.17) and junior Reheem Hayles (45.59) both advanced to the final of the one lap event.

All those finals are set for Friday.

Elsewhere, in a massive upset, World Championship long jump silver medallist Wayne Pinnock’s best jump of 7.98m was only good enough for fifth in the men’s long jump.

USC sophomore JC Stevenson produced a personal best 8.22m to win ahead of Florida State senior Jeremiah Davis (8.07m) and Florida junior Malcolm Clemons (8.05m).

Clemson junior Courtney Lawrence threw a personal best 19.92m for fifth in the men’s shot put won by Ole Miss sophomore Tarik Robinson-O’Hagan in a personal best and collegiate-leading 20.88m.

Wisconsin’s Jason Swarens (20.38m) and South Carolina’s Dylan Taggart (20.23m) were second and third.

Bahamian national record holder and Auburn sophomore Keyshawn Strachan threw 74.95m for fifth in the men’s javelin.

Georgia’s Marc Minichello threw 80.70m to win ahead of Washington’s Chandler Ault (79.31m) and Miami’s Devoux Deysel (75.14m).

The Jamaica Independent Schools Association (JISA) has officially launched the 47th staging of its prestigious Prep School Championships, now rebranded as the JISA Prep Champs powered by GK General Insurance and GK Mutual Funds. The launch event took place recently at the Ministry of Education’s Head Office, marking the beginning of preparations for what promises to be an exciting showcase of young athletic talent.

 Scheduled to be held at the National Stadium from June 13 to 15, 2024, the JISA Prep Champs will celebrate the hard work and dedication of young athletes from across Jamaica. Title sponsors GK General Insurance and GK Mutual Funds have committed JMD$4 million towards the execution of the event, underscoring their commitment to youth development and nation-building through sports.

 Speaking at the launch, Chaluk Richards, General Manager of GK General Insurance, emphasized the transformative power of sports. "Events like these empower our youth with meaningful and life-changing activities that build both mind and body alike," Richards said. "By giving our young athletes a platform to learn and apply these core life values at an early age, we are, by extension, creating a more productive, balanced, and healthier Jamaica.”

 JISA President Tamar McKenzie highlighted the event's longstanding significance in fostering excellence and sportsmanship among young athletes. “The Prep Champs, for close to 50 years, continue to inspire and motivate young athletes, fostering a culture of and a commitment to excellence and sportsmanship in education. This year will do that and more. It’s not just a competition; it's a platform that nurtures talent,” McKenzie noted.

 Sharon Hunt, Independent Schools Registrar, representing the Ministry of Education, described the championships as “an opportunity for students to shine.” The event is expected to attract over 1,600 talented athletes from 45 schools across eight parishes, all competing for top honors.

 In 2023, the Hydel Group of Schools emerged victorious, with Mona Prep securing second place and Vaz Prep taking third. This year’s event promises to be even more competitive, with a strong turnout anticipated from parents, peers, and well-wishers.

 The JISA Prep Champs will have an entry fee of $500 per day for students and $2,000 per day for adults, ensuring that everyone can come out to support and enjoy the festivities.

 In addition to the contributions from GK General Insurance and GK Mutual Funds, the event is supported by several corporate partners, including Little Caesars, Sunshine Snacks, Kisko, Pure Water, Jamaica Biscuit Company, SureTime Medical, Medical Disposables & Supplies, Rainbow Awnings, Emkay Trophies, World Class Athletics, Atlas Protection Limited, Pitech Limited, and Adtelligent.

 With such robust support and a legacy of excellence, the 47th JISA/GKGI/GK Mutual Funds Prep Champs promises to be an outstanding event, celebrating the next generation of Jamaica’s track and field stars.

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