In a week highlighted by outstanding performances at the SEC Championships, Jamaican athletes, Brianna Lyston and Nickisha Pryce, have earned spots on the latest edition of The Bowerman Watch List, released on Wednesday. For Pryce, it marks a significant debut, while Lyston continues to solidify her presence among collegiate track and field's elite.

Nickisha Pryce's inclusion on the list comes on the heels of her standout performance at the SEC Championships in Florida. The senior at the University of Arkansas blazed through the 400m in a remarkable 49.32 seconds, making her the second-fastest Jamaican woman ever over the distance. This achievement places her just shy of the national record held by Lorraine Graham at 49.30 seconds. Pryce's sensational debut on the Watch List underscores her rising prominence within the collegiate sprinting scene.

Pryce, who hails from St. Mary, Jamaica, also became the No. 3 collegian all-time in a race that featured four sub-50 collegians for the first time. She followed with an outdoor PR 22.67 for seventh in 200m. In the winter, she was runner-up in the 400 at both the SEC Indoor and NCAA Indoor 400 with a best of 50.83 while also clocking an absolute PR of 22.62 in the 200. Pryce is the 13th Arkansas woman named to the Watch List, leaving the Razorbacks behind only Oregon (18) and Texas A&M (15) all-time in that regard.

Meanwhile, Brianna Lyston, representing LSU and her hometown of Portmore, Jamaica, delivered a series of impressive performances at the SEC Championships. Lyston claimed victory in the 100 meters with a personal record time of 10.91 seconds, propelling her to the ninth-fastest all-time collegiately in this event. Additionally, she showcased her versatility by finishing fourth in the 200 meters (22.37 seconds) and contributing a strong lead leg for LSU's third-place 4x100 relay team (42.49 seconds). Lyston's consistency and speed both indoors and outdoors have earned her a remarkable sixth appearance on The Bowerman Watch List.

Among other notable athletes recognized on the latest edition of the Watch List are JaMeesia Ford from South Carolina (Sprints), Rachel Glenn from Arkansas (Hurdles/Jumps), and Jasmine Jones from Southern California (Sprints/Hurdles), highlighting the exceptional talent across various disciplines in collegiate track and field.

As Lyston and Pryce continue to push boundaries and raise the bar in their respective events, their achievements at the SEC Championships have rightfully secured their places on The Bowerman Watch List, a testament to their outstanding performances and potential in the world of track and field.

 

 

 

 

Jamaican sprint hurdlers Omar McLeod and Britany Anderson delivered strong performances at the 13th Savona International Meeting in Savona, Italy on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old McLeod, the 2016 Rio Olympics champion in the 110m hurdles, marked an encouraging start to his season with a thrilling victory. The 2017 world champion clocked a winning time of 13.37 seconds in his first competitive race in the event since April 2023 at the LSU Invitational in the United States. Despite facing challenges with rhythm and hitting hurdles during the race, he held off Great Britain's Joshua Zeller (13.42) and Spain's Enrique Llopis (13.43) to secure the victory.

Anderson, meanwhile, the 2022 World Championship silver medalist in the 100m hurdles, continued her impressive form by winning her event with a season-best time of 12.88 seconds. Anderson engaged in a tight battle with Ireland's Zarah Lavin (12.92) and Italy's Eliza Maria Di Lazzaro (12.99), ultimately crossing the line first to claim victory.

Anderson's performance marked a significant improvement from her previous outing, where she clocked 13.23 seconds for victory at the X Athletic Elite Meeting in Milan earlier in April.

With the national championships in Jamaica approaching in just six weeks, the success of both McLeod and Anderson signals promising prospects as they aim to excel and secure coveted spots in Jamaica's Olympic team for the upcoming Games in Paris.

 

Jamaican discus thrower Traves Smikle is riding high on confidence after a convincing win at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational and is now setting his sights on the upcoming Diamond League meeting in Rabat, Morocco, where he will face a formidable field of world-class competitors.

Smikle, who departs the island on Wednesday for the prestigious Diamond League event on Sunday, expressed both excitement and determination about his first appearance in the series. "Encountering a discus field like the one in Rabat for my first Diamond League meet is pretty exciting and crazy at the same time," said Smikle, who has had five wins on the trot this season. "Not many of the big names are missing and I just need to go out there and compete. It’s a game of distance and these guys are good quality throwers, so I just need to hold my own and compete."

His recent performance at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational demonstrated Smikle's capabilities, as he threw an impressive 66.89m to secure victory over his compatriot Fedrick Dacres. Reflecting on this achievement, Smikle emphasized the importance of consistency and translating his current form to European competitions.

"Before coming into this competition, I felt a little tired during the training sessions in the days before," Smikle noted following his win on Saturday. "Coming out today and having another 66m throw is pretty respectable. I am working on my consistency; what I need to do now is when I go to Europe, I translate this sort of performance and better to be competitive among the field."

Looking ahead to his aspirations for the Olympics in Paris this summer, Smikle is focused on pushing his limits and achieving greater distances. "I want to get 68, 69, 70m in a stadium," he explained. "That is what I am working on."

When asked about the steps needed to reach these targets, Smikle highlighted the importance of dedication, patience, and consistency in training. "It’s going to take more work, patience, and greater consistency," emphasized Smikle, who, so far this season, has won with throws of 67.57m, 67.83m, 65.96m, 66.03m and 66.89m. "If you can build up your level of consistency, then at some point your upper limit must get higher."

 

 

Rising American sprinter Matthew Boling expressed his excitement and enthusiasm after competing in the Jamaica Athletics Invitational on Saturday, where he ran a season's best time of 44.98 in the 400m.

Boling, who finished second behind Great Britain's Matthew Hudson Smith, spoke to Sportsmax.TV about his first-time experience in Jamaica and the atmosphere that fueled his performance.

"Yea, I loved the crowd. I like my little intro, everyone cheered and it got me hyped," Boling shared. "I was in the zone and I had to beat my chest a little bit."

Despite his impressive run, Boling indicated that he plans to rest before the upcoming USA trials, hinting at a potential return to Jamaica in the future. "I’d love to come back," he mentioned, reflecting on the lively reception he received from the Jamaican fans.

Regarding his overall season and the challenge of competing in both the 200m and 400m events, Boling expressed satisfaction with his progress, hinting that he could deliver something special at the USA Olympic trials in late June. "I think it’s been going great; the 400m and the 200m seems to be the way I’m heading this year," Boling stated. "I’ve run 10.06, 20.03 and 44.98 so far so I think I’m getting in good shape and getting ready to bust something big out at trials."

Acknowledging the difficulty of taking on the 200m/400m challenge, Boling maintained a positive outlook. "It’s pretty tough but I’m young I’ll recover quick," he remarked with a big smile, demonstrating his determination and optimism for the upcoming competitions.

Christian Coleman, the American sprinter and member of the USA's 4x100m relay team, is confident in the team's ability to challenge and potentially break Jamaica's long-standing 4x100m relay world record of 36.84 seconds, set at the 2012 London Olympics by Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Yohan Blake, and Usain Bolt.

Speaking after a press conference in Jamaica last week Thursday before he participated in the Jamaica Athletics Invitational on Saturday, Coleman emphasized the USA's recent relay performance of 37.40 at recent World Relays in the Bahamas, despite key athletes like himself, Fred Kerley, and Erriyon Knighton missing from the team.

A member of the USA team that ran 37.10 at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Coleman suggested that his country’s top sprinters executing the essential elements of relay running like smoother baton exchanges, could lead to significant improvements.

"I think it's really not that difficult. It's not that hard. We make it a lot harder than it needs to be," Coleman explained. "If we just space those zones out, everybody focuses on their job, I think we have all the speed and talent to tackle that world record."

Coleman's confidence in the team's abilities underscores their ambitions for the upcoming track and field season, especially at the Olympic Games in Paris where the USA will start as hot favourites to win the gold medal.

While breaking records isn't the primary focus, Coleman believes that with proper execution and teamwork, they can challenge historic achievements like Jamaica's 4x100m world record.

With that in mind, what leg does Coleman believe is the best fit for him?

"We talk about it all the time because I feel like I can do first leg just because I know what I'm gonna do. I feel like when I do my thing, it takes a lot of the pressure off the rest of the team because I'm gonna get us out and I know when the stick is moving through that zone and second leg is going down the back-stretch and we already in the lead, everybody else can just kind of relax and just bring it home.

“But I feel if we just going in terms of trying to just run our absolute best time, I don't know if it might be suitable for me to run first leg, ‘because I feel like I'm full well capable of running any leg. I trust myself more than anybody when it comes to working the zone and getting it through. So I don't know, second, third, fourth, whatever they need me at, obviously I'm gonna do it.”

On Saturday, Coleman was fifth in the 200m in 20.46. Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes claimed victory with a sizzling run of 19.96. The USA’s Fred Kerley was second in 20.17 with Frenchman Pablo Mateo not far behind in 20.20 for third.

 

 

 

 

 

In every aspect of life, moments of triumph are often accompanied by tears of joy, and for Jamaican sprinter Krystal Sloley, achieving a massive personal best of 11.09 seconds was no exception. Immediately after she crossed the finish line in second position in the women’s 100m at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational, Sloley’s emotions overflowed, tears streaming down her face as she celebrated a milestone in her athletic journey.

Many might not understand why her accomplishment is such a big deal, but for Sloley, the road to get there has been marked by challenges, setbacks, and even self-doubt. But through it all, she remained steadfast in her pursuit of excellence.

In fact, it was only a week ago that Sloley lowered her personal best from 11.27s to 11.25s, which she took apart with the breathtaking performance behind Ivorian Marie-Josee Ta Lou-Smith, who opened her season with an impressive 10.91s clocking at the National Stadium, on Saturday.

“It hasn't been easy. It has been an uphill battle with my mental life and self-belief, even in warm up, I was just talking to myself, coaching myself, because my weakest point was my start and I knew that once I got that, the rest is history. I was not expecting such a fast time, maybe 11.1, but I am happy at the outcome,” Sloley said, her voice trembling with emotion.

“It was such a pleasure to feed off of the energy of Marie and the other runners. I knew it was a high-quality field, because I was originally supposed to run in the B final, and while warming up, I realized I was in the A final against the top ladies. I really wish I had more time to prepare myself mentally before I came out here physically, but it worked out for the best,” she added.

Sloley, who found her passion for track and field at Ardenne Preparatory, and later honed her craft at Campion College, recalled how her journey to the triumphant moment was filled with highs and lows, from gruelling training sessions to heartbreaking defeats. But with each setback, particularly now at the senior level at the University of Technology – where she is studying Architecture –she emerged stronger and more determined than ever, fuelled by a burning desire to prove herself on the world stage.

“It was definitely hard. I would be lying if I said it was easy in terms of how I endured the training sessions, because it's not just doing training sessions with MVP (Track Club), it's the fact that I have to strike a definitive balance between not just MVP’s gruelling training, but also architecture, and to me, I feel like that's two degrees,” Sloley said with a chuckle.

She continued: “Coming from such a rigorous academic program such as Campion and also doing track and field there, I found it manageable, and I feel like I excelled pretty well through the seven years doing both academic and track and field. But I knew that entering a new level of not just training, it's professional training, and not just regular school, it's university…It's my degree, I knew it would be a next step, but I never knew that the thread of that step would have been so steep.

“So, it was definitely hard. I remember countless times crying on the dorm floor, wondering how I'm going to manage to strike the balance at this level. Even before I started university, it was questionable whether or not I was going to actually stop track and field to pursue the degree and then continue after, but I must say, God carried me through and here I am now.”

As she reflected on her journey, the 22-year-old third-year student’s thoughts turned to her mother, whose unwavering support has been the driving force behind her pursuit of glory.

"My mother is my rock, my biggest inspiration. It’s like when the momentum on the swing drops, she's been that push that you need on your back to continue swinging. She has encouraged me through it all, even those questionable doubts that I had about whether to stop track and field or pursue school,” Sloley told SportsMax.TV.

“She's been my prayer warrior, so she has been behind me, beside me, pulling me, she's been that driving force for me, my biggest motivation. She never lived the life that she gave me, so that also motivates me to reward her for what she has done for me because I'm so grateful and thankful for her,” she shared.

Besides her new personal best clocking, Sloley described making Jamaica’s team to the 2019 NACAC Championships as her biggest accomplishment, and with the memory of that outing in Mexico still very much fresh on her mind, she now has her sights set on repeating the feat sooner rather than later.