Jamaican athletes Salcia Slack and Samantha Elliott are among eight former NCAA Division II champion athletes who are to be inducted into the USTFCCCA NCAA Division II Hall of Fame Class of 2022, it was announced on Wednesday.

Slack represented New Mexico Highlands University as a multi-eventer while Elliott was a standout at Johnson C Smith University where she thrived under the tutelage of Coach Lennox Graham.

Slack is the first athlete from New Mexico Highlands inducted into the USTFCCCA NCAA DII Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame.

“I am very thankful for this induction. I know I have worked hard. I cried, I suffered in many ways but I never gave up, no matter what, so I am elated for this,” Slack, now a member of the USA military, told Sportsmax.TV shortly after the Class of 2022 announcement was made on Wednesday.

According to the USTFCCCA, Slack left her mark in a big way at the 2015 NCAA DII Outdoor Championships. Over the span of three days in Allendale, Michigan, she won the heptathlon for the second year in a row, took runner-up honours in both the 100- and 400-meter hurdles, finished sixth in the open long jump and helped New Mexico Highlands take fourth in the 4×400 relay, amassing 30.25 points.

If Slack competed alone, she would have finished seventh in the team standings. That wasn’t the case, though: Slack led the Cowgirls to their first top-4 finish at the Outdoor Championships in program history (NMHU also took third indoors thanks to another sterling effort by Slack.

“I decided that I wanted to take on all these events and I was determined to make the finals in all of them, she recalled.

“The event that stood out for me was running the 400m hurdles for the first time and finishing second.”

She also had bitter-sweet memories of competing indoors in 2014.

“The 2014 Indoor Championships was one of my best and scariest. I got sick that very morning and was told that I wasn’t able to compete and I begged the medics to give me the chance and they did. I went out there to do me and I exceeded what my body was telling me I could do.”’

In addition to 16 total All-America honours, multitudes of conference titles and multiple National and Regional Athlete of the Year laurels from the USTFCCCA, Slack’s name dots the NCAA DII record book. Slack stands alone at the top of the heptathlon all-time chart as the only athlete to amass more than 6000 points (6141, to be exact) and also holds the third-best total (5833); she is the No. 3 performer in the pentathlon at 4181 points – barely missing the NCAA DII record of 4193 points – and owns the No. 4 (4193), No. 5 (4172) and No. 6 (4149) all-time performances.

Elliott was simply outstanding for Johnson C Smith.

In three-straight All-Academic years at Johnson C. Smith, Elliott not only earned 17 NCAA Division II All-America awards, but also a Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems.

On the track, Elliott was a versatile performer on Golden Bulls teams that finished runner-up three times at the NCAA Division II Track & Field Championships: indoors and outdoors in 2013; outdoors in 2014.

 She ran sprints and relays, but her speciality was the hurdles – she was top-three in both the 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles all three years at the DII Outdoor, winning the 400h twice (2013 and 2014) and 100H once (2014, with a lifetime best of 13.04).

Her 2013 winning time of 56.38 in the 400 hurdles was a meet record and still rates No. 3 all-time among DII athletes.

On relays, Elliott was a national champion two more times, including anchoring the 2013 JCSU 4×100 unit that set the still-standing meet record of 44.05. Her collegiate career included two Penn Relays titles in the 400H and five individual CIAA titles (three in the 100H and two in the 400H).

Elliott is the fourth athlete from Johnson C. Smith to be inducted into the NCAA Division II Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame.

Jamaica international Michael Hector will once again be on the hunt for a new club come the end of the next month when he is expected to leave recently promoted Fulham.

The 29-year-old defender has been with the club since 2019 and was a part of the successful promotion-chasing team in the 2020 season.   The Cottagers will once again be heading back to the topflight after winning the league championship a few weeks ago.

This time around, however, the player found playing time hard to come by and accumulated just seven starts in all competitions for the Cottagers last season.  In preparing for life in the top flight again the club recently announced that it would part ways with as many as 14 players with the Jamaican international among them.

Hector has enjoyed a nomadic experience in the English Leagues to date having played for some 18 clubs, including Reading (twice) and Hull City.  For Jamaica, he has made 35 appearances, last representing the team in July of last year.

 

 

 

 

Jamaica 100m sprinter Oblique Seville ran the second-fastest time recorded over the distance this season after clocking 9.86 to take the event at the JAAA/SDF Jubilee Series.

Seville got away well before pulling away from the field to record a massive new personal best, shattering his previous mark of 10.00.  Conroy Jones took the second spot behind Seville in 10.14 seconds, with Emmanuel Archibald taking third in 10.20.

In the women’s equivalent, Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah dominated the field to take first place in 10.94.  Thompson-Herah pulled away down the stretch to finish well clear of second-place Remona Burchell who was next in 11.31 and Jodean Williams who was third in 11.40.

Reigning Olympic 110m hurdles champion Hansle Parchment has declared himself in good form ahead of a showdown with compatriot and 2016 champion Omar McLeod at the Birmingham Diamond League on Saturday.

With the World Championships and Commonwealth Games on the schedule as major games this year, the Jamaicans are expected to see quite a bit of each other over the coming months.

McLeod, unfortunately, did not get the opportunity to defend his title as he missed out on making the Jamaica squad after failing to qualify from the country’s national trials and will no doubt have his eyes set on redemption later this year.

For his part, Parchment has in the meantime established himself as the country’s top performer at the event and will be looking to keep the wins coming in.

“So far I am feeling good, I think I am in good form,” Parchment told members of the media on Thursday.

“I still have a lot of work to do but I am looking forward to executing a really good race [in Birmingham] and hoping to get a really lovely time on this beautiful track.”

The race will also feature former world indoor champion Andrew Pozzi of Great Britain.”

Jamaica’s Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports is backing Netball Jamaica’s hosting of the Americas Netball World Cup Qualifier for the 2023 Netball World Cup to the tune of US$77,000 (JMD$12 million).

Minister Olivia Grange, the official patron of the event, made the announcement at the launch of the qualifier at the NCB Care and Wellness Centre on Phoenix Avenue in Kingston on Thursday.

“The Ministry and its agencies are providing ($JMD1.8M) to Netball Jamaica for team preparation, $2.5m for transportation and will be covering the cost of rental of the National Indoor Sports Centre where the qualifier will take place from October 16 to 21, 2022,” Minister Grange said.

Ten teams will be playing in the Qualifier for the two remaining places in the World Cup. Jamaica has already qualified by virtue of its number four world ranking, a fact of which the minister takes great pride.

“I am proud, all of Jamaica is proud of this first for Netball Jamaica; playing host for the staging of a Netball World Cup Qualifier,” Minister Grange noted.

“History will also be made when the next Netball World Cup, the 16th edition, takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, South Africa since it will be the first time that the tournament will be held on the African continent. South Africa has gained a reputation for the staging of world-class events so we can expect something extra special when they host the Netball World Cup.

“The upcoming Qualifier will certainly serve to project Netball Jamaica afresh to the nation.

“I am deeply moved that Netball Jamaica would see fit to honour me by asking me to be Patron for the Americas Netball World Cup Qualifier.

 “So who is a Patron and what is the duty of a Patron? A Patron is a distinguished person who gives financial or other support to a person, organisation, or cause. 

The most effective Patron will have a passion for what the person or organization does. Need I say more?”

The minister also suggested that Netball Jamaica needs to see their value if they are to convince corporate Jamaica to provide the needed support.

“Netball Jamaica will tell you that I have challenged them to reimagine how they see themselves. Their value is great and we need corporate Jamaica to come on board in a greater way to support them. I would love to see partners coming on board to provide a bus, sports gear and all the other services they need because I am sure that our Sunshine girls will give sponsors value for their money!”, she said.

“Sport and the opportunity to participate in sport at all levels is a right that we take seriously. Netball is a favourite pastime in Jamaica and one that is practised from the primary school levels in Jamaica. We know that through the work of the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) we have netball competitions at the primary level. There is also competition at the high school and tertiary levels.

“We want to see the sport grow in Jamaica and continue to give our girls and yes, boys too, the avenue and outlet to express themselves and dare to dream to play at higher levels.

  “We anticipate that on the final day of the Netball World Cup on August 6, 2023, when Jamaica celebrates its 61st Anniversary of Independence, our Sunshine Girls will be one of the two teams competing for the title and that they will be the new champions of world netball.

 “Netball and our Sunshine Girls have always made us proud.” 

 

 

Jamaica’s basketball community is mourning the passing of Enid Sterling Angus, who died early Thursday morning in Florida at the age of 64.

Suffering from late-stage cancer, Sterling-Angus was on life support in a Forida hospital up until Wednesday evening when she was taken off and transitioned mere hours later leaving a massive void in Jamaica’s basketball fraternity.

For more than three decades, Sterling-Angus gave yeoman service to the sport was introduced to by chance but which she grew to love.

“I stumbled on the sport while in high school over 30 years ago. I was hanging around the stadium courts one afternoon after playing in a netball tournament there, and a friend who was a member of the Aqua Youth Swim Club invited me to join her at the Stadium pools,” she said during an interview in 2016.

“Later that evening we went back to the netball/basketball courts where the Aqua men’s team was playing in the Berger Paint league game, which is now called the National Basketball League (NBL), and I’ve been hooked ever since then.

“Ironically, I’m still not a swimmer; in fact, I’m still petrified of large pools of water. And even though I no longer reside in Jamaica, I still support the organization because I believe in their objective, which ultimately is to empower our youngsters by providing academic and athletic opportunities through scholarship.”

And support she did. She was a past vice president of overseas operations for the Jamaica Basketball Association and worked tirelessly behind the scenes providing support for Jamaica’s men’s and women’s teams.

AS a project manager for JABA, she handled logistics and planning for national teams and identified players for all national levels. She also funded national teams and youth-team initiatives and helped create scholarship opportunities for both male and female players including players like netball turned basketball player Marvadene ‘Bubbles’ Anderson, who once held the record of being the tallest teenager in the world.

Her death leaves a void within the fraternity, said JABA President Paulton Gordon.

“The Jamaica basketball community is indeed saddened by the passing of Enid Sterling Angus, a longstanding advocate and supporter of the development of basketball in Jamaica,” Gordon told Sportsmax.TV on Thursday.

“Enid was a passionate soul who loved the game and endeavoured to create platforms for our young people to access opportunities based on their God-given talent. She served as one of the overseas liaison between Jamaica basketball and key stakeholders at the FIBA and diaspora levels and was always integral in clarifying policy, rules and processes when our teams are involved in regional or international competitions.

“Enid will be sadly missed and the Jamaica basketball association uses this medium to express our deepest condolences to her immediate family and friends.”

Ajani Williams, who was JABA president between 2009 and 2014, said Enid’s impact on Jamaica’s basketball was iconic.

“Enid Angus is the definition of love of people through sport. She emptied herself in pursuit of advancing the lives of young Jamaican students and national team athletes, male and female, she squeezed every bit of the juice out of the orange for national progress through basketball,” he said.

“An African proverb says when an elder transitions a library goes with them and this is indicative of Enid’s passing. This is a big loss to basketball in Jamaica and, personally, without Enid by my side, many of the national team successes we achieved would not have happened- she is forever a teammate.”

Under Williams’ leadership, Jamaica were CARICOM Champions in 2009 and were the bronze medallists in 2011. The team won the bronze medal at the Centro Basketball Tournament in 2012, the first time Jamaica was achieving top-four, which meant they qualified for the FIBA Tournament of the Americas.

In 2013, at the FIBA Tournament of the Americas, Jamaica defeated the number nine ranked Brazil and the number-three ranked Argentina and just missed out on qualifying for the World Championships.

“The foundation of all of that was aided and supported by Enid,” Williams said.

In addition to her support of the JABA, Enid was a mentor to many Jamaican players like Kimani Ffriend, who played in the NBA and in Europe, winning the MVP title in the Serbian League in 2017. News of her passing was devastating.

“We lost a beautiful soul this morning. Enid, thank you for your warm spirit and beautiful heart,” he said in a post on social media.

“Never told me no. Always there to support me and encourage me during my toughest times. Many don’t know the sacrifices that you have made to help put Jamaica basketball on the map and the countless high school, college and pro players you have helped and identified along the way.”

Another former national representative Vashil Fernandez was in disbelief.

“Can’t believe this. Wow,” he posted while commenting on Ffriend’s post.

Meanwhile, former Women’s coach Oberon Pitterson-Nattie was saddened by the news.

“Sad to know she is no longer with it. She worked tirelessly for Jamaica basketball. May her beautiful soul rest in peace.”

Sterling Angus is survived by her three children, Martin, Terry and Donielle.

 

 

 

 

Jamaican goalkeeper Andre Blake continues to be the best paid Caribbean player in the United States Major League Soccer (MLS) according to the 2022 Player Salary Guide.

The 31-year-old shot-stopper, who has twice been named Goalkeeper of the Year, remains the main man in between the sticks for the Philadelphia Union where he has been since 2014.  For his match-saving performances, Blake earns a base salary of $750,000.00 with guaranteed compensation of $869,375.00.

Talented Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kevin Molino is next up.  Having completed a move to Columbus Crew last season Molino is listed at $700,348.00 and guaranteed the full amount.  Unfortunately, the player remains out of action having suffered a serious knee ligament in August of last year.

His international teammate Joevin Jones was also on the move last year and having been signed by new club Inter Miami earns $360,000.00 with guaranteed compensation of $458,100.00. 
Jamaica defender Kemar Lawrence is next on the list.  Having recently been traded to Minnesota United this season Lawrence is set to make $400,000.00 with $482,500.00 guaranteed.

The Jamaican trio of Cory Burke, Damion Lowe, and Alvas Powell round out the list earning 400,000, 268,000, and 167,000 at Philadelphia Union, Inter Miami, and FC Cincinnati.

Former Reggae Girlz coach Vin Blaine has expressed concern that the women’s national program is heavily beholden to an outside benefactor.

Earlier this week, Blaine stepped down from the post after just six months in charge of the national team.  During his tenure at the helm, the coach found himself at loggerheads with members of the national team, 19 of whom had sent and signed a letter to the JFF questioning the coach’s training methods.

Blaine, however, continues to believe the players were influenced by external forces who will continue to hold plenty of sway with both a large swath of the team’s senior players and the federation itself.

“A lot of people might not want me to say it but definitely that’s what it is,” Blaine told the SportMax Zone,  when asked whether he thought the national program was being held, hostage.

“That’s from my perspective and that’s one of the reasons I decided to part ways and let them have the program.  Hopefully, I wish them all the best.  I hold no ill will towards anyone,” he added.

“It’s my country but it’s just that at this moment I have decided that this is what is best for me and the program.”

The JFF will now begin the search for a new head coach, ahead of the World Cup qualifiers in July.

 

 

Departing Jamaica Reggae Girlz coach, Vin Blaine, has insisted the toxic environment surrounding his tenure with the national team had left the situation untenable.

Blaine brought an end to a weeks-long saga yesterday when he announced that he would officially resign as coach of the team, following a dispute with some senior members of the Reggae Girlz.

The players in question wrote a letter of no confidence, to the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), signed by 19 members, which suggested the coach lacked detailed training sessions, did not provide video analysis, had issues with set pieces, and provided no post-match reviews for player improvement.

 A review of the situation by the JFF technical committee, however, cleared the coach of any wrongdoing and recommended Blaine stay in the post.  From his perspective, however, making that decision would not have been in anyone’s best interest. 

“Based on the situation, if everyone knew the entire process I went through; It was a toxic environment,” Blaine told the SportsMax Zone.

 “Sad to say from day one or two, in the program, you had staff undermining the program, the previous staff.  You had players telling you who should be the equipment person, who should be the fitness coach, those are things that went on,” he added.

“I came out with a smile on my face because it’s not for me to disclose those things in a training camp.  So, I don’t think I could move forward although the federation said they were clearing me for that.  For the program to go forward and for my own peace of mind, I did not need that kind of toxicity.”

Julien Alfred, Demisha Roswell and Johnathan Jones pulled off impressive victories as the Big 12 Conference Championships concluded in Lubbock, Texas on Sunday.

Retired Jamaican Olympian Veronica Campbell-Brown has announced that she and her husband, Omar, are expecting a second child. This, as she celebrated her 40th birthday on Sunday.

Her first child, Avianna, was born on February 23, 2019.

“Four decades! I am grateful to celebrate another milestone with hubby and Avianna as we excitedly anticipate the arrival of baby number two,” she said on Instagram.

“Today is the beginning of another year if abundant blessings.”

After a glittering career during which she won 49 medals in international competition including Olympic titles in the 200m in Athens in 2004 and in Beijing in 2008as well as a 100m world title in 2007, Campbell-Brown announced her retirement in June 2021, just prior to the start of the Jamaican National Athletics Championships at select a team to the Tokyo Olympics.

 

Jamaica jumper Lamara Distin took top spot at the Southeastern Conference Championships, on Friday, adding to an already impressive run of results this season.

Distin, who has broken the national long jump record several times in the last several months, kept her concentration to dominate the field after a six-hour weather delay.  Eventually, the Texas A&M athlete posted an event-winning mark of 1.95m to complete the SEC indoor and outdoor high jump title sweep.

The athlete finished ahead of South Carolina’s Rachel Glenn who recorded a best of 1.86m and LSU’s Nyagoa Bayak who finished third with 1.86m on the countback.  The in-form Distin also had three attempts at 1.99m but failed to clear the bar.

Bahamian Olympic Champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo was handed a rare defeat to begin the 2022 Diamond League season after finishing behind both the Dominica Republic’s Marileidy Paulino and Jamaica’s Stephenie-Ann Mcpherson in the women’s 400m.

At the Doha meeting, it was the Olympic silver medalist Paulino who dominated proceedings.  Running from an inside lane, the Dominican tracked Miller-Uibo well before coming off the curve with a lead.  The typically strong-finishing Miller-Uibo not only failed to make up ground on Paulino but was overtaken near the line by McPherson who nabbed second spot.

Paulino took the top spot with a time of 51.20, followed by McPherson, second in 51.69, and Miller-Uibo third in 51.84.  Barbados’ Sada Williams was next, and she finished ahead of another Jamaican, Candice McLeod.

In the meantime, the women’s 200m was won by the United States’ Gabrielle Thomas who took top spot after outbattling Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson down the stretch to stop the clock at 21.98, ahead of Jackson’s 22.07.  Great Britain’s Dina Asher was third in 22.37.

In other events, Grenadian Anderson Peters dominated the men’s javelin to take top spot with a throw of 93.07, while Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts captured the women’s long jump.

Kristen McGregor, 2020 Miss Olympia Amateur, hampered by the lack of consistent financial support in her home country of Jamaica, has launched a GoFundMe page in the hope of raising just over USD$12,000 that would help her achieve her goal of participating in the Ms Olympia Competition in December.

Easily Jamaica’s most successful female fitness athlete of the modern era, McGregor a former track and field athlete, has won national fitness titles and in 2018 was crowned CAC Champion in the category of Body Fitness Tall Class.

A 2021 Prime Minister Youth Awardee, McGregor has placed in the top five in most of her international competitions and harbours the ambition of one day winning the coveted Ms Olympia title for herself and her country.

In late April, she competed and placed fifth in the Figure competition at the Fit Muscle Championships in Mexico. It is essential that she competes in similar events leading up to December in order to accumulate the necessary qualification points to make it to the Ms Olympia contest.

Alas, this is proving to be more easily said than done as it has proven difficult to find the financial resources needed to compete regularly. Her next competition is in June and she is pondering whether she will be able to get there.

 “The major challenge I face as a national athlete is corporate sponsorship. I am a bit disappointed with the responses I received for sponsorship requests seeking help to represent my country and hoping that I would have gotten good responses, even given the fact that I am a recipient of the Prime Minister's Youth Award,” McGregor told Sportsmax.TV after her return from Mexico.

 However, she remains hopeful.

 “I do hope that going forward I might receive better responses from other corporations and our sporting body,” she said.

 “The lack of support and sponsorship can impact my goals to represent Jamaica at the Olympia, as I am unable to cover the expenses related to travel and accommodation to participate in the various competitions, where I can only compete as a professional athlete in my discipline. It is my dream to represent Jamaica at the highest level of bodybuilding.”

 Contributions to McGregor’s GoFundMe page can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-kristen-make-it-to-the-olympia-competition?member=19126721&sharetype=teams&utm_campaign=p_na+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer

Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), operators of Caymanas Park, is in mourning at the passing of industry stalwart Christopher Armond. The iconic former commentator turned administrator died on Wednesday after a short illness at the age of 67.

SVREL Chairman Solomon Sharpe was naturally saddened by the passing of the man whom he considered a dear friend.

 “I have many fond memories of working with Chris from the early days and was always impressed by his vast knowledge,” Sharpe said.

“He has done so much for Caymanas Park and the horseracing industry in general. I offer my condolences to his family and friends. He will be greatly missed.”  

Armond, who was the Director of Racing at Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL) enjoyed an illustrious career spanning more than 40 years and was held as the standard for horse race commentary throughout the region.

In 1984, he was awarded the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) Golden Microphone Award for his commentary. Armond also commentated in Detroit, Michigan and served as an administrator in Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados.

“For many Jamaicans, Armond is the voice of horseracing,” SVREL said in a statement Wednesday.

“From 1975 to 1985, Chris Armond established a new level of excitement and accuracy in race commentary with his distinguished vocal delivery. He provided colourful commentary in his distinctive voice, bringing horseracing into homes across the island.

“Even today, he remains the gold standard of commentating in the industry, not just locally but also for fans overseas.”

In addition to Armond’s iconic commentary, he also served as an administrator in the industry for many years and was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Thoroughbred Racing in June 2017 under the category of “Other Racing Personalities”.

It was seemingly natural for Christopher Joseph Armond to have a professional life as part of the racing industry. His father, Joseph, a Hall of Fame inductee, was co-managing director of Caymanas Park Limited, and his grandfather Altamont was the founder of the promoting company, Jamaica Turf Club. Armond carried on this family legacy and served as Director of Racing until his retirement on Sunday, December 27, 2020.

“Armond has left an indelible legacy in the sport of horseracing. His accomplishments are insurmountable and his contribution to the sport will never be diminished,” SVREL’s statement said.

“Our thoughts are with his family and dear friends during this difficult time.”

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