Trinidadian long jumper Tyra Gittens celebrated her first professional victory at the International Meeting in Troyes, France on Sunday.

The US-based Olympian secured the win with a leap of 6.56 meters, surpassing Portugal’s Evelise Veiga, who recorded a distance of 6.35 meters, the same as third-place finisher Esmeralda Yanis David of France.

 Following her triumph, Gittens expressed her joy and gratitude on Instagram, writing, “Celebrating my very first professional WIN! ? Looking forward to many more! Thank you, everyone, who has been believing in me even when I struggled to see what was worth believing in. I love you all.”

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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).

Reigning Jamaican national champion Traves Smikle took the win in the men’s discus throw at the Racers Grand Prix at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

Smikle, a five-time national champion, produced 65.65m to win ahead of Samoa’s Alex Rose who threw 65.02m and American Reggie Jagers III who threw 64.64m.

Despite the win, Smikle admitted that his performance wasn’t up to his usual world class standards.

“I wasn’t my best today based on my standard and how I know I am but, at the same time, I’m in a competition where I have to go out there and do it, I’m competing against some of the best in the world and I am in my home town so I had to deliver,” Smikle said.

Reigning champion Ackelia Smith will get an opportunity to defend her NCAA Division I Outdoor long jump title after securing her spot at this year’s championships at the NCAA West First Round in Fayetteville, Arkansas on Thursday.

Smith needed only one legal attempt to produce 6.86m (3.4 m/s) and advance to the NCAA Championships set for June 5-8 at Hayward Field in Oregon.

The 22-year-old Texas junior produced 6.88m to win the NCAA title last year.

On the track, reigning national champion Nickisha Pryce ran 50.31 to secure her spot in Saturday’s 400m quarterfinals.

The Arkansas senior became the second-fastest Jamaican ever in the distance when she ran 49.32 to win the SEC Outdoor title on May 11.

Jamaican San Diego State sophomore Shaquena Foote (51.35), Jamaican Arkansas junior Joanne Reid (52.54) and Guyanese Kansas junior Deshana Skeete (52.70) also made it through to the quarters.

A pair of Jamaican Texas standouts, sophomore Dejanea Oakley and senior Kevona Davis, advanced to the quarterfinals in the 200m.

Oakley, who recently won the SEC 200m title, ran 22.73 while Davis ran 22.97.

 

World Championship silver medallist Wayne Pinnock has officially booked his spot in the field for next month’s NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships.

The 23-year-old Arkansas junior, who won gold at the 2022 NCAA Championships, produced 8.03m at the NCAA West First Round in Fayetteville on Wednesday to advance with the day’s second furthest jump behind USC’s Johnny Brackins who jumped a personal best 8.15m to advance.

Another Jamaican, Oklahoma junior Nikaoli Williams, produced a personal best 7.99 to book his spot in the 24-man field set to compete from June 5-8 at Hayward Field in Oregon.

Arizona State junior Brandon Lloyd threw 19.26m to secure qualification in the men’s shot put.

On the track, a number of Caribbean men booked spots in Friday’s quarterfinal round to determine who will make the trip to Oregon.

Trinidadian Minnesota junior Devin Augustine (10.28), Jamaican USC junior Travis Williams (10.30) and Jamaican Baylor sophomore Riquan Graham (10.32) all made it through to the quarterfinals of the men’s 100m.

Augustine also ran 20.66 to advance in the 200m.

The top 12 fastest men from Friday’s quarterfinals will advance to the NCAA Championships.

In the 400m, Jamaican Texas Tech sophomore Shaemar Uter (45.68), Jamaican Baylor senior Demar Francis (45.75) and Grenadian Arizona State senior Gamali Felix (45.90) advanced to the quarterfinals.

A pair of Jamaicans, Texas A&M junior Kimar Farquharson and Iowa junior Rivaldo Marshall, ran 1:47.72 and 1:48.31, respectively, to advance to the quarterfinals of the 800m.

Jamaican Arkansas senior Phillip Lemonious and UTEP junior Jordani Woodley advanced in the 110m hurdles with times of 13.38 and 13.41, respectively.

Lemonious is the defending NCAA champion.

The 2024 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships is set for June 5-8 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

 

Bahamian Auburn University Tigers sophomore Keyshawn Strachan produced a best throw of 74.63m in the men’s javelin competition of the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round competition at the University of Kentucky Track & Field Complex in Lexington, Kentucky, on Wednesday.

With the throw, the CARIFTA Under-20 record holder advanced to the NCAA Division 1 Outdoor Track and Field Championships for the first time.

The 20-year-old finished third in the Wednesday’s competition, with all three of his throws (70.54m, 71.37m, 74.63m) surpassing 70m.

His personal best and Bahamian national record 84.27m was done at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in 2023 at the Mike A. Myers Stadium.

Wanya McCoy, a junior for the University of Florida Gators, moved on to the quarterfinals of the men’s 100 and 200m, winning his heats in 10.29 seconds and 20.34 seconds respectively.

Wanya McCoy made it through to the quarterfinals in both the 100m and 200m.

He finished tied with the sixth fastest time going into the quarters in both events, and will have to finish among the top 12 to move on to the NCAA Championships.

McCoy was a runner-up in both the 100m and 200m at the SEC Outdoor Championships in Gainesville earlier this month.

Also advancing in the 100m were Caymanian two-time Carifta U-20 gold medallist Davonte Howell of Tennessee (10.35), Jamaica’s Jehlani Gordon of Georgia (10.41) and T&T’s Omari Lewis on Liberty (10.39).

Jamaican Florida State Seminoles sophomore Jordan Turner also advanced to the NCAA Championships after jumping 7.74m to finish fourth in the men’s long jump.

Jordan Turner advanced in the long jump.
 

American Championship Conference (ACC) outdoor shot-put champion Courtney Lawrence of Clemson also booked his spot at the NCAA Championships with a throw of 19.61m to finish sixth.

Jamaican LSU sophomore, Jahiem Stern, ran 13.38 to lead all qualifiers to the quarterfinals in the men’s sprint hurdles set for Friday.

Clemson senior and ACC Outdoor champion Tarees Rhoden made it through to the quarterfinals in the men’s 800m with 1:47.89 to win his preliminary.

Jamaica’s Jevaughn Powell of Florida (45.85), D’Andre Anderson of Clemson (45.87), Reheem Hayles of Florida (45.99) made it through to the quarters in the men’s 400m.

The men’s 400m hurdles saw Bajan Tennessee senior Rasheeme Griffith (50.40) and Jamaican South Florida sophomore Devontie Archer (51.13) make progress.

The 2024 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships is set for June 5-8 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

 

Brianna Lyston secured a chance at the sprint double at the SEC Outdoor Championships in Gainesville, Florida after booking her spot in the final of the women’s 100m.

The LSU sophomore, who ran 22.31 on Thursday to secure her spot in the 200m final, came back a day later to run 11.09 to be the joint-fastest qualifier for Saturday’s final alongside collegiate leader Jacious Sears of Tennessee.

Bahamian Florida junior Wanya McCoy and Jamaican Georgia freshman Jehlani Gordon advanced to the men’s 100m final as the second and ninth fastest qualifiers with 10.09 and 10.17, respectively.

The women’s 400m prelims saw Arkansas senior Nickisha Pryce become the eighth-fastest Jamaican ever in the event.

Pryce, who is Jamaica’s reigning national champion, ran a personal best and collegiate leading 49.72 to advance to the final as the fastest qualifier ahead of teammate Kaylyn Brown who ran 49.86.

LSU sophomore Jahiem Stern produced 13.45 to advance to the final of the 110m hurdles.

In the field, the Jamaican Arkansas pair of Romaine Beckford and Wayne Pinnock won gold in the high jump and long jump, respectively.

Beckford had a best clearance of 2.22m to win ahead of LSU’s Kuda Chadenga (2.19m) and Ole Miss’s Arvesta Troupe (2.14m).

Pinnock, a sliver medalist at last year’s World Championships in Budapest, jumped 8.09m to successfully defend his SEC title.

Georgia’s Micah Larry produced 7.80m for second while Florida’s Caleb Foster was third with the same distance.

 

 

Jamaican Clemson junior Courtney Lawrence produced a personal best 19.75 to win shot put gold at the ACC Outdoor Championships in Atlanta on Friday.

The former Petersfield High standout and 2021 NACAC Under-23 champion produced three throws over 19m throughout his series to take the title ahead of Notre Dame’s Michael Schoaf (19.38m) and Wake Forest’s Thomas Kitchell (19.16m).

Jamaican Florida State sophomore Jordan Turner jumped 7.90m for second in the men’s long jump behind teammate Jeremiah Davis who jumped 7.97m for the win. Miami’s Russell Robinson was third with 7.82m.

Moving to the track where Lawrence’s schoolmate, Oneka Wilson, produced a personal best 13.00 to advance to the final of the women’s 100m hurdles as the fastest qualifier.

Another Jamaican Clemson standout, senior Tarees Rhoden, made it through to the final of the men's 800m with a 1:49.17 effort to finish second in his heat.

A pair of Jamaica’s representatives at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Wayne Pinnock and Ackera Nugent, were among a number of Caribbean winners at Saturday’s LSU Invitational in Baton Rouge.

Pinnock, who took long jump silver in Budapest, produced a wind-aided 8.44m (5.8 m/s) to claim victory in his first outdoor competition this season.

The 23-year-old Arkansas star, who won gold at both the SEC and NCAA Indoor Championships earlier this year, opened his competition with 8.15m in the first round before producing his winning distance in the second.

He had one more jump in the third round (8.25m) before passing on his final three attempts.

Florida State’s Curtis Williams was second with 7.99m while Florida’s Malcolm Clemons was third with 7.94m. Another Jamaican, Florida State’s Jordan Turner, produced 7.84m for fourth.

The women’s long jump was won by Bahamian Florida sophomore Anthaya Charlton with a best jump of 6.74m. Arkansas’s Nia Robinson was second with 6.70m while Georgia Tech’s Ameia Wilson was third with 6.56m.

In her fourth 100m hurdles race of the young season, Ackera Nugent, who was fifth in the final in Budapest, produced 12.57 to take victory ahead of Canada’s Mariam Abdul-Rashid (12.69) and LSU’s Leah Phillips (12.71).

Nugent’s season’s best, which currently stands at 12.52, was done in a fourth-place finish at the Tom Jones Invitational on April 13.

Arkansas also prevailed in the men’s high jump through another member of Jamaica’s team at last year’s World Championships, Romaine Beckford.

Beckford, the reigning NCAA indoor and outdoor and Jamaican national champion, had a best jump of 2.23m to win ahead of Georgia’s Riyon Rankin (2.20m) and his Arkansas teammate Kason O’Riley (2.20m).

Guyana’s Natricia Hooper produced 13.92m to win the women’s triple jump ahead of Mylana Hearn (13.78m) and LSU’s Morgan Smalls (13.17m).

Arkansas’s Apalos Edwards jumped 16.43m for second in the men’s equivalent won by Air Houston’s Chris Carter (16.70m). Florida State’s Kyvon Tatham jumped 16.00m for third.

The women’s 400m saw Vincentian 800m record holder Shafiqua Maloney and reigning Jamaican national champion and Arkansas star Nickisha Pryce run 51.29 and 51.35 for second and third, respectively, behind American Alexis Holmes who ran 50.80 to win.

Jamaica’s Lashanna Graham ran 58.16 for third in the women’s 400m hurdles behind American Anna Cockrell (54.74) and Georgia’s Dominique Mustin (56.52).

Florida’s Jevaughn Powell ran 20.28 to take second in the men’s 200m behind Arkansas’s Makanakaishe Charamba who won in 20.11. Arkansas’s Lance Lang ran 20.36 in third.

Powell also represented Jamaica in Budapest, running in the heats of the 4x400m relay.

 

 

Texas junior Ackelia Smith produced an NCAA leading performance to take top spot on day one of the Texas Invitational at the Mike A. Myers Stadium on Friday.

The 22-year-old reigning NCAA champion produced a season’s best 7.10m, her first jump over 7m this season, to win ahead of Trinidadian Puma athlete Tyra Gittens (6.72m) and UTSA’s Ida Breigan (6.65m).

This is a welcome return to form for Smith who suffered a torn hamstring at the NCAA Indoor Championships in early March.

Smith was Jamaica’s national champion in the long jump in 2022 and was a finalist in both the long and triple jump at that year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Munro College’s Chad Hendricks and JC’s Chavez Penn and Balvin Israel all secured wins on day two of the 128th Penn Relays at Franklin Field in Philadelphia on Friday.

Hendricks, a silver medallist at both the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships and the Carifta Games, threw an excellent 66.17m to take top spot in the High School Boys’ discus ahead of Bergen Catholic’s Benjamin Shue (61.55m) and Christian Brothers’ Ashton Hearn (58.42m).

Penn, who won the high jump and triple jump double at both the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships and Carifta Games, produced 15.38m to comfortably win the triple jump ahead of Wolmer’s Boys’ Nicardo Grey-Clarke (14.52m) and Cornwall College’s Obrien Bowen (14.49m).

Israel added to his long jump gold medal at Champs with 7.24m to take top spot Friday. KC’s Nathan Wade, who took silver at Champs, was once again second with 7.09m while Calvert Hall College’s Antoine McNair Jr was third with 7.09m.

Jamaican Louisiana State University (LSU) sophomore Briana Lyston produced 22.46 for third overall in the women’s 200m invite on Friday’s first day of the 2024 Tom Jones Memorial at the Percy Beard Track in Gainesville, Florida.

Lyston, who became the SEC and NCAA Indoor 60m champion earlier this season, won the third heat on Friday but her time was aided by a 3.1 m/s trailing wind.

Ole Miss’s McKenzie Long and South Carolina’s JaMeesia Ford finished first and second overall with times of 22.18 and 22.41, respectively, which they both did in the first heat aided by a 4.1m/s wind.

The women’s college 200m saw Mississippi State senior Rosealee Cooper run a personal best 23.60 to take the win ahead of Baylor’s Kayla Hunt (23.76) and Ohio State’s Columba Effiong (23.82).

In the men’s javelin, Bahamian Auburn sophomore Keyshawn Strachan threw a season’s best 76.25m for third behind Georgia’s Marc Minichello (81.03m) and Baylor’s Chinecherem Prosper Nnamdi (78.90m).

Jamaican Florida State sophomore Jordan Turner jumped 7.87m for third in the men’s long jump invite behind Marquis Dendy (8.05m) and Cameron Crump (7.91m).

The 2024 CARIFTA Games has provided fourteen-year-old Belizean jumper Jaaden Williams with the opportunity of a lifetime as he has, according to reports from Belize, been offered an athletic scholarship by Jamaican track & field powerhouse, Jamaica College.

Williams, who hails from Punta Gorda, has been given the opportunity to further his education and athletic training in Jamaica, a country renowned for its track and field success.

This offer marks a significant milestone for the youngster, who expressed his surprise and optimism about the future upon his return to Belize from the games.

“The offer came out of the blue despite my performance at the Games,” Williams shared with Belizean reporters.

At the Games, Williams jumped 5.37m to finish 17th in the Under-17 Boys long jump and 11.36m to finish 13th in the triple jump.

Williams, who is set to start his new journey in September, also aspires to become a pilot.

Belize celebrated success at the CARIFTA Games through Demetrie Meyers’ in the 3,000 meters and Brooklyn Lyttle in the Under-17 girls’ long jump.

Meyers secured gold to add to his 1500m and 3000m gold medals from Nassau last year while Lyttle took bronze.

 

The Bahamas had an excellent start to Monday's day three of the 51st Carifta Games at the Kirani James Stadium in Grenada thanks to a dominant showing in the Under-17 Girls javelin throw.

Dior-Rae Scott, who won gold in Kingston in 2022 and silver last year in Nassau, returned to the top of the podium with an excellent new personal best and Carifta record 52.53m with her third-round effort.

Her teammate, Kamera Strachan, had a best throw of 47.61m for silver while Jamaica’s Zoelle Jamel was third with 45.00m.

The Girls Under-20 high jump also saw a quinella, with Jamaica enjoying their own 1-2 finish this time around.

Rasheda Samuels secured gold with a third-time clearance of 1.78m while her teammate Dejanea Bruce took silver with a best clearance of 1.76m.

Trinidad & Tobago’s Keneisha Shelbourne was third with 1.70m.

In the Under-20 Girls long jump, Trinidad & Tobago’s reigning NACAC U-18 champion Janae De Gannes produced one of the performances of the meet with a massive personal best 6.50m to win gold.

De Gannes only produced two legal jumps throughout her series, 6.50m in the first round and 6.40m in the second round.

Her mark also broke the Carifta U-20 record of 6.48m done in 2016 by Guadeloupe’s Yanis David.

Jamaica’s Rohanna Sudlow was second with 6.30m while Bahamian Lanaisha Lubin was third with 5.90m.

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