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 Texas sophomore Dejanea Oakley claimed her maiden Big 12 Outdoor title with gold in the women’s 200m at the Clyde Hart Track and Field Stadium in Waco, Texas on Saturday.

Oakley, who was the fastest qualifier from Thursday’s heats with 23.00, won comfortably on Saturday with a personal best 22.60, bettering her previous mark of 22.73 done at the Texas Invitational on April 26 this year.

TCU’s Iyana Gray was second in 22.81 while Texas’s Kenondra Davis was third in 22.82, just ahead of teammate Kevona Davis who ran 22.84 in fourth.

Kevon Davis went one better in the 100m with 11.32 to finish behind TCU’s Gray (11.24) and Texas Tech’s Rosemary Chukwuma (11.12).

Jamaican Baylor University senior Demar Francis was also a standout performer on Saturday.

First, he ran 45.44 to win the 400m title ahead of Oklahoma’s Richard Johnson (45.45) and Texas’s Logan Popelka (45.62) before returning to get third in the 200m final with a personal best 20.38.

Houston’s Shaun Maswanganyi won that race in 20.10 followed by Texas’s Nolton Shelvin (20.22).

Francis was also a part of Baylor’s 4x400m quartet who ran 3:03.49 to finish as runners-up to Texas Tech (3:03.09). Jamaican Shaemar Uter was a member of Texas Tech’s winning team.

Jamaican Houston senior Kelly-Ann Beckford ran 2:01.33 for second in the women’s 800m behind Oklahoma State’s Gabija Galvydyte (2:00.42). Texas’s Olivia Howell was third in 2:02.23.

The men’s 110m hurdles saw Bahamian Texas Tech sophomore Antoine Andrews run 13.63 for second behind Houston’s De’Vion Wilson who did 13.35 to take top spot. Texas Tech’s DeVontae Ford ran 13.67 in third.

In the field, Texas junior and Jamaican World Championship representative Ackelia Smith produced 13.92m to win the women’s triple jump ahead of Texas Tech’s Anne-Suzanna Fosther-Katta (13.62m) and Baylor’s Koi Johnson (13.44m).

Texas’s Trinidadian junior Kelsey Daniel produced 16.04m for silver in the men’s triple jump behind Oklahoma’s Brandon Green Jr who did 16.52m. Texas Tech’s Stacy Brown Jr jumped 15.78m for third.

At the end of proceedings, Texas were crowned champions of both the men’s and women’s categories.

Texas scored 134 points in the men’s section, 19 ahead of Texas Tech in second and 54 ahead of Iowa State in third.

The women were more dominant, securing 150 points compared to 98 from BYU and 96.5 from Texas Tech.

LSU sophomore Brianna Lyston and Arkansas senior Nickisha Pryce both produced excellent performances to claim gold medals on the final day of the SEC Outdoor Championships in Gainesville, Florida on Saturday.

The former Hydel High and St. Jago High athlete won ahead of Georgia’s Kaila Jackson, who wasn’t far behind in second with 10.95, and LSU’s Thelma Davies who ran 11.01 in third.

She then ran 22.37 for fourth in the 200m final. Ole Miss’s McKenzie Long ran 22.03 for gold ahead of South Carolina’s JaMeesia Ford (22.11) and LSU’s Thelma Davies (22.17).

Earlier, she helped LSU take bronze in the women’s 4x100m in 42.49 behind Ole Miss (42.47) and Tennessee (42.42).

The 19-year-old Lyston ran wind assisted times of 10.87 and 10.84 earlier this season. She also claimed the indoor 60m titles at both the SEC and NCAA Indoor Championships in February and March.

In the men’s 100m final, Bahamian Florida junior Wanya McCoy ran a personal best 10.02 for second behind LSU’s Godson Oghenebrume who successfully defended his title in 9.99. Tennessee’s T’Mars McCallum ran 10.03 in third.

McCoy also ran a personal best 19.93 for second in the 200m behind Alabama’s Tarsis Orogot who ran a meet record 19.75 to take gold. Auburn’s Makanakaishe Charamba ran 20.00 for third

The 400m saw reigning Jamaican national champion Nickisha Pryce move to second all-time for Jamaica in the event with a brilliant 49.32 to win gold. Kaylyn Brown (49.47) and Amber Anning (49.51) took second and third to complete an Arkansas 1-2-3.

This is just a day after Pryce ran her previous personal best 49.72 to advance to the final.

Pryce's time is just outside of Lorraine Fenton's Jamaican record 49.30 set back in 2002.

Barbadian Tennessee senior Rasheeme Griffith ran 49.24 for third in the men’s 400m hurdles final behind Alabama’s Chris Robinson (48.43) and Tennessee’s Clement Ducos (47.69).

The women’s event saw Jamaican Ole Miss sophomore Gabrielle Matthews run a personal best 55.12 to win ahead of Georgia’s Dominique Mustin (55.60) and LSU’s Shani’a Bellamy (56.40).

 

 

Jamaica now has another man under 1:46.00 in the 800m in the form of Clemson senior Tarees Rhoden.

Rhoden ran a personal best 1:45.97 to claim gold at the ACC Outdoor Championships in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday.

Wake Forest junior Rynard Swanepoel ran 1:46.69 for second while Virginia senior Shane Cohen ran 1:46.89 in third.

The 23-year-old former Kingston College standout, who was eighth in the final last season, entered Saturday’s race with a personal best of 1:46.20 done last April.

Clemson also took gold in the women's 100m hurdles through Jamaican sophomore Oneka Wilson who ran a brilliant personal best 12.87 to win ahead of Florida State's Alexandra Webster (13.04) and Duke's Skyla Wilson (13.26).

Wilson's previous personal best 13.00 was done on Friday in the prelims.

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.

Ackera Nugent, the 2023 NCAA 100m hurdles champion, has achieved another milestone by graduating from the University of Arkansas with a degree in Advanced Communication. The 22-year-old track and field standout turned professional in 2023 shortly after clinching the NCAA title and has now successfully completed her academic journey while pursuing her athletic career.

Nugent, who joined the University of Arkansas in January 2023 after two seasons at Baylor University, remained committed to her studies even after signing a professional contract. In an Instagram post celebrating her achievement, Nugent expressed heartfelt gratitude to her mother and shared a message of inspiration.

“No one hustles harder than a first-gen who is paving the way," Nugent wrote. "You will succeed in all you do, and light will shine on your path."

Acknowledging her mother's sacrifices and unwavering support, Nugent continued, "Your selfless love and sacrifices have shaped me into the person I am today. There are no words to fully repay you for all that you have done, but I promise to do everything in my power to ensure that you live a wonderful and fulfilling life ahead."

Nugent's journey to graduation comes on the heels of her outstanding performance at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in 2023, where she blazed through the 100m hurdles to claim victory in 12.25 seconds. Reflecting on her championship win, Nugent credited her coach's guidance and expressed satisfaction with her performance.

"It feels amazing to know that I've just got to trust my coach, and I follow instruction very, very well," Nugent said back then. "To be able to follow those instructions and see the time, I feel very pleased."

Despite her academic success, Nugent made the strategic decision to turn professional in track and field, aiming to pursue her athletic dreams to the fullest while maintaining her dedication to education.

"I'm staying in school because I feel like getting my degree is very important," Nugent explained during an exclusive interview with Sportsmax.TV.

By going professional, Nugent is poised to embark on a new chapter in her athletic career, leveraging her talent and determination to excel at the highest levels of competition.

The Caribbean will be represented in the final of the women’s 200m at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships through Jamaican University of Texas standouts Dejanea Oakley and Kevon Davis.

Oakley, a former Clarendon College standout, was the fastest qualifier in Thursday’s heats at the Clyde Hart Track & Field Stadium with 23.00 while Davis, a 200m semi-finalist at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest, ran 23.32 in the heats to advance to Saturday’s final as the fifth fastest qualifier.

Oakley is fresh off running a new 200m personal best 22.73 at the Texas Invitational on April 26. She competed at last year’s Big 12 Championships, failing to advance from the heats of the 400m.

Davis was a runner up in both the 100m and 200m at last year’s Big 12 Outdoor Championships with times of 11.04 and 22.51. She was beaten by former Texas teammate and current World Indoor 60m champion Julien Alfred in both events.

The men’s 200m saw Jamaican Baylor senior Demar Francis (20.66) and Bahamian Texas Tech sophomore Antoine Andrews (20.74) both advance to the final.

Trinidadian Houston junior Dillon Leacock ran 51.83 to advance to the final of the 400m hurdles.

Opening his outdoor season with a wind-aided mark of 8.44m to win the long jump at the LSU Invitational earned Razorback Wayne Pinnock the SEC Field Athlete of the Week honour, as announced by the conference office on Tuesday. This was Pinnock’s first competition since winning the NCAA Indoor long jump title in mid-March, when he improved his world-leading indoor mark to 8.40m.

Pinnock, the 2023 World Championships silver medalist, has been the world leader in the long jump since the 2023 outdoor season, with a leap of 8.54m from the World Championships qualification round. His winning effort at LSU is the 2024 outdoor world-leading performance under all-conditions as it was aided by a 5.8m/s wind. It also ranks him as the number-eight performer on the collegiate all-time list under all-conditions, which includes five wind-aided marks among the top 11 performers.

With only three jumps in his series, Pinnock opened with 8.15m that was assisted with a 7.1m/s wind. In the third round, with a 2.3 wind, Pinnock traveled 8.25m/s.

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.

Commonwealth Games gold medallist Lamara Distin added another award to her growing trophy cabinet by being named at the Texas A&M Female Athlete of the Year at the school’s annual Legacy Awards on Monday.

The Legacy Awards recognize Texas A&M student-athletes’ accomplishments for various academic, service, leadership and athletic endeavors from March 2023 to March 2024.

Distin, a two-time Jamaican national champion, dominated the SEC and NCAA high jump scene by adding a pair of SEC titles at the 2023 Outdoor and 2024 Indoor Championships, bringing her career total to five SEC high jump titles.

She logged a pair of runner-up finishes at the 2023 outdoor and 2024 indoor national championships, garnering her fifth and sixth First-Team All-America honors.

At the 2024 SEC Indoor Championships, the 24-year-old broke the NCAA Indoor high jump record clearing 2.00m, becoming the first collegiate woman to clear the 2.00m mark indoor or outdoor.

Kimar Farquharson, Navasky Anderson and Tarees Rhoden completed a Jamaican 1-2-3 in the men’s 800m on day two of the 2024 Tom Jones Memorial at the Percy Beard Track in Gainesville, Florida on Saturday.

Farquharson, a junior at Texas A&M, ran 1:46.69 to take top spot. Anderson, Jamaica’s national record holder, ran 1:46.76 in second and Rhoden, a senior at Clemson University, ran 1:46.82 in third.

Vincentian star Shafiqua Maloney finished on top in the women’s equivalent in 1:59.97 ahead of Clemson’s Gladys Chepngetich (2:00.53) and Houston’s Kelly-Ann Beckford (2:00.70).

Jamaica’s Stacey Ann Williams was second in the women’s 400m invite in 50.71. The event was won by American Alexis Holmes in 50.65 with Britton Wilson running 50.74 for third.

Jamaican Clemson junior Marie Forbes threw a personal best 58.31m for second in the women’s discus invite behind Florida’s Alida Van Daalen (62.58m). Ohio State’s Faith Bender was third with 56.91m.

As LSU sophomore sprinter Brianna Lyston continues to achieve remarkable success on the track, Head Track Coach Dennis Shaver remains focused on keeping her grounded amidst the rising excitement and expectations surrounding her performances.

Lyston's recent accomplishments are nothing short of extraordinary. She kicked off her indoor season by clinching the SEC 60m title and followed it up with a stunning victory at the NCAA National Indoor Championships, where she clocked a personal best of 7.03 seconds in the 60m dash. This impressive time not only secured her the national title but also placed her as the second-fastest woman in collegiate history and the fifth-fastest Jamaican woman ever over this distance, trailing only legends like Merlene Ottey, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson-Herah, and Veronica Campbell-Brown.

Transitioning to the outdoor season, Lyston made headlines once again at the recent Battle of the Bayou meet, where she blazed through the 100m in a wind-aided time of 10.87 seconds, finishing second behind Favor Ofili. This time ranks as the fastest opening race ever recorded by a collegiate woman under any conditions, highlighting Lyston's exceptional talent.

In light of Lyston's rapid rise to prominence, Coach Shaver emphasizes the importance of staying grounded amid the noise and expectations that come with such early success. "There's going to be a lot of noise," Coach Shaver acknowledges. "People talking, 'oh, you're running too much, or, oh, you're not this and that and everything else.'"

Coach Shaver underscores the significance of maintaining focus and perspective in the face of external pressures, especially in today's age of social media. "Social media has made it really difficult for these young women," he remarks, recognizing both its potential as a support platform and its pitfalls as a distraction.

To keep Lyston grounded, Coach Shaver encourages her to appreciate the journey ahead and understand that her current achievements are just the beginning. "This is the beginning of a long journey for her," he emphasizes. "You need to enjoy it, but you also need to understand that the consistency about how you go about your daily living and preparing yourself to be the best student-athlete you can be here at LSU is a real job."

Furthermore, Coach Shaver points out the valuable resources within LSU's track program, with former standout athletes like Favor Ofili, Aleia Hobbs, and Micaiah Brisco serving as mentors for Lyston. Their experiences provide a guiding light for Lyston to navigate the demands of collegiate athletics and maintain a balanced perspective on her accomplishments.

Despite the high expectations, Coach Shaver maintains a realistic outlook on Lyston's progress. Reflecting on her impressive performance at the Battle of the Bayou, he acknowledges the strong competition she faced and emphasizes the need for consistent dedication and communication to sustain her success.

As Brianna Lyston continues to make waves in collegiate track and field, Coach Dennis Shaver remains steadfast in his commitment to nurturing her talent, ensuring that she not only excels on the track but also thrives in the broader journey of student-athlete development at LSU.

Lyston runs the 200m at the Tom Jones Invitational this weekend.

Jamaican Southern Miss junior Zayne Palomino secured his third win of the season in the high jump with victory at the Crimson Tide Invitational at the Sam Bailey Stadium in Alabama on Saturday.

Palomino entered the competition with a first-time clearance of 2.05m before clearing 2.10m on his second attempt.

He then needed three attempts to clear 2.14m before eventually clearing 2.17m, his winning height, on his second attempt. Palomino then had three unsuccessful efforts to clear 2.20m, his personal best which he did to win at the Sun Belt Indoor Championships on February 20.

Corvell Todd and Jacob Patten both cleared 2.10m for second and third.

Barton County Community College sophomore Christopher Young was also a winner on Saturday, producing 18.57m for top spot in the men’s shot put.

Memphis sophomore Sascha Schmidt threw 18.43m in second while Southern Miss sophomore Piers Cameron threw 17.95m for third.

On the track, Florida State sophomore Shenese Walker won the women’s 200m in 23.20 ahead of teammate Kaniya Johnson (23.62) and Southern Miss senior Kenia Seals (23.65).

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