Defending NCAA 100m champion Julien Alfred stormed to victory in the 100m at the Texas Invitational at the Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas on Saturday when O’Brien Wasome produced a dominant performance to win the triple jump.

Alfred, the University of Texas senior, who dominated the NCAA Indoor season and was named USTFCCA Indoor Athlete of the Year, has taken her outstanding form outdoors, running 10.95 to win the blue-ribbon dash over Texas teammate Kevona Davis who edged Ashanti Moore by 0.004 to take second. Both women were credited with 11.14.

American Gabby Thomas, the Tokyo Olympics 200m bronze medallist demonstrated her strength in the 400m which she won in a personal best 49.68.

Lynna Irby-Jackson finished second in 50.40 while first-year pro Charokee Young was third in 50.64.

Commonwealth Games 400m hurdles silver medallist Shiann Salmon was fifth in 51.99.

Texas senior Johnathan Jones was third in the 400m clocking 46.50 while finishing behind Texas State’s Dominic Yancy who ran 46.39 and winner Brian Herron of Texas, who crossed the line in 46.14.

Wasome, meanwhile, was winning the triple jump with a jump of 16.80m.

Jeremiah Davies of Florida State University’s 16.01m gave him second while Jemuel Allen of the University of Texas at San Antonio jumped 15.50m for third.

 

 

Julien Alfred’s incredible exploits on the track so far this season has reaped rich benefits.

The 21-year-old Alfred, the 2023 NCAA Indoor 60m and 200m champion and the second-fastest woman of all time over the two distances, is to be awarded a diplomatic passport by the Government of St Lucia, who will also provide her with financial assistance after she graduates from the University of Texas later this year.

Alfred, the 2022 Commonwealth Games 100m silver medalist, enjoyed a record-breaking indoor season the likes of which has never been seen before.

She broke St Lucia’s national record five times in the 60m dash running times of 7.05, 7.02, 7.05, 7.0, 7.03, 6.97, 6.96 and 6.94.

Alfred, the 2022 NCAA 100m champion, was also the first NCAA female sprinter to break seven seconds in the 60m dash and did it three times during the season culminating in a time of 6.94, which is tied for second fastest all-time with the USA’s Aleia Hobbs.

Only Russia’s Irina Privalova’s world record of 6.92 is faster.

 The St Lucian star won her second gold medal at the NCAA National Indoors when she ran 22.01 to set a new NCAA and national record, lowering the 22.09 set by the University of Kentucky’s Abby Steiner in 2022. Only Jamaica’s Merlene Ottey has run faster indoors.

Her achievements were recognized by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Association (USTFCCA) who named her the NCAA Indoor Female Athlete of the Year.

It is against this background that her country’s government made its announcement on Saturday.
“St Lucia’s global sprint star and Olympic hopeful Julien Alfred will receive a diplomatic passport and continued financial support from the government to ensure she continues to receive the best training opportunities after her graduation from the University of Texas this year,” the government said in a Facebook post on Saturday morning.

“St Lucia and the world continues to witness the valiant feats and the breaking of records by Julien Alfred.”

Alfred has continued her impressive form outdoors running a world-leading 21.91 in the 200m at the Tom Jones Memorial on April 14 and then a day later capped the meet off running 10.72 in the 100m aided by a wind of 2.4 m/s.

 

Jamaica's Arkansas sophomore Ackera Nugent broke Michelle Freeman’s 25-year-old national indoor 60m hurdles record on her way to becoming the fastest qualifier for the final at the NCAA Division I Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Friday.

Nugent, 20, ran a spectacular new personal best 7.72 to win heat one, breaking Freeman’s record of 7.74 done in Gainesville in 1998, to set up an exciting clash in Saturday’s final between herself and Kentucky senior Masai Russell, who ran 7.78 to win heat two.

Nugent’s time is also a new collegiate record, world lead and meet record.

 Texas Tech senior, Jamaica's Demisha Roswell also advanced to the final after running a personal best 7.92 to finish third in heat one.

Trinidad & Tobago’s Devin Augustine and Jamaica’s Ashanti Moore were among the winners at the 2023 Longhorn Invitational at the Mike A. Myers Stadium in Texas on Saturday.

Augustine, a 19-year-old sophomore at the University of Minnesota, ran a personal best 10.26 to win the Men’s equivalent ahead of teammate Carlon Hosten (10.28) and Texas’ Nolton Shelvin (10.28). Augustine’s time is also a new Minnesota school record.

The Trinidadian was also victorious in the 200m with 20.60, which would have been a new personal best if not for the 2.2m/s wind. Another Trinidadian Minnesota athlete, 22-year-old junior Kion Benjamin, was second in 20.70 while Shelvin, like in the 100m, was third in 20.75.

Moore, the 22-year-old former Hydel star, ran 11.27 to win the Women’s 100m ahead of Americans Anavia Battle (11.31) and Lynna Irby (11.33). The same three made up the podium places in the 200m as well with Moore finishing third this time in 23.01 behind Irby (22.65) and Battle (22.93).

In the field, 26-year-old former Jamaica College star O’Brien Wasome jumped 16.72m for victory in the Men’s triple jump ahead of the UTSA pair of Jemuel Miller (16.02m), and Jacob Jenkins (15.77m).

As someone who didn’t excel at the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships in her home country of Jamaica, Dominique Clarke has gradually made a name for herself at the University at Albany in New York. A sophomore, Clarke is now a two-time America East 60m champion and the 2023 200m champion despite the fact that she is not a fan of running indoors.

At the America East Indoor Championships at the Track at New Balance in Boston just over a week ago, Clarke defended her 60m title, winning in 7.45, 0.10 faster than the time with which she won last year and led her teammates Adaliz Hunt and Rori Lowe in a sweep for UAlbany.

She repeated the feat in the 200m that she won in a championship record of 23.69 with teammates Jazmen Newberry and Lowe also ending up on the podium. It was the first time in UAlbany history that anyone had accomplished that feat.

This was a significant milestone for Clarke, who grew up in the tiny community of Constitution Hill in St Andrew and attended Papine High School where she didn’t even take up track until 2016 while she was in Grade 10.

“In 2019 I didn’t get past the first round because I was hurt and then 2020 Champs got cancelled and that was the first year I broke 12 seconds,” she recalled.

“Champs was one of the hardest things to get a medal at since I started so late in my Class II years.”

Unfortunately, her winning times were not fast enough to qualify her for a place at the NCAA Division 1 championships set to begin on March 10 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. However, she has found a silver lining in the disappointment.

“I did not get to qualify for nationals but I am very grateful,” she told Sportsmax.TV.

“I’ve run the fastest times ever so early in the season. I am looking forward to a better outdoor season because indoor has been great. I’ve never been one to set goals. I just try to be in front of where I was the year before. As long as I am training, I just need to know I am clocking a faster time than last year.”

Notwithstanding the success she has found running indoors at UAlbany, Clarke admits she is not a fan of indoor running but is grateful for the opportunities it has afforded her.

“Everywhere you go you are going to have so pros and cons, some good and bad. At Albany, the weather is the worst part but it has been okay so far. My experiences here at Albany have been great even though my path has sometimes been rocky but I am so grateful that I am here,” she said.

“I don’t really like indoors, the experience has been very hard for me because I am not one of the best starters but if I get it on a day I will run a proper time. It is very hard to compete indoors because it’s way shorter because I am a 100/200 runner. The 200 indoor is not for me either but nevertheless I always try my best because you can’t defeat yourself from the beginning say you can’t do it.”

UAlbany has also given Clarke the chance to develop some of her other skills that she intends to exploit in the years to come.

 “I am majoring in sociology and minor in creative writing,” she said.

“After track of whenever, I am definitely going to write some books because I am a really good poet, many people don’t know that about me. I am also going to write sociology books about the 20th century those are the things I am interested in.”

Texas senior Julien Alfred added the 200m title to the 60m crown she already won at the Big 12 Indoor Championships at the Sports Performance Center in Lubbock Texas.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games 100m silver medallist, who ran 6.97, a new personal best and NCAA and national record, to win the 60m earlier on Saturday, showed the same awesome form to set a new meet record in the 200m as well.

The 21-year-old ran 22.26, another personal best, to win comfortably ahead of teammate Lanae Thomas (22.63) and Texas tech’s Rosemary Chukwuma (22.68).

Jamaican Texas sophomore Kevona Davis was fourth in 22.76.

Jamaican Texas A&M senior Lamara Distin continued her unbeaten run in the NCAA high jump in 2023 by winning the SEC Indoor title in Fayetville on Saturday.

Distin, gold medallist at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, entered the Championships on the back of wins at the Razorback Invitational on January 27, New Mexico Collegiate Classic on February 3 and the Clemson Tiger Paw Invitational on February 11.

The 22-year-old former Hydel High standout entered the competition at 1.80m and had a perfect card all the way through, eventually achieving a winning height of 1.95, a new meet record.

She also had three unsuccessful attempts at 2.00m which would’ve been a new personal best and broken her own national record of 1.97m.

Georgia sophomore Elena Kulichenko finished second with 1.92m while LSU junior Morgan Smalls cleared 1.80 for third.

St. Lucian Commonwealth Games silver medallist Julien Alfred and Jamaican sprint hurdler Demisha Roswell struck gold for Texas and Texas Tech, respectively, at the Big 12 Indoor Championships at the Sports Performance Center in Lubbock, Texas on Saturday.

Texas’ Alfred, who set a then-meet record of 7.03 in the heats on Friday, became the first woman in NCAA history to break the 7-second barrier by speeding to 6.97 to win Saturday’s final ahead of Texas Tech junior Rosemary Chukwuma (7.17) and Alfred’s Texas teammate Ezinne Abba (7.17). Alfred’s time.

The St. Lucian senior now owns the six fastest 60m times in NCAA history and 6.97 puts the 21-year-old in a three-way tie for eighth on the all-time list alongside the Ivory Coast’s Murielle Ahoure and the USVI’s Laverne Jones-Ferrette.

It also puts her second in the world in 2023 behind American Aleia Hobbs’ 6.94 at the US Indoor Championships in New Mexico on February 18.

Elsewhere, Jamaican Texas Tech senior Demisha Roswell produced a time of 8.04 to defend her 60m hurdles title. Kansas’ Gabrielle Gibson ran 8.11 for second while Iowa State’s Katarina Vlahovic ran 8.25 for third.

 

Former Kingston College standout Wayne Pinnock produced a personal best 8.31m to finish second in the Men’s long jump at the South East Conference (SEC) Indoor Championships in Fayetville on Friday.

The Arkansas sophomore, who transferred from Tennessee in the summer, only jumped twice in the competition producing 8.10m in the first round before achieving his personal best in round two.

The event was won by American Mississippi State senior Cameron Crump who achieved a personal best of his own with 8.39m, breaking US Olympian JuVaughn Harrison’s meet record 8.33m done in 2021.

Jamaican Arkansas senior Carey McLeod was third with 8.19m. McLeod produced distances of 8.09m, 8.19m and 8.17m in his series.

Pinnock’s distance puts him joint 32nd all time on the indoor long jump list and second among Jamaicans with only James Beckford’s 8.40m done in Madrid in 1996 ahead of him.

 Travis Williams said his record run to win the 200m at the America East Indoor Track and Field Championships on Sunday came as a bit of a surprise but he knew the 60m record would go.

His coach, meanwhile, is pleased with the progress the young sprinter has been showing this season.

The 19-year-old sophomore at the University at Albany in New York established a new conference record, championship and school record of 6.64 while storming to victory in the 60m dash. The time was just off his lifetime of 6.59 set at the Millrose Games on February 11.

Later in the day, he clocked 20.89, also a championship and conference record to win the 200m and take the sprint double at the championships, capping a fantastic weekend for the emerging sprinter, whose previous indoor best was 21.71.

“It felt great! The 60m record was always up for grabs it was just me that had to go do what was needed to be done,” he told Sportsmax.TV.

“The 200m record was what really shocked me because I always knew I was going to run something fast but I never knew it was going to be anywhere near 20.89. I guess I underestimated my abilities to pull off a 20-point indoor.”

The performances, he said, have been a fillip as he prepares for the NCAA Division 1 nationals in Albuquerque, New Mexico in three weeks.

“It was a huge confidence booster because I know it’s only going to translate over more to my 60m over the next three weeks and hopefully pull off a win. I know I have the capabilities to do something great it’s just up to me to do what needs to be done.”

Assistant Coach for Sprints at Albany Junior Burnett revealed that he was impressed by Williams’ showing on the weekend and indicated that he has been making progress in training.

“It was a great weekend for Travis and the short sprinters. I feel very happy for his success on the track, performances, victories, and records. After a great week of training, it was fabulous to see these records go down,” Coach Burnett said.

“Travis executed his races very well. He remained focused on the details for success. He didn’t perform to his competition level, but out-performed them.

“His level of confidence going in was high and that propelled him to these victories and records. Just running with Christian Coleman and beating him to 20m is big for him.”

The coach said Travis has been making good progress this season and continues to do so as he prepares for nationals.

“I am pleased with his progress at this point in time. He is doing must things asked of him,” Coach Burnett said.

“He has the NCAA D1 national meet in three weeks in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Preparation will be geared towards that. So he has to remain locked in to detail for the next 15 days in order to achieve the goals set.

“He is grasping the things asked of him in each training session - Correct blocks clearance, acceleration angles and transition phase and relax max velocity.”

Travis’ performance at Millrose and again at the America East Championships have put him in the spotlight, Coach Burnett believes, and it has been deserved because of the work the young sprinter has been putting in to get where he is now.

“Travis breaking two conference records opened many eyes across US East and West Coast. People are looking at what he’s doing in Albany, New York,” the proud coach said.

“These records are testament of his hard work, confidence in training and system of training. We have a great training and practice environment at Albany with the likes of Shakur Williams and others create winning atmosphere.”

 

Brianna Lyston and Rikkoi Brathwaite secured second place finishes in their respective 60m races at the Louisiana State University (LSU) Twilight at the Carl Maddox Fieldhouse on Friday.

Lyston, the 18-year-old Jamaican LSU freshman and 2022 World Under-20 200m Champion, followed up her personal best 7.29 performance at the Tyson Invitational on February 10 with a 7.30 effort for second.

The race was won by Lyston’s LSU teammate and Nigerian Commonwealth Games 200m silver medallist Favor Ofili who ran 7.18 while Symone Mason of Tiger Olympians was third in 7.39.

The British Virgin Islands’ Brathwaite, formerly of Indiana University and now representing the Garden State Track Club, ran 6.63 in the men’s equivalent. The race was won by LSU’s Godson Oghenebrume in 6.58 while his LSU teammate Da’Marcus Fleming was third in 6.70.

Brathwaite, 23, was a finalist at the NACAC Championships in Freeport last year, running 10.20 for fifth.

In the field, Bahamian Northwestern State sophomore Carnitra Mackey threw a personal best 14.06m to win the women’s shot out ahead of teammate Deanmonique Granville (13.15m) and McNeese State’s Jaslyn Russell (13.04m).

Brathwaite’s countryman, Northwestern State junior Djimon Gumbs, was second in the men’s equivalent with a best throw of 17.93m. LSU’s Chilean Olympian Claudio Romero threw 18.06m for the win while McNeese State’s Marcus Francis was well behind in third with 15.02m.

 

 

Jamaican Lamara Distin continued to prove that she is a class above the rest in the NCAA Women’s High Jump by breaking her own national indoor record to win the high jump at the Tiger Paw Invitational at Clemson University on Saturday.

Texas A&M’s Distin, who has yet to lose indoors this season, jumped 1.97m to win ahead of teammate Bara Sajdokova who produced 1.87m while Georgia’s Elena Kulichenko jumped 1.84m for third.

Distin’s mark equals her own outdoor national record which she did on her way to winning gold at the NCAA Championships.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games gold medallist has now achieved winning clearances this season of 1.90m at the Razorback Classic on January 27, 1.94m at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic on February 3 and 1.97m on Saturday.

Elsewhere, 2019 World Championships shot put silver medallist Danniel Thomas-Dodd threw 18.74m to comfortably win the event ahead of Hannah Hall who threw 16.71m and Ana da Silva who threw 16.60m for third.

Jamaicans also occupied the top two spots in the Men’s triple jump as Virginia’s Owayne Owens produced 16.59m for victory ahead of Kentucky’s Luke Brown who produced 16.43m. Ohio State’s Clarence Foote-Talley was third with 15.88m.

Antiguan Tennessee junior Joella Lloyd got her second 60m win of the season at the Tiger Paw Invitational at Clemson University on Friday.

The 20-year-old clocked a season’s best 7.17, narrowly short of her personal best and national record 7.15 set back in 2021, to win ahead of Tennessee teammate Jacious Sears who did 7.22 and Jamaican Ohio State senior Yanique Dayle who did 7.34.

This performance marked an improvement from Lloyd’s first appearance of the season where she ran times of 7.34 and 7.21 in the heats and the final to finish first and third, respectively, at the Bob Pollock Invitational on January 27.

Elsewhere, Jamaican World Championships representative Charokee Young, who has now turned professional, finished fourth overall in the Women’s 400m.

The former Hydel High and Texas A&M standout ran 52.11 to win the first of 20 heats but her time saw her finish fourth overall behind USC’s Jan’Taijah Jones and Texas A&M’s Jermaisha Arnold, who both did 51.89 while Arnold’s teammate Kennedy Wade did 52.10 for third.

Meanwhile, Barbadian Texas senior Jonathan Jones finished fourth overall in the men’s equivalent. He ran a time of 45.78 to finish as runner-up in the first heat behind Texas A&M’s Auhmad Robinson who ran 45.65. Robinson’s time was good enough for second overall behind Georgia’s Elijah Godwin who produced 45.63. Tennesee’s Emmanuel Bynum ran 45.67 for third overall.

Jones’ time was slightly faster than the 45.83 he did to open his season with a win at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic on February 4.

 

Texas standout and St. Lucian 100m and 200m national record holder Julien Alfred opened her 2023 indoor collegiate season with a 23.10 effort to win the 200m at the University of Louisville Cardinal Classic at the Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Centre. 

Jamaica's Kevona Davis, also of Texas, was second in 23.57 while their teammate Lanae Thomas ran 23.65 for third.

The time was also a new facility record for the St. Lucian who is coming off a phenomenal 2022 season in which she won 100m titles at the Caribbean Games and NCAA Championships.

She also took 100m silver at the Commonwealth Games and became the NCAA record holder in the indoor 60m.

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