When Nikisha Pryce clocked a lifetime best of 49.32 seconds at the Southeastern Conference Championships in Gainesville, Florida on May 11, one of the keen observers was Shericka Williams. Now 38 years old and residing in the United States, Williams currently shares with Pryce the title of second-fastest Jamaican woman ever to run the 400m. Pryce's time sits just two-thousandths of a second shy of Lorraine Graham’s national record of 49.30, set in Monaco 22 years ago.

Williams, a three-time Olympic silver medalist who also won five silver medals at the World Championships, came agonizingly close to breaking the national record herself at the 2009 championships in Berlin, where she finished as runner-up to Jamaican-born American Sanya Richards.

Having closely followed Pryce’s progression over the years, Williams expressed her belief in the 23-year-old SEC champion’s potential to surpass Fenton’s longstanding record. In an exclusive chat with Sportsmax.TV, Williams shared her insights: “I have been watching her progress and how much she has grown in the event. I do believe she has the ability to break the national record if she remains focused, continues to stay healthy, and avoids overworking herself.”

Reflecting on Pryce’s athletic prowess, Williams continued, “We both share the joint second-fastest time. From observing her performances indoors and outdoors, she runs smoothly with apparent ease, and her 200m speed complements her 400m ability. Lorraine’s record has stood for years, and despite attempts from myself, Novelene (Williams), and others, it remains unbroken. I hope Nikisha can achieve this feat and also secure a spot on the Olympic team, reaching the final and delivering a performance worthy of a medal.”

Williams, who shares a similar physique to Pryce, believes that breaking the record is within reach. Recalling her near-miss in 2009, she noted, “I was in 48-second shape going into the championships based on my training. However, I didn’t execute my race properly; my third 100 meters was too slow. Breaking the record hinges on how well you manage each 100 meters, and with the leg speed I possessed, I truly believe I could have set a new record, but unfortunately, I couldn’t get my race strategy right.”

Despite her near-miss, Williams holds high hopes for Pryce, the current senior at the University of Arkansas. “I wish her all the best, and I will be cheering her on,” Williams concluded, expressing optimism that Pryce could achieve what she and many others have aimed for but fallen short of accomplishing.

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.

 

 

 

 

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).

 

 

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.

 

 

Arkansas superstar freshman Jaydon Hibbert has been named as the US Track and Field and Cross- Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Male National Athlete of the Week.

The 18-year-old Jamaican demolished the World U20 record as well as the collegiate outdoor record in the triple jump this past weekend at the SEC Outdoor Championships when he produced a wind-legal 17.87m on his second attempt.

That added nearly one foot to the previous collegiate record of 17.57m, set by Keith Connor of SMU back in 1982.

Hibbert is now the holder of both the indoor and outdoor collegiate triple jump records. He shattered the collegiate indoor record in a winning effort at the NCAA Indoor Championships back in March when he jumped 17.54m.

Jaydon Hibbert, the University of Arkansas' SEC Freshman of the Year and reigning World U20 champion, has set the bar high for his competitors after an outstanding performance in the men’s triple jump at the SEC Championships last weekend. Hibbert believes that despite his world-leading 17.87m jump, his best is yet to come this season.

 Speaking after his remarkable performance at LSU’s Bernie Moore Stadium in Baton Rogue, Hibbert revealed that his target for the meet was nowhere close to what he eventually unleashed.  “The mark that I came out here with was 17.4/17.5 at max,” he said. “When I saw the 17.8, I just said ‘Okay, that’s it for me today,’ It’s all about trusting the process. God has shown me in plenty ways that I am talented. I am obviously favored. I do put in the hard work, but I have to give this one to God because I don’t think there is any 18-year-old that does the stuff that I do.”

 Hibbert, who also set a World U20 and NCAA Indoor record of 17.54m this season, believes that he needs to stop putting limits on himself. “I am going to reset, refocus, get ready for regionals. I don’t even know if I’m going to peak until World Champs because I am not even at my peak right now and I am already close to 18m, so I am just going to go back to the drawing board, see what Coach Travis Geopfert says, just have fun and take it from there,” he said.

 The 18-year-old’s jump is six centimeters farther than the previous world lead of 17.81m set by Burkina Faso's Hugues Fabrice Zango on May 5, and is also a World U20, NCAA, and Facility record. Hibbert's jump is the second-best jump ever by a Jamaican, trailing James Beckford’s national record of 17.92m set in Odessa, Texas in May 1995, by a mere five centimeters.

Despite his success, Hibbert is remaining humble, stating, “That’s a mark amongst the greats. I am just an 18-year-old that started the event like three years ago, so, I don’t even know what to say. It’s still soaking in at this point.” However, his competitors will have to contend with the prodigious young athlete, who is likely to make his debut as not only a medal contender but a gold medal contender at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest.

 

After running a personal best of 1:45.89 to claim the South Eastern Conference (SEC) title at the conference championships at the University of Missouri on Saturday, Mississippi State’s Navasky Anderson said he is just getting started on his way to becoming the best ever 800m runner from Jamaica.

The time, the 14th fastest in the world this year is the fastest by a Jamaican and is just over half a second shy of Seymour Newman’s national record of 1:45.21 set back in 1977.

The former St Jago athlete held off Sam Whitmarsh of Texas A&M and Georgia’s Claymore Pender, who each ran personal best times of 1:46.09 and 1:46.71 for second and third, respectively in the race where the top-six all produced lifetime best performances.

However, for Anderson, a junior at Mississippi State, this is where his quest to go beyond Newman’s 45-year-old record begins.

“My job here is just now getting started,” he told Sportsmax.TV on Sunday.

“My goal is not only to be the best 800m that passes through Jamaica but also to bring the awareness and the spotlight to the younger generation letting them know that we can be dominant in the 800m as well.

“I will stay humble and work, my times will speak for themselves in due time.”

The 21-year-old Anderson has had to put in the work over the past few years to get to this point where he is within touching distance of the long-standing national record that only a few other Jamaicans like Clive Terrelonge (1:45.44), Mario Watson (1:45.58) and Alex Morgan (1:45.58) have got close to.

“To be great in the 800m there has to be a constant shift in mechanism, being able to run a fast 400m or 200m repeats today and being to hit a steady 10 miles the next morning,” said Anderson who stands at a wiry 1.93m (6’ 4”).

“Not everyone has the same body type or is built the way I am. I stay fit with morning runs and coordinate with my strength coach to get workouts that are going to help me move forward at least two to three times weekly.”

The journey to this point has been difficult but he has never given up hope nor lost sight of his goals as an athlete even when things were not going according to plan while he was at St Jago.

“I started high school running the 400m and the 1500m, taking on the 1500m at champs for my first two years. I made the finals both years but it was constant downhill after that,” he said, explaining that he believes “It was just not my time. I was training to the best of my ability but I wasn’t able to compete at a high level at Champs.”

Notwithstanding those early disappointments, Anderson never gave up and his fortunes began to change when he moved on to Essex County College in the United States.

“I stayed motivated and worked with Coach Andrew Kidd, who helped me develop a strong endurance background. I then went to Coach Lionel Leech at Essex County College. From 1:57-mid, coach got me down to 1:52-low is less than two years,” he said.

“I then made a great decision to attend Mississippi State, the right 800m university where Coach Chris Woods worked tirelessly to get my time down from 1:52 to 1:45 and still in progress in less than two years. That is spectacular.”

He said he has no plans to rest on his ‘spectacular’ progress with his goal now clearly in sight.

“I’ll keep working and I’ll keep working,” he concluded.

 

 

 

 

Learning from the mistakes made during the indoor season has resulted in a new personal best in the long jump for Carey McLeod this past weekend when he became the 2021 SEC Outdoor champion.

After achieving personal best marks in both long and triple jumps at the SEC Championships in Fayetteville last weekend, Tennessee’s Carey McLeod believes his best this season is yet to come as he aims to seal a spot on Jamaica’s team to the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

It was all about the comeback for Texas A&M’s Tyra Gittens, who rebounded from a disappointing first day at last week’s SEC Indoor Championships to win two gold medals and consequently, the coveted Cliff Harper Award for scoring the most points.

It was her second hold on the award and the first time an athlete has won it outright since 1997.

In two weeks, she will seek pentathlon redemption at the NCAA National Championships where she intends to break the collegiate record of 4703 points held by Georgia’s Kendall Williams.

“To win the Cliff Harper Award for the second time was definitely a good feeling. After my performance on Thursday, I was definitely down, I was definitely embarrassed, I was definitely upset but it’s all about the comeback. It’s all about how you come back from a terrible performance,” she told Sportsmax.TV.

“We are all human. We are all going to have those days as athletes but I was very proud of myself. This is my first time winning two gold medals at SECs and I was so happy to be able to put up 23 points. It’s reassuring knowing my team can rely on me and I know I can rely on myself to come back from devastating situations.”

Expected to do well in the pentathlon, after scoring a personal best 4612 points at the Texas Tech Invitational on January 29, things could not have gone worse for the 22-year-old Trinidadian in her efforts to defend the title she won in 2020.

The worst of those performances came in the long jump where she only managed to register a mark of 4.11m, well below her season-best of 6.62m.

She was forced to settle for sixth place, her score of 3818 points, a massive 703 shy of the 4501 scored by the newly crowned 2021 champion, Anna Hall of Georgia.

Despondent and embarrassed by her poor showing, Gittens turned to family for refuge.

“After talking to my family and talking to my sister, she played college volleyball, and she said anytime a negative thought would come in she would grab the thought and just throw it away and all of last night (Thursday) that is what I was doing,” she revealed.

“I wouldn’t even let it linger. As soon as I felt some negativity, I just grabbed it and threw it away and it worked because today (Friday) it was only positive and negative Tyra was out of sight.”

It worked.

Within an hour late Friday, Gittens won two gold medals for Texas A&M. First, cleared 1.89m – just shy of her personal best 1.91m - in the high jump to defeat LSU’s Abigail O’Donohogue and avenge her pentathlon loss to Hall, who were second and third, respectively, each having cleared 1.86m.

She then equalled her personal best (6.62m) to win the long jump ahead of LSU’s Aliyah Whisby (6.61m) and Georgia’s Titiana Marsh (6.39m).

“Today (Friday) was all about beating myself because yesterday I let the negative Tyra, the bad Tyra that we don’t like to see, overtake,” said an elated Gittens afterwards.

“I let her win yesterday and today (Friday) I relaxed, I had fun. I did everything that I wanted to do with executing and I cannot be happier. I am exhausted, but I am so proud of myself, and I am very happy.”

The comeback completed, redemption comes next and that will be the point of her focus over the next two weeks.

“These two weeks are going to be very important. I have a lot to work on,” she said. “I am going to use it to train and just get consistent and I am coming for the NCAA record.”

Texas A&M’s Charokee Young will miss out on the SEC Championships that began on Thursday because she has been exposed to someone infected by Covid-19.

Tyra Gittens goes into tomorrow’s SEC Championships in a confident mood seeing how well she has performed indoors this season.

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