In an extraordinary display of athleticism, Nikisha Pryce capped her collegiate career in spectacular fashion, being crowned NCAA National Division 1 400m champion on Saturday. Pryce, representing the University of Arkansas, achieved a lifetime best of 48.89 seconds, setting a new standard as the fastest time ever run by a collegiate woman.

This remarkable performance also established a new Jamaican national record, making Pryce the first Jamaican woman to run the 400m under 49 seconds. Her time was the world-leading mark this year until American Sydney McLaughlin Levrone ran 48.75 seconds at the New York Grand Prix on Sunday.

The achievement was part of a larger triumph for the University of Arkansas Women's team, which claimed the national title. Pryce, alongside teammates Kaylyn Brown, Amber Anning, and Rosey Effiong, completed a historic 'super sweep' by securing the top four places in the 400m finals. The quartet later shattered the collegiate record in the 4x400m relay with a time of 3:17.96, cementing a dominant victory and a memorable conclusion to their NCAA season.

On Tuesday, Pryce took to Instagram to reflect on her incredible journey and express her gratitude. "As my college athletic career came to a close, I couldn’t have asked for a better finish. It was a moment I will never forget, and it was the perfect way to end my time as a college athlete. Looking back on all the hard work and dedication I put into my sport over the years, I felt proud and grateful for the memories I had made along the way," she shared.

Pryce continued, "It was a fitting conclusion to a collegiate chapter of my life that I will always cherish. I want to take a moment to express my gratitude to @razorbacktfxc @capt_johnson and each and every member of our college track team. It has been an incredible journey filled with hard work, dedication, and unforgettable moments. I am so grateful for the support and encouragement that you have all shown me throughout my time on the team. Thank you for pushing me to be the best athlete I could be and for always believing in me. I will cherish the memories we have made together on and off the track forever. Thank you for being a part of my college track experience and for making it truly special."

Pryce's record-setting 48.89 seconds and her contributions to the 4x400m relay marked significant milestones in her career. "48.89, 400m Collegiate Record Holder, 4x400m Collegiate Record Holde, Jamaican National Record Holder??," she proudly posted, signing off with, "Signing Out ~ N. Pryce."

Looking ahead, Pryce is expected to sign a professional contract soon as she prepares to compete at Jamaica's national championships later this month. Her sights are set on securing a spot on her country's team for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, a goal that now seems well within her reach given her recent performances.

Pryce's collegiate career may have come to an end, but her legacy at the University of Arkansas and in the realm of collegiate athletics will endure, inspiring future generations of athletes to reach for greatness.

 

World championship long jump silver medallist Wayne Pinnock has officially turned professional, signing a contract with global sportswear giant PUMA. Pinnock, who just completed his junior year at the University of Arkansas, has decided to forego his final year of college eligibility to focus fully on his burgeoning athletic career.

The 23-year-old Jamaican has been making significant waves in the track and field world with his impressive performances on both international and collegiate stages. Pinnock led the world in 2023 with a lifetime best of 8.54m and secured the silver medal at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest. His collegiate accolades include being the 2022 NCAA Outdoor Champion and winning Indoor titles for the Razorbacks in 2022 and 2024.

Previously, Pinnock was signed to PUMA through a Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) deal, allowing him to balance his academic commitments with his professional aspirations. However, his recent decision to turn pro marks a significant shift, as he now fully dedicates himself to his athletic career.

"I'm incredibly grateful and humbled to be signing with PUMA as a professional athlete," Pinnock said. "This is a dream come true for me, and I'm excited to represent the brand at the highest level."

Pinnock's excitement for his new professional chapter is palpable, and he is confident that PUMA's support will be instrumental in his future successes. "I'm looking forward to this new chapter in my career, and I'm confident that with PUMA's support, I'll be able to achieve great things in the world of track and field. I'm ready to put in the work and make Jamaica and my fans proud," he added.

With his signing, Pinnock joins the ranks of elite professional athletes sponsored by PUMA. His presence is expected to be a significant asset in the brand's marketing efforts moving forward, solidifying PUMA's commitment to supporting top-tier athletic talent.

 

 

Jamaican Olympic icon Veronica Campbell-Brown was inducted into the NJCAA Foundation Hall of Fame on Thursday night. The prestigious event, part of the fourth annual NJCAA Foundation Awards, took place at the Hilton Charlotte University Place in Charlotte, North Carolina where Campbell-Brown was recognized for her illustrious career that has left an indelible mark on the sport of track and field.

Expressing her gratitude on Instagram, Campbell Brown wrote, “Thank you @njcaa for the Hall of Fame induction, I deeply appreciate this prestigious recognition. I want to thank everyone who supported and believed in me throughout my journey.” She received her award with her husband Omar and their two children proudly looking on from the audience.

The NJCAA Hall of Fame aims to celebrate individuals who have significantly contributed to opportunities at the two-year college level, both athletically and professionally. The Hall of Fame honours administrators, coaches, student-athletes, and influential contributors who have been pioneers throughout the association's history.

Campbell Brown's journey to greatness began in Trelawny, Jamaica, and led her to Barton Community College (KS), an NJCAA member, on a track and field scholarship. As a Cougar, she set numerous records, some of which still stand today.

She holds NJCAA records in the 200m outdoor and the 60m indoor track and field events. After her successful stint at Barton, she moved to the University of Arkansas, where she continued to break records and is now celebrated as the most decorated Olympic athlete associated with the state.

Turning professional in 2004, Campbell Brown made history at the Athens Olympics, becoming the first Jamaican woman to win a gold medal in a sprint event. Her performance at these Games, which also included a gold in the relay and a bronze in the 200m, established her as the most successful Caribbean athlete at a single Olympics.

She continued to shine at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, becoming only the second woman to defend her 200m title successfully.

Her Olympic career spanned five Games, from 2000 to 2016, where she competed in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay, medaling in each edition. Her rivalry with Allyson Felix is one of the most memorable in athletics, with both athletes dominating the 200m event from 2004 onwards.

Beyond the Olympics, Campbell Brown's achievements include multiple medals at the World Championships, Commonwealth Games, World Indoor Championships, Continental Cup, World Athletics Final, World Relay Championships, World Junior Championships, CAC Junior Championships, and Carifta Games.

 

Since retiring, Campbell Brown has taken on roles such as a UNESCO Sport Ambassador and founder of the VCB Foundation, which provides mentorship and financial assistance to young women in Jamaica.

Campbell Brown’s induction into the NJCAA Hall of Fame recognizes her remarkable contributions to track and field and her enduring impact on the sport and beyond.

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.

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.

Rojé Stona, the standout discus thrower from Jamaica, has received an invitation to the Green Bay Packers' minicamp, showcasing his potential as a professional football player despite his background solely in track and field.

Stona's achievements in 2024 have been remarkable, including a silver medal in NCAA Indoor shot put, setting a University of Arkansas indoor shot put record with a throw of 20.48m and achieving a career-best discus throw of 69.05m that surpasses the Paris Olympics standard.

At 6’ 6” and 263 lbs and known for his NFL body type and impressive athletic traits, Stona is venturing into the world of professional football without prior competitive experience in the sport. His background in discus and shot put has endowed him with explosive hips, exceptional core strength, long arms, and large hands—attributes that make him a compelling prospect as a tight end.

Despite his lack of football background, Stona's athleticism has caught the attention of NFL scouts. He performed well in running and jumping during his recent pro day, showcasing his raw potential. However, transitioning into football will require Stona to learn essential skills such as blocking and refining his route running and catching abilities.

As he embarks on this new journey, Stona is committed to proving himself and becoming a successful NFL player. His determination and physical gifts make him a promising candidate for teams looking to invest in an undrafted free agent with significant upside.

Stona's invitation to the Green Bay Packers' minicamp marks an exciting chapter in his athletic career, and he is poised to make the most of this opportunity as he pursues his dream of playing professional football.

 

 

 

 

 

Jamaican athletes Wayne Pinnock and Romaine Beckford, alongside Bahamian Terrence Jones, made their mark on the March 21 Bowerman Watch List, showcasing their exceptional talent on the collegiate track and field stage.

Pinnock, a Kingston native, concluded an impressive indoor season by remaining undefeated in the long jump. Representing the University of Arkansas, he clinched victory at the NCAA Championships with a remarkable leap of 8.40m, equaling the Jamaican national record set by former teammate Carey McLeod. Pinnock's performance not only secured him the NCAA title but also positioned him at No. 5 on the all-time collegiate chart, tying with McLeod.

Meanwhile, Romaine Beckford, hailing from Portland, Jamaica, demonstrated his prowess in the high jump. Competing for the University of Arkansas, Beckford enjoyed an undefeated indoor season and successfully defended his indoor high jump title. He cleared a height of 2.27m to secure victory at the NCAA Championships in Boston, matching his personal record set earlier in the season.

Bahamian sprinter Terrence Jones, representing Texas Tech University, showcased his speed and versatility on the track. Jones emerged as a double sprint champion at the NCAA Championships in Boston, clinching victory in both the 60m and 200m events. His impressive performances included a winning time of 20.23 seconds in the 200m, just shy of his personal record of 20.21 seconds set at the Big 12 Indoor Championships.

The next Bowerman Watch List will be released on April 11, providing further insight into the standout performers in collegiate track and field.

7venz Media Agency has proudly announced the signing of Jamaican high jumper Romaine Beckford, adding an extraordinary talent to their roster of exceptional athletes. This collaboration signifies a momentous stride in the agency's commitment to supporting athletes both on and off the track, propelling them toward unparalleled success.

Romaine Beckford has emerged as a rising star within the track and field community, showcasing an impressive track record coupled with an unwavering determination to excel. The partnership with 7venz Media Agency signifies the agency's dedication to empowering athletes to reach their pinnacle.

Khimani Clarke, the CEO of 7venz Media Agency, expressed his enthusiasm about welcoming Romaine to their prestigious roster that also includes global championship medalists Danielle Williams, Wayne Pinnock, Hansle Parchment and Briana Williams.

 "Romaine's dedication, passion, and remarkable achievements embody the values we hold dear," said Clarke. "Our team is committed to providing tailored support, guidance, and expertise to help him soar to new heights, both on the track and in his personal brand."

The collaboration will see 7venz Media Agency working closely with Romaine to craft a comprehensive brand strategy, harnessing his unique story and accomplishments to create a lasting impact. The agency will also focus on securing partnerships and collaborations that align with Romaine's values and aspirations.

Excitement radiated from Romaine Beckford as he expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration. "I am excited to partner with 7venz Media Agency," Beckford shared. "Their passion, expertise, and commitment to athlete empowerment are a great look. I am confident that together, we will achieve great things and inspire others to do the same."

With Romaine Beckford on board, 7venz Media Agency continues to cement its status as a trailblazer in the sports marketing industry. Prioritizing athlete-centric values and innovative strategies, the agency is poised to redefine the landscape of sports brand development

In a strategic move fueled by the desire for fresh challenges and a lack of competitive challenges at the collegiate level, Jamaican triple jumper Jaydon Hibbert has secured a significant long-term contract with Puma. As was first reported by Sportsmax.TV late Thursday (25), the 19-year-old sensation, who enjoyed a remarkable freshman year at the University of Arkansas, has chosen to embark on a professional journey while continuing his studies at the esteemed institution.

Henry Rolle, the principal at Preeminence Sports Group and Hibbert's agent, shed light on the decision-making process, emphasizing the athlete's motivation to seek new horizons after achieving unparalleled success at the collegiate level. Hibbert's undefeated streak in both indoor and outdoor competitions during his freshman year highlighted his dominance, prompting a thoughtful evaluation of his next steps.

Hibbert set a World U20 record of 17.54m to win the NCAA Indoor title. He won the outdoor title with a world-leading 17.87m, an NCAA record and World U20 record. Just 18, he capped his incredible season by winning the coveted Bowerman Award in December 2023, becoming the first freshman, the youngest ever collegiate athlete and the first Jamaican to claim the award it’s 25-year history.

Rolle provided key insights into Hibbert's decision, stating, "There was really nothing to motivate him competing at the collegiate level, and he discussed it with his coach and his parents, and, of course, he had that NIL with Puma." Rolle emphasized that the decision was entirely driven by Hibbert's quest for greater challenges and personal growth.

The long-term contract with Puma signifies a crucial milestone for Hibbert's professional aspirations. Despite the transition to a professional career, the Jamaican triple jumper remains committed to completing his education at the University of Arkansas, showcasing a balanced approach to athletic and academic pursuits.

Reflecting on the financial feasibility and the athlete's personal goals, Rolle remarked, "It is a long-term deal that makes it feasible for him to complete his education." This strategic approach ensures that Hibbert can continue his studies while receiving the support and sponsorship necessary for his professional development.

Hibbert's decision to sign with Puma and embrace professionalism was made apparent in a heartfelt message shared on his Instagram page. In the post, he expressed gratitude to the University of Arkansas for its pivotal role in shaping him as both an athlete and an individual. The Razorback spirit instilled during his collegiate journey will accompany him into the professional realm.

“University of Arkansas you have been more than just a school to me. You have been a family. To all my coaches, teammates and professors, you’ve shaped me into the athlete and the person I am today. You’ve instilled in me the Razorback spirit which I will carry with me on my professional journey,” he posted on Instagram.

 “This journey has been filled with unforgettable moments, victories and lessons that I wouldn’t trade for anything. The roar of the crowd at every track meet, the camaraderie, the grind, the triumphs and even the injuries…each has carved a piece and my heart and soul.

“As I say goodbye to my NCAA eligibility and step into my professional career, I do so with a heart full of gratitude. I am not leaving behind the Razorback family; I am taking it with me.”

Hibbert will not compete indoors but will likely participate at a few outdoor collegiate meets in Arkansas and the wider USA before deciding which competitions including Diamond League meets he will be take part in prior to the Jamaica national championships and the Olympics in Paris in July, Rolle said.

 

 

 

 

In a training session that is sending ripples through the track and field community, NCAA triple jump champion Jaydon Hibbert, who recently turned 19, displayed remarkable progress by shattering his previous standing triple jump best mark. Coach Travis Geopfert confirmed that Hibbert leaped out to an impressive 10.87m, a significant improvement from his earlier mark of 10.34m set just last year during his freshman year at the University of Arkansas. (See video below)

The half-metre enhancement in his standing triple jump could be a foreshadowing of greater achievements for the Jamaican athlete in this crucial Olympic year. With his world-leading and personal best mark standing at 17.87m, the question looms whether this remarkable training feat could indicate a trend toward surpassing his own records and possibly Johnathan Edwards' world record of 18.29m.

The year 2023 marked a milestone for Hibbert, securing NCAA Indoor and Outdoor titles with record-breaking jumps of 17.54m and 17.87m, respectively—both ratified as World U20 records. Despite these triumphs, his World Athletics Championships campaign in Budapest was marred by a hamstring injury during the final, cutting his participation short after an impressive preliminary round performance.

Capping off an outstanding year, Hibbert clinched the prestigious Bowerman Award in December, becoming the first Jamaican and the youngest collegiate athlete ever to receive this accolade.

While the Jamaican athlete's recent training feat raises expectations for the upcoming season, Coach Travis Geopfert remains cautious about making predictions. Geopfert acknowledged Hibbert's improvement, stating, “It's almost, I think exactly half-a-metre farther... I think it's a direct correlation to his power more than anything else."

Geopfert emphasized Hibbert's commitment to strength training, noting a substantial increase in his performance, revealing that the Razorback sophomore has added 30lbs to his power clean. However, he remained guarded about predicting specific improvements in Hibbert's full jump, stating, "As far as how it equates to the full jump, it's all relative. Being stronger with the same body weight as last year and he's faster, those are two those are two positive things (but) to give you an exact indicator of how much farther you can jump, that, I don't know.”

The coach hinted at the possibility of surpassing last season's 17.87m personal best but underscored the team's strategic approach to Hibbert's training this year. "He's in better shape than last year, but we're also taking things a little bit slower, putting a little bit more emphasis on strength a little bit longer into the season because last year ended late. So we gave him a rest and started a little bit later this year."

As Jaydon Hibbert prepares for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, the athletics world eagerly anticipates whether this training benchmark is a precursor to more record-breaking feats in the triple jump arena.

In a historic moment for Caribbean athletes, Jamaican Jaydon Hibbert and St Lucian Julien Alfred made history by claiming the prestigious Bowerman Awards in Denver, Colorado on Thursday night. Both the University of Arkansas and the University of Texas in Austin had the chance to sweep the award, a feat never accomplished since its inception in 2009, with both male and female winners in the same year.

The Razorbacks had Hibbert and standout 400m/400m hurdles runner Britton Wilson, while the Longhorns featured elite sprinter Alfred and decathlete Leo Neugebauer among the six finalists. However, it was Hibbert and Alfred who walked away with the coveted Bowerman Award, creating a historic Caribbean sweep.

Hibbert, at just 18 years old, became the first Jamaican, the first college freshman, and the youngest ever athlete to win the award. On the other hand, Alfred became the first St Lucian to claim the prestigious accolade. Both athletes expressed surprise and gratitude during their emotional acceptance speeches, leaving many in tears.

Alfred's coach, Eldrick Floreal, was visibly moved as the sprinter thanked him for the emotional and mental support that transformed her from a timid 17-year-old into a confident 22-year-old woman. Alfred also expressed gratitude to her parents, her proud mother in the audience, her absent father, and her UT teammates.

Hibbert extended his thanks to his coaches, parents, and everyone who played a role in his journey from Vaz Prep through Kingston College to the University of Arkansas.

Both athletes had outstanding years for their respective schools, contributing to their teams' success. Although neither was the first from the Caribbean to win the award (an honor belonging to the late Deon Lendore of Trinidad and Tobago in 2014), their recognition marked the first time that a pair of international student-athletes were honored since the award's inception.

Hibbert, at 18, is not only the youngest winner in the award's history but also the fifth men's horizontal jumper to receive the recognition. Alfred, at 22, is the seventh female sprinter to secure the Bowerman trophy. Both athletes made significant contributions to their teams' success in the NCAA championships, setting records and earning multiple titles.

Hibbert achieved collegiate indoor and outdoor triple jump records during his freshman year, sweeping both NCAA Division 1 indoor and outdoor titles. Alfred, contributing to five NCAA titles for the Longhorns, secured victories in the 60- and 200-meter indoor championships and the 100- and 200-meter outdoor crowns in the same year. She also played a crucial role in Texas winning the 4x100 relay at the Division 1 outdoor final, contributing to the women's team title.

 

American sprinter Britton Wilson, a finalist for the prestigious Bowerman Award, sees the opportunity not only as a chance for personal recognition but also as a means to overcome the disappointment of not winning the 400m/400m hurdles double or either of the two events at the NCAA Outdoor National Championships in Texas last June.

The award that will be presented later today, Thursday, December 14 is named after legendary Oregon track and field coach Bill Bowerman and stands as the highest honor bestowed upon the year's best student-athlete in American collegiate track and field. 

Wilson, who is among the six finalists for the award, expressed her excitement about the possibility of a University of Arkansas sweep, particularly alongside her close friend and fellow athlete, Jaydon Hibbert.

"Yeah, I'm super excited and definitely even more excited that I'm there with Jayden. Me and Jayden have a really great relationship, so we become super close, so besties. So it's really exciting to get to be there with someone that's like one of my best friends and the fact that both the men's staff and the women's staff are all going to be there," Wilson remarked.

The American sprinter emphasized the camaraderie and positive attitude both she and Hibbert share, regardless of the final outcome. "So the environment's going to be really exciting...we're not going to be upset either way because we're both just like so happy and blessed to be there anyway and just to have this experience."

Reflecting on the setbacks she faced, Wilson discussed the impact of injuries on her mental state during the season. "The injury definitely was a little, a little bit of a bummer on like my attitude towards the future. It definitely made things a lot more mentally challenging, but other than that I think the season was really great and I have so many positive memories."

Detailing the severity of her injuries, Wilson explained, "It was both shins. My right one was a Grade 2 stress fracture, and my left one was a Grade 4 stress fracture."

Wilson who had been dominant in both 400m and 400m hurdles all season, attempted a feat no one had managed to accomplish before – win the 400m and 400m hurdles at an NCAA championship. Both events were 25 minutes apart.

Running with stress fractures in both shins, Wilson finished second in the 400m well behind fellow Bowerman finalist Rhasidat Adeleke, who ran 49.20, just missing Wilson’s NCAA record of 49.13. Wilson was well behind in second in 49.64. To add to the disappointment of not winning the flat-four, Wilson was a distant seventh in the 400m hurdles in 55.92, much slower than the 54.67 she ran in the preliminary round.

When asked if winning the Bowerman Award could make up for the disappointment of missing out on the historic double at the championships, Wilson shared her emotional journey.

"I actually was very, very, very heartbroken after the Nationals because I've done the double so many times. And doing that double has become really easy to me. And people think it sounds kind of crazy when I say that, but it feels really easy and I like enjoy doing it. So I was really just excited to do it at Nationals and get the chance to be the first person to do it," Wilson explained.

 

"But everything just kind of wasn't in my favor. The injury was worse. Mentally, I wasn't there. And so it was really heartbreaking because in my heart, I knew I could do it, but it just didn't happen that day," she continued.

Despite the setbacks, Wilson expressed gratitude for being a Bowerman finalist and believes winning the award could be a significant redemption. "Just being a finalist has meant a lot to me. And I think if I were to win it, it would definitely make up for all the little heartbreaks that I had from that Nationals race 'cause it was really hard on me."

Nickisha Pryce has become the latest collegiate athlete from Jamaica to sign a NIL deal. The 22-year-old Pryce, now a junior at the University of Arkansas, has signed a deal with Puma, according to her announcement on Instagram on Tuesday evening.

A NIL deal is an agreement or arrangement between a student-athlete and a third party, such as a brand, company or individual, where the student-athlete receives compensation for the use of their name, image and likeness.

“New level unlocked. Very excited to be a part of the Puma family. It gives me great pleasure to share that I am now an officially recognized Puma NIL athlete. God’s timing is the right timing,” she said in her Instagram post.

The opportunity to earn while still competing at the collegiate level has come on the back of an outstanding season during which Pryce won a bronze medal in the 400m final at the NCAA Division 1 Outdoor final at the Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas, in a then personal best time of 50.23 in June when she was also a member of the Razorback’s gold-medal winning 4x400m relay team.

She would go on to claim her first Jamaican national title at Jamaica’s national championship in Kingston in a new lifetime best to 50.21 in July.

At the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Pryce helped Jamaica to the 4x400m silver medal. Jamaica lost the gold medal at the death to a fast-finishing Netherlands team anchored by the incredible Femke Bol.

Pryce joins fellow Razorback student-athletes Wayne Pinnock and Jaydon Hibbert who have signed NIL deals with Puma. Pinnock, a two-time Jamaica national long jump champion, won the silver medal at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in August while Hibbert, the 2023 world leader in the triple jump at 17.87m, won NCAA Division SEC and NCAA national Indoor and Outdoor titles last season.

 

 

 

 

Jamaica and University of Arkansas long jumper Wayne Pinnock has signed a Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) contract with global sports apparel company Puma. The 22-year-old, two-time national champion made the announcement on Instagram on Saturday.

“I’m thrilled to announce that I’m now an official Puma NIL athlete,” said the former Kingston College athlete, who will represent Jamaica at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in a fortnight, after winning his second national title with a jump of 8.32m in July.

As of June 30, 2012, college student-athletes competing in states without an NIL law will have the freedom to receive compensation for their NIL however they see fit, as long as they do not violate pay-for-play or receive financial incentives to sign with or remain at a program. 

Pinnock joins fellow Razorback alum Jaydon Hibbert as Jamaican student-athletes at the University of Arkansas to have announced signing NIL contracts with Puma. Hibbert is the world leader in the triple jump with a mark of 17.87m. The 18-year-old won the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor national titles in his freshman year at Arkansas.

Pinnock is part of a strong long jump contingent that will represent Jamaica at the World Championships set to begin in Budapest on August 19. NCAA champion Carey McLeod and 2019 World Champion Tajay Gayle complete the trio that will go for medals at the championships.

Ackera Nugent, the NCAA 100m hurdles champion, has made a significant decision in her athletic career. Despite still pursuing her degree, Nugent has chosen to go professional and embark on a new chapter in her journey as a track and field athlete.

Balancing her athletic aspirations with her commitment to education, Nugent remains determined to excel both on the track and in the classroom.

"I'm staying in school because I feel like getting my degree is very important. But I felt like me going back to college was not needed anymore because I've accomplished everything that I wanted to accomplish," Nugent said after confirming her four-year deal with the German sports apparel manufacturer.

"So the decision between me and my coaches was to take the next step to fulfill my purpose in sports. So we made the decision of going professional."

While completing her degree in Advanced Communication, Nugent will also dedicate herself to professional athletics. She recognizes the significance of continuing her education while pursuing her dreams on the track.

Nugent's decision to go professional signifies a new and exciting phase in her career. Guided by her trusted coach, Chris Johnson, Nugent has honed her skills and experienced remarkable growth as an athlete. Johnson's expertise and support have been instrumental in Nugent's development, allowing her to reach new heights in her discipline.

"I have had a huge growth, not only as an athlete but also as a person, and I think that played a major factor in making the transition from Baylor University to Arkansas, where Coach (Chris) Johnson has a lot of experience in getting athletes to where they need to go and knowing how to fix the little things," Nugent shared.

Her journey under Coach Johnson's guidance has been fulfilling, despite the challenges that come with pushing one's limits.

Following the collegiate indoor season, Coach Johnson revealed that Nugent also possesses great potential as a 100m sprinter but as she embraces the professional realm, she maintains a clear focus on the 100m hurdles.

While her versatility allows her to excel in other events, Nugent and Coach Johnson agree that channeling her energy into the hurdles will yield the best results.

“Coach Johnson wants me to trust my speed between the hurdles and I haven’t really reached my maximum potential with that yet,” explaining that running the flat race helps her with her speed.

“He’s trying to make me get comfortable with my flat speed and stuff like that. And, he’s like when you finally hit 10 (seconds) you’ll understand what it feels like to be faster between the hurdles, but it’s a learning experience. I am going into the professional world and I am a rookie.”

The 21-year-old made her first Jamaican senior team to the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in August after finishing second in a time of 12.67 behind Olympic bronze medallist Megan Tapper, who crossed the finish line in 12.64.

Danielle Williams, the 2015 World Champion qualified for her sixth World Championships appearance when she finished third in 12.82.

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