Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz will have to contend with defending champions The United States in Group A of the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup set for June 24-July 16 in Canada and the USA.

The pair, who met in the final in 2017 where the USA got a 2-1 win, were drawn alongside Nicaragua and the winner of a play-in scenario involving Curacao, St. Kitts & Nevis, French Guiana and Sint Maarten at Friday’s draw held in Miami.

Group B, arguably the toughest of the tournament, will include Mexico, Haiti, Honduras and Qatar.

Group C will involve Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador and the winner of Matchup 8 while Canada, Guatemala, Cuba and the winner of Matchup 7 will contest Group D.

Prior to the Group Stage, however, there will be a preliminary stage.

This stage will see three teams advance into the group stage. Seeded teams are listed first for Round 1 matchups while the non-seeded teams are second.

Matchup 1: Trinidad and Tobago vs. Guadeloupe

Matchup 2: Martinique vs. St. Lucia

Matchup 3: Curaçao vs. St. Kitts & Nevis

Matchup 4: French Guiana vs. Sint Maarten

Matchup 5: Suriname vs. Puerto Rico

Matchup 6: Guyana vs. Grenada

The pairings for Round 2 have been pre-determined, and will be as follows:
Matchup 7: Winner Matchup 1 vs Winner Matchup 6
Matchup 8: Winner Matchup 2 vs Winner Matchup 5
Matchup 9: Winner Matchup 3 vs Winner Matchup 4

 

St. Lucian senior Julien Alfred and Jamaican junior Kevona Davis were part of the Texas quartet that set the Mike A. Myers Stadium track on fire on their way to setting a new collegiate record at the 2023 Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays on Saturday.

Alfred, the 2023 NCAA Indoor 60m and 200m champion and record holder, ran the opening leg for the Longhorns before passing to Ezinne Abba who then passed to Lanae Thomas before Davis anchored the team to a time of 42.00, breaking the previous collegiate record 42.05 set by LSU in 2018.

Earlier in the day, Alfred, Davis and Thomas combined with Rhasidat Adeleke to set a new collegiate record 1:28.05 in the 4x200.

On Friday, Alfred was also a part of the quartet that set a collegiate record in the sprint medley.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games silver medallist split 22.4 in the first 200m leg of the relay and combined with Rhasidat Adeleke, Kennedy Simon and Valery Tobias to run 3:36.10 and break the previous record 3:38.93 set at last year’s Texas relays by Texas A&M.

Individually, Jamaican Ashanti Moore ran 11.23 for second in the Women’s Invitational 100m behind Olympic 200m bronze medallist Gabby Thomas (11.09) while Lynna Irby-Jackson was third in 11.31.

 

 

 

Bahamian javelin throw sensation Keyshawn Strachan broke his own national record to win gold at the 2023 Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays at the Michael A. Myers Stadium in Texas on Friday.

The 19-year-old Auburn freshman threw an NCAA and world leading 84.27m to win the event ahead of Baylor sophomore Chinecheren Prosper Nnamdi (79.98m) and Tracksmith’s Curtis Thompson (79.29m).

Strachan’s effort broke his own previous national record 79.89m which he set to win the Under-20 title at the CARIFTA Games in Kingston last year.

The Bahamian’s mark is also an Auburn school record, freshman record and the fourth furthest throw in NCAA history.

Elsewhere in the field, Jamaican Texas sophomore Ackelia Smith jumped 13.84m to take the Women’s triple jump ahead of Georgia’s Mikeisha Welcome (13.63m) and Titana Marsh (13.61m).

Gareth Southgate urged Folarin Balogun to be patient for an England call-up.

The 21-year-old striker has excelled on loan with Reims this season from Arsenal, scoring 17 Ligue 1 goals – only Kylian Mbappe and Jonathan David (both 19) having netted more.

Balogun's international allegiances are up for grabs, with the New York-born striker eligible for the United States, as well as Nigeria, and visiting the US during the international break.

Southgate is not prepared to issue him a call-up in order to seal his international future, however, citing his lack of Premier League experience as a reason for him being overlooked.

"It is up to the player to weigh up where his heart feels. Is he prepared to wait a little bit for an opportunity if he backs himself and feels he can push his way into our squad?" he said.

"Because anybody who has followed us will know that we will give young players a chance. So, we cannot go and give first-team call-ups to someone just because we don't want them to go somewhere else.

"We like Flo. He has obviously not had an opportunity in the Premier League yet, so we have to weigh up those goals to Ivan [Toney], for example, or Ollie Watkins. Or Eddie Nketiah, who has done really well with the opportunity he has had at Arsenal.

"I know there are going to be offers as 80 per cent of our players can play for more than one country now, and we are not arrogant expecting everybody to want to come to play for England. We have to make them feel wanted and feel part of that.

"Ultimately, it does not matter what you say. If you cannot give them the opportunity now, then some people are patient and want to see it through and are prepared to wait a bit and others want it now and I can totally understand that."

Christian Pulisic believes the United States can take confidence from setting a record for away goals as they thumped Grenada.

In winning 7-1 on Friday in the CONCACAF Nations League, it was the first time they had scored seven goals in a match taking place outside the US.

It was USA's first competitive match since the World Cup, with Ricardo Pepi and Weston McKennie each scoring twice.

Chelsea star Pulisic also got on the scoresheet, and had a hand in four other goals too.

"We came out really strong with a lot of energy and just kind of put with them right away," Pulisic said.

"So I think they were kind of surprised by that. Took our goals well and just a great all-around performance. Definitely gives us confidence."

The game was also the first time USA played a competitive match without using a single MLS player since the league began in 1996. 

Interim coach Anthony Hudson was impressed by what he saw from his team, but urged them to finish the job as they bid to reach the Nations League final four.

USA are top of their group ahead of hosting El Salvador on Monday at Exploria Stadium in Florida.

Hudson said: "With a [good] performance and a result like this, you don't want to get carried away.

"The importance for us is just to make sure that we do all the right things between now and the next game and we finish the job off. 

"But the actual performance, I thought it was the result of just a really, really good week."

Jamaicans Tarees Rhoden and Navasky Anderson will both contest the finals of the Men’s 800m after advancing from their respective heats at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Friday.

Rhoden, a junior at Clemson University who set a national indoor record 1:46.61 earlier this season, ran 1:47.84 to finish third in heat three and advance while Mississippi State senior Anderson, the defending Jamaican national champion, ran 1:49.67 to finish second in heat two and progress.

In the 400m, St. Lucian Kansas junior Michael Joseph ran 45.81 to finish second in heat one and make it through to Saturday’s final.

Jamaican Arkansas senior Carey McLeod is the NCAA Indoor men’s long jump champion after equaling James Beckford’s national indoor record in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Friday.

McLeod produced a personal best, collegiate leading and facility record 8.40m to win the title ahead of Mississippi State senior Cameron Crump (8.39m) and Florida State junior Jeremiah Davis (8.37m).

McLeod’s Arkansas teammate Wayne Pinnock also achieved a personal best, jumping 8.33m for fourth.

The 24-year-old McLeod produced a consistent series, jumping 8.03m, 8.22m, 7.80m, 8.04m and 7.95m in the first five rounds.

Entering the sixth and final round, the former Kingston College man found himself in fourth place before producing his national record-equalling 8.40m in round six for victory. James Beckford did 8.40 in Madrid in 1996.

On the women’s side, Texas freshman Ackelia Smith produced a personal best 6.88m for second while Florida junior Claire Bryant produced the same distance for third.

The event was won by Bryant’s Florida teammate, Jasmine Moore, with 7.03m. Her jump is a personal best, collegiate record, facility record, world lead and meet record.

The 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup will be played between February 17 – March 10, 2024, in the United States, Concacaf announced on Wednesday.

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).

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.

 

The Estadio Pensativo in Guatemala served as the location for the Wednesday’s matches in Group F and it was a happy one for Trinidad and Tobago, whose 1-1 draw with Barbados was enough to secure a third-place finish and a place in the next round.

The Bajan Tridents had dreams of a knockout stage appearance taking the lead through a well-placed left-footed strike from outside the 18-yard box from Shamari Yearwood in the 38th minute.

That goal held up deep into the second half, but a late charge from the Soca Warriors proved decisive, as Lindell Sween struck in the 82nd minute to earn his side a 1-1 draw and a place in the Round of 16 thanks to a better goal difference than Barbados.

The day’s other Group F game saw the USA beat Canada 1-0 through a Keyrol Figueroa goal in the 64th minute to advance to the Round of 16 as Group winners.

 

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.

 

Jamaica’s Aisha Praught-Leer broke Kenya Sinclair’s 18-year-old national indoor mile record to finish fourth at the 2023 Bruce Lehane Scarlet and White Invitational at Boston University on Saturday.

The 33-year-old American-born athlete, who won gold in the 3000m at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia, ran a personal best 4:31.48 to finish fourth, bettering her previous best time of 4:32.86 done in Birmingham eight years ago.

Sinclair’s previous national record of 4:32.33 was set in 2005 in Gainesville.

Saturday’s race was won by Abigail Nichols in 4:29.12 ahead of Harvard’s Maia Ramsden (4:30.19) and Alli Cash (4:31.40).

 

Mississippi State Junior Rosealee Cooper won the Women’s 60m hurdles at the Clemson Bob Pollock Invitational in South Carolina on Friday.

The 22-year-old former St. Jago High standout ran 8.07 to win ahead of Tennessee’s Charisma Taylor (8.10) and Amber Hughes (8.20) who ran unattached.

Jamaican 2015 World Champion in the 100m hurdles, Danielle Williams, was also in the race but was disqualified after a false start. She had earlier run 8.07 in the prelims to advance as the fastest qualifier.

Elsewhere, Antiguan Tennessee Junior Joella Lloyd ran 7.21 to finish third in the 60m behind teammate Jacious Sears (7.17) and Nike’s Kayla White (7.20).

Lloyd represented Antigua & Barbuda in the 100m at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 as well as the World Championships and Commonwealth Games in 2022.

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