Pullen with big leap on US indoor circuit

February 20, 2019

Olympian Clive Pullen and 2014 Youth Olympic Games champion Natalliah Whyte produced notable performances on the US indoor track and field circuit last weekend. Pullen produced the second best triple jump of his career in Blacksburg, Virginia, while Whyte led a raft of noteworthy Jamaican action in Birmingham, Alabama.

Formerly a star at Kingston College and the University of Arkansas, Pullen bounced 16.92 metres. James Beckford's 16.99 and Pullen's 17.15 are the only Jamaicans ever to surpass the 2016 Olympian's mark at the Virginia Tech Challenge.

Whyte was on duty for Florida Atlantic University at the Conference USA Indoor Championships when she took the sprint double. The 60 metres was a cruise in 7.28 seconds but the Auburn University transfer had less comfort in the 200. Though it is the event in which she was Youth Olympic gold medallist during her days at St Jago High School, Whyte needed every inch to defeat Hannah Jackson of Rice University, 23.42 to 23.44 seconds.

Whyte's Jamaican teammate Zinedine Russell led through three events in the pentathlon but a big finish by Gabby Torres of the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) pushed the Alpha Academy graduate into second. In the end, Russell had 3601 points to 3722 for Torres.


Danielle Spence took gold home for UTSA as well with a triple jump win measured at 13.37 metres. The former Wolmers High School for Girls and St Jago athlete placed second in the triple jump.

In the same meet, there were third- place finishes for the Jamaican pair of Sean Bailey and Kimisha Chambers in the 400 and the 60 metre hurdles respectively.

Elsewhere in the United States, Jamaicans Damion Creary and Jazmin Fray edged into the spotlight. In the Big South Conference meet, Creary showed some of the potential that first appeared during his days at Wolmer's Boys School with a winning mark of 7.62 metres in the long jump.

In College Station, Texas, Fray warmed up for her conference championship with a meet record in the 800 metres. The Texas A&M University senior rolled to a clocking of 2 minutes 07.06 seconds. In the same meet, her teammate Gabrielle McDonald also set a meet record.

McDonald, a standout at Holmwood Technical High School and Edwin Allen during her days at Boys and Girls' Championships, covered the 60 metre hurdles in 8.41 seconds.

McDonald won both the 100 metre hurdles and the 400 metre hurdles at Champs in 2017, setting a record 13.12 seconds in the shorter race.

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