10 Jamaican women to compete at NCAA meet

June 08, 2023
Ackelia Smith
Ackelia Smith
Kevona Davis
Kevona Davis

Women collegiate athletes will bow into action on today's second day of competition at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas, following the men opening their competition yesterday.

Former Edwin Allen High top jumper Ackelia Smith of the University of Arkansas will be one of two Jamaicans who will contest the women's long jump final at 9 p.m., with the other being former Hydel High athlete Velecia Williams, who will represent the University of Nebraska.

With a season and personal best of 7.08 metres in the event, in which she is the collegiate and world leader, Smith will be aiming for her first NCAA title as she hopes to dethrone defending champion Jasmine Moore of the University of Florida, who has a season-best 6.88 metres. Williams will be hoping to improve on her season-best 6.37 metres.

The country's top female sprint hurdler this season, Ackera Nugent of the University of Arkansas, will lead eight Jamaicans to contest semi-finals in track events. With a personal best of 12.43 seconds over the women's 100 metres hurdles, the former Excelsior High School star will be involved in one of the hottest contests on the track during the championships.

Former Vere Technical hurdler Demisha Roswell of Texas Tech, with a season's best of 12.77 seconds, will also be in action. Masai Russell of the University of Kentucky, with a collegiate leading 12.36 seconds, and defending champion Alia Armstrong of Louisiana State University (LSU), with a best of 12.40 seconds, should all make the event a cracker.

In her best season so far at the collegiate level, former Edwin Allen High sprinter, Kevona Davis of the University of Texas, will be involved in the 100 and 200 metres semi-finals, and competing at home, she will be highly motivated.

With season-best of 11.04 and 22.33 seconds, she hopes for special performances in both events.

In the 100 metres slated for 8:46 p.m., Davis will be joined by former Hydel High athlete Yanique Dayle of Ohio State University, who has a season-best of 11.05 seconds. Dayle, with a season-best 22.58 seconds, will also compete in the 200 metres at 9:44 p.m. when former teammate Brianna Lyston of LSU, with a season-best of 22.92 seconds, will also contest the event.

Three other Jamaicans, Nickeisha Pryce, Joanna Reid and Lashana Graham, will close out the day for Jamaicans in individual events.

Pryce and Reid of the University of Arkansas will contest the 400 metres at 9 p.m. Pryce has a season-best of 50.80 seconds, and Reid has a best of 51.49 seconds. With a best of 57.55 seconds, Graham will take the track for Clemson University in the 400 metres hurdles at 9:30 p.m.

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