Top three finishes for Distin, Nugent, Knight at NCAA
THREE OF Jamaica's young female athletes earned top three finishes on Saturday's final day of competition of the NCAA Division One Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.
Lamara Distin of Texas A&M University bagged a second-place finish, while Ackera Nugent of Baylor and Andrenette Knight of the University of Virginia both ended third in their events.
Distin, the former Rusea's High, Vere Technical and Hydel High jumper was involved in a keen battle with South Carolina's Rachel Glen for the gold medal in the women's high jump, where both produced personal-best heights. Glen outlasted the Jamaican to win the event after clearing 1.93 metres. Distin had a best of 1.90m. Distin's teammate, Tyra Gittens of Trinidad and Tobago, was third with 1.87 metres.
Nugent, the former Excelsior High hurdler, deservedly left the meet with a bronze medal after picking up a third-place finish in the women's 100m hurdles . Nugent, who competed in three events, the 4x100m, 100m hurdles and 100m in the space of 15 minutes, clocked 12.84 seconds over the barriers. Anna Cockrell of the University of Southern California (USC) won in 12.58, ahead of Rayniah Jones of the University of Central Florida, second in 12.82. Pre-race favourite Tonea Marshall of Louisiana State University (LSU) did not show for the final.
Nugent, who competed in the 100m final less than ten minutes after running in the hurdle final, could only manage eighth in 11.37. Former Mt Alvernia High athlete Kemba Nelson was fourth in 10.90 seconds as Cambreas Sturgis of North Carolina A&T University won in a wind-aided (+2.4mps) 10.74, the fastest time ever in any condition by a winner at these championships.
Knight, a former Vere Technical and St Jago High hurdler, closed out her collegiate career with her best-ever placing at the championships after finishing third in the 400m hurdles in 55.81 seconds. Cockrell closed out a hurdles double after winning in a personal best and collegiate lead of 54.68.
Three other Jamaicans were involved in individual finals on the track, as Charokee Young of Texas A&M and Stacy Williams of the University of Texas , Austin ran the 400m final, while Williams' teammate, Kevona Davis, ran in the 200m final.
Young, a former Hydel High athlete, was fifth in 51.13, while Williams, formerly of St Elizabeth Technical, took sixth in 51.34. Young's teammate, Athing Mu, won in 49.57, a personal-best, collegiate lead, meet and championships record. Young later teamed with Mu to win the 4x400m in a collegiate, world lead and championships record 3:22.34 to win the event. Mu produced the fastest-ever collegiate 400m splits of 48.85.
Former Edwin Allen High standout Kevona Davis produced a personal-best 22.78 seconds in the women's 200m but could only place eighth. Sturgis closed out a sprint double after winning in 22.12.