The St Lucia Athletics Association has selected an 18-member squad to represent the island at the Friendship Games scheduled to get underway on Saturday, May 28, at the Stade Territorial Louis Achille, in Fort de France, Martinique.

Eleven islands are expected to participate at the Games including French Guiana, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Sint Maarten, Guadeloupe and Haiti as well as, Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, and host country Martinique.

The Boys U20 team comprises Kadeem Larcher, Cagini Pilgrim, Noel Tribune, Sirgio Mc. Kenzie, Ken Smith and Kenrick James while Mya Hippolyte, Sandrina Popo, Kayla Charles, Joy Edward and Hadassah Papius make up the U20 Girls.

Denzel Phillip, Levern Jn. Baptiste, and Milan Mitchell comprise the U17 Boys.

Naya Jules, Paige Anderson, Sierratina Hilaire and Kirsheema Ince make up the U20 Girls.

Jamaican athletes Salcia Slack and Samantha Elliott are among eight former NCAA Division II champion athletes who are to be inducted into the USTFCCCA NCAA Division II Hall of Fame Class of 2022, it was announced on Wednesday.

Slack represented New Mexico Highlands University as a multi-eventer while Elliott was a standout at Johnson C Smith University where she thrived under the tutelage of Coach Lennox Graham.

Slack is the first athlete from New Mexico Highlands inducted into the USTFCCCA NCAA DII Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame.

“I am very thankful for this induction. I know I have worked hard. I cried, I suffered in many ways but I never gave up, no matter what, so I am elated for this,” Slack, now a member of the USA military, told Sportsmax.TV shortly after the Class of 2022 announcement was made on Wednesday.

According to the USTFCCCA, Slack left her mark in a big way at the 2015 NCAA DII Outdoor Championships. Over the span of three days in Allendale, Michigan, she won the heptathlon for the second year in a row, took runner-up honours in both the 100- and 400-meter hurdles, finished sixth in the open long jump and helped New Mexico Highlands take fourth in the 4×400 relay, amassing 30.25 points.

If Slack competed alone, she would have finished seventh in the team standings. That wasn’t the case, though: Slack led the Cowgirls to their first top-4 finish at the Outdoor Championships in program history (NMHU also took third indoors thanks to another sterling effort by Slack.

“I decided that I wanted to take on all these events and I was determined to make the finals in all of them, she recalled.

“The event that stood out for me was running the 400m hurdles for the first time and finishing second.”

She also had bitter-sweet memories of competing indoors in 2014.

“The 2014 Indoor Championships was one of my best and scariest. I got sick that very morning and was told that I wasn’t able to compete and I begged the medics to give me the chance and they did. I went out there to do me and I exceeded what my body was telling me I could do.”’

In addition to 16 total All-America honours, multitudes of conference titles and multiple National and Regional Athlete of the Year laurels from the USTFCCCA, Slack’s name dots the NCAA DII record book. Slack stands alone at the top of the heptathlon all-time chart as the only athlete to amass more than 6000 points (6141, to be exact) and also holds the third-best total (5833); she is the No. 3 performer in the pentathlon at 4181 points – barely missing the NCAA DII record of 4193 points – and owns the No. 4 (4193), No. 5 (4172) and No. 6 (4149) all-time performances.

Elliott was simply outstanding for Johnson C Smith.

In three-straight All-Academic years at Johnson C. Smith, Elliott not only earned 17 NCAA Division II All-America awards, but also a Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems.

On the track, Elliott was a versatile performer on Golden Bulls teams that finished runner-up three times at the NCAA Division II Track & Field Championships: indoors and outdoors in 2013; outdoors in 2014.

 She ran sprints and relays, but her speciality was the hurdles – she was top-three in both the 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles all three years at the DII Outdoor, winning the 400h twice (2013 and 2014) and 100H once (2014, with a lifetime best of 13.04).

Her 2013 winning time of 56.38 in the 400 hurdles was a meet record and still rates No. 3 all-time among DII athletes.

On relays, Elliott was a national champion two more times, including anchoring the 2013 JCSU 4×100 unit that set the still-standing meet record of 44.05. Her collegiate career included two Penn Relays titles in the 400H and five individual CIAA titles (three in the 100H and two in the 400H).

Elliott is the fourth athlete from Johnson C. Smith to be inducted into the NCAA Division II Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame.

Jamaican shot-putter Danniel Thomas-Dodd was in scintillating form to win at the 2022 USATF Throws Festival in Tucson, Arizona on Saturday.

The 2019 World Championship silver medallist produced a season’s best 19.53m to win, her farthest throw since her 19.55 personal best and national record done in 2019, to win gold at the Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru.

The throw was one of three in Thomas-Dodd’s series to eclipse 19m. Canada’s Sara Mitton was second with 19.47m while the USA’s Jessica Ramsey was third with 19.38m.

“It feels good to be honest. I was struggling a lot with my confidence because I was injured all of last season and I’m finally in a place where I can say I feel like the old Danniel,” she said in an interview after the event.

“I just want to bring this momentum into the World Championships,” she added.

Jamaica’s Ralford Mullings threw 63.75m for third in the Men’s discus behind the American pair of Sam Mattis (68.69m) and Andrew Evans (66.74m).

 

Tokyo Olympic 200m finalists Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce go head to head in the 200m at the Diamond League Meeting in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday in what promises to be an epic clash that will also feature World Indoor 60m champion Mujinga Kambudji.

The Women’s 100m will be must-see TV at the Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday, May 28.

Reigning double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, Olympic 100m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson and controversial American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson are all down to compete in the showpiece event.

Thompson-Herah has the fastest season’s best heading into the race having run 10.89 to win her heat at the USATF Golden Games on April 16. She also ran 10.93 at the Puerto Rico International Athletics Classic on May 12 and 10.94 at the JAAA/SDF Jubilee Series at the National Stadium in Kingston on May 21.

Jackson has only run three 100m races so far this season with her best coming on May 7 when she ran 11.00 to win at the JAAA/SDF Jubilee Series at the National Stadium in Kingston. She also ran 11.12 for second at the Birmingham Diamond League on May 21 behind British 2019 World 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith, who will also be in the field in Eugene.

Richardson, who missed the Olympics last year after testing positive for marijuana at the US Olympic Trials, made her season debut on May 21 at the Duval County Challenge in Jacksonville running 11.27 to win.

The field will be rounded out by Ivorian speedster Marie Jose Talou, Jamaican Olympic 4x100m relay gold medallist Briana Williams, recently crowned World Indoor 60m champion Mujinga Kambundji of Switzerland and Americans Teahna Daniels and Twanisha Terry.

 

 

Following an impressive season-best run over 400m at the second JAAA/SDF Jubilee Saturday night, Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Candice McLeod revealed that she has been working on a new race plan that she believes could make even faster than she was in 2021.

Inside the National Stadium in Kingston, the well-chiselled McLeod exploded at the 250m mark and pulled away from the field to win handsomely in 50.58. In her devastating wake were the Sprintec pair of Tiffany James and Ashley Williams, who ran 52.10 and 53.40 for second and third, respectively.

McLeod’s winning time was the third-fastest by a Jamaican woman behind Charokee Young (49.87) and Stacey-Ann Williams (50.21).

Surprisingly, she was pleased but not overly impressed with the performance.

 “I feel okay but I feel like I have a little more (to give). I feel like I was just working on what we have been working on in training,” she said following the victory.

The new race plan that she and coach Fitz Coleman has been putting together is intended to take her to the next level because despite running a massive personal best of 49.51 at the Olympics last summer, McLeod feels as if she needs to suffer to get the best out of her body.

“Honestly, even when I ran 49.5, I never felt like I gave it my all. I didn’t feel the leg pain, the headaches and whatever so I feel like I didn’t do enough,” she explained.

“I have always wanted to feel at my maximum regardless of what it feels like. I want to feel like I am dying so I felt like I needed to switch it up a bit to get that dying feeling. Today wasn’t bad, it still wasn’t there but it’s getting there.”

That plan has been coming together since the outdoor season began earlier this year when she opened with 51.78 at the MVP Velocity Fest meet in Kingston on April 2 before flying off to Bermuda where in extremely windy conditions on April 9, she clocked a solid 51.57. She was second in both races to the 2019 World Championship 400m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson.

The University of the West Indies accounting graduate followed up on April 23 with what was then a season-best 51.20 in Kingston.

However, just over a week ago, on May 13, the 25-year-old Olympic finalist ran her worst race of the season clocking 52.37 in a fifth place finish at the Doha Diamond League meeting. Despite the poor showing, McLeod said that race was important to her plans for this season even if things didn’t work out as planned.

“I needed Doha because after the 51.2 here, I needed to see if I could get it (the race plan) in play but, unfortunately, I didn’t do what I wanted to, so I came today even though it wasn’t part of the schedule to run,” she said while explaining what went wrong in Doha.

“It was the wind. It was bad execution by me too. Bad judgement of the wind and as for recovery, I am not too keen or known to recover well after travel but I am working on that. It takes time.”

She expressed confidence that most, if not everything, will fall into place by the time Jamaica’s National Championships roll around in late June when she believes a new lifetime best is probable as she heads into the World Championships in Oregon just over two weeks later.

“With practise comes improvement,” she said. “Everybody wants to be better than they were before so if I get that (below 49.51) then, wow. If I get 49.5, then wow again, but I am working towards just bettering myself,” said McLeod who is relishing the prospect of going up against the best that Jamaica has to offer, namely Young, Williams and defending national champion, Stephenie-Ann McPherson.

“I am very confident in my preparation, my conditioning and everything. I love competition. It’s all fun for me because I love what I do, so regardless, competition or not, I am here for it,” she said.

 

 

 

Reigning Olympic 110m hurdles champion Hansle Parchment ran a world-leading 13.09 to win at the Birmingham Diamond League, at the Alexander Stadium, in London on Saturday.

Parchment finished ahead of countryman and 2016 Olympic champion Omar McLeod who ran a season’s best 13.17 for second, while Spain’s Asier Martinez was third in 13.22.

Reigning Olympic bronze medallist in the Women’s 100m Shericka Jackson narrowly finished second in the Women’s blue-ribband event, running 11.12 to finish behind British 2019 200m World champion Dina Asher-Smith (11.11). Asher-Smith’s countrywoman Daryll Neita was third in 11.14.

Olympic 800m finalist Natoya Goule was third in the Women’s 800m in 2:00.13 behind Olympic silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson of Great Britain (1:58.63) and Renelle Lamote of France (1:59.53).

 

Demisha Roswell shocked everyone, herself included when she won the 100m hurdles at the Big 12 Outdoor Conference Championships at Fuller Field in Lubbock, Texas on Sunday. The Texas Tech senior edged her more heralded compatriot Ackera Nugent, the 2021 World U20 champion and a talented field, clocking 12.44, the second fastest time in the world this season and the fastest in the NCAA.

Only the 12.39 from Tokyo Olympic champion, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, has been faster this year. Nugent’s time for second place, 12.45, is the third fastest time in the world in 2022.

The victory was a bit of a surprise for the 24-year-old Vere Technical and New Mexico Junior College alum, who went into the final having run 12.78 in her preliminary round heat. “No, I didn’t expect the time. I was more excited about the win, to be honest. I’m still in shock!”, she said.

From the gun, Roswell found herself matching strides with Nugent but was never intimidated and had no intention to yield as they raced towards the finish line.

“That’s the crazy part of the race because I told myself I want to win I have to win. I was like “Oh no,  you’re not getting away today,” she said laughing while admitting that she felt something special would happen.

“From the moment I wasn’t nervous I knew I was going to do something great. Ackera is an amazing competitor and the both of us know we got to show out and fight and that’s what I did because I wanted to win.”

Roswell credits her faith in her coaches and continuous hard work in improving her technique for getting her to this point where she is the fastest Jamaican sprint hurdler in the world this year, a significant achievement given her country’s stock in hurdling talent that includes Olympic medallist Megan Tapper, 2015 World Champion and national record holder Danielle Williams, World U20 record holder Brittany Anderson and, of course, Baylor's Nugent.

“The main factors are time, patience and faith,” she said. “Every day I have to keep improving because my hurdling is not perfect but thanks to my coaches for always trying with me to improve my hurdling.

“I don’t have the best hurdles technique because I wasn’t cut out for hurdling. I was just a 200m and a 100m runner when suddenly my coach from back home, John Mair, told me, ‘ Roswell, I think you should do hurdles. I said to him ‘Huh, me? I can’t do hurdles coach. He then said, ‘Listen, to me you’re going to do it so I went for it.”

She said when she moved to the United States to attend New Mexico Junior College, her coaches Keith Blackwill and Tabarie Henry helped her improve her technique even though it still wasn’t perfect. Still, it was good enough to win her the NJCAA Indoor 60mh title and 100mh Outdoor title in 2019 and the 60mh title in 2020.

At Texas Tech, the work to perfect her technique continues.

“Coach (Zach) Glavash got me here and Coach (Calvin) Robinson started work on me. My technique has gotten better from last year until now. I thank God for these coaches every day for working with me even though there is still room for improvement,” she said.

With the sweet taste of victory still lingering, Roswell has an eye on even bigger scalps this summer. She reveals that she plans to earn a spot on Jamaica’s team to the World Championships in Oregon this summer.

 “Most definitely that’s the aim, trying my best to make this national team,” she said.

“(I am) just looking to stay healthy and be ready because hurdling is unpredictable, anything can happen but I won’t be travelling across the ocean and not make the team. So on that day, the time will tell. I put everything in God's hands.”

Elaine Thompson-Herah has withdrawn from the Birmingham Diamond League meeting on Saturday. The Tokyo Olympics triple gold medallist cited her withdrawal as precautionary.

The third meet in the “JAAA/SDF Jubilee series” will be staged this Saturday, May 21, at the National Stadium between 5pm and 7pm. Spectators will not be charged an entry fee.

These events are designed to assist senior athletes as they prepare for the JAAA National Championships and other international competitions including the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, later this year. The Junior athletes will compete between 2pm and 4pm. 

Saturday’s meet will see athletes contesting the following events for males and females; long jump, discus, shot put, Sprint hurdles, 100m, 200m 400m, 400m hurdles and an invitational 800m.

All the athletes will be ranked based on performances this season. The 100m will only accommodate the top 32 ranked athletes, the 400m will see the top 24 and the top 16 will be in the sprint hurdles.

The 400m hurdles will have the top eight based on entry while the field events will see the top twelve based on entry. 

Monetary prizes will be awarded in the 400m hurdles for men and women, the 110m hurdles for men, the 200m for men and women and the discus for women.

The winner of each of the selected six events will get $90,000.00, second place gets $45,000.00, third takes home $30,000.00, fourth $20,000.00 and fifth $15,000.00. 

In total, each event will offer $200,000.00 in prizes, with $1.2 million being handed out overall for the day, providing the athletes meet a minimum standard. Only Jamaican athletes will benefit from the funds. 

The last meet in the four-event series will be staged on June 4, 2022.

Sponsors include the Sports Development Foundation, Puma and Jacden.

 

Kemba Nelson took the 100/200m sprint double at the PAC 12 Conference Championships held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on Sunday.

Julien Alfred, Demisha Roswell and Johnathan Jones pulled off impressive victories as the Big 12 Conference Championships concluded in Lubbock, Texas on Sunday.

President of the St Lucia Athletics Association Cornelius Breen said the residents of the island are proud of young sprinter Julien Alfred, who set yet another national record at the Big 12 Conference Outdoor Championships in Lubbock, Texas on Saturday, May 14.

The 20-year-old Alfred, a sophomore at the University of Texas, won her preliminary round heat in 10.81, the fastest time in the NCAA this season and the second fastest time this year. Only Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce with the 10.67 she clocked in Nairobi, Kenya, on May 7 has run faster.

The time also puts Alfred in an elite group of the top-10 fastest women from the Caribbean over 100m. Only Elaine Thompson-Herah (10.54), Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.60), Merlene Ottey (10.74)., Kerron Stewart (10.75), Veronica Campbell-Brown (10.76) and Shericka Jackson (10.76) have, as Caribbean women, run faster than Alfred.

“Today (Sunday) was a wonderful day for us in St Lucia, having received news that Julien’s performance has made her the second fastest in the world. This was no easy feat. Julien has shown that she has the potential to develop, has the potential to do great things. It is on this premise, that she was scouted by her club, Survivors and Mr Cuthbert Modest, who saw the potential and assisted in that development and today we are witnessing what she has accomplished,” Breen told Sportsmax. TV.

“It is indeed a proud moment for us. We, as a nation, are happy about such a performance. We look forward to her continued development and her continued progress in the sport of track and field.”

He remained hopeful that Alfred would be able to deliver similar performances at the major championships.

“The World Championship is on the horizon, the Commonwealth Games and even the Olympics, and we continue to be proud of her,” he said.

Alfred will be favoured to win the final set for later Sunday despite being lined up in a stacked field that includes University of Texas teammates Kevona Davis, who ran a lifetime best 10.95 in the preliminary round, Kynnedy Flannel, as well as the speedy Rosemary Chukwuma from Texas Tech.

 

 

After running a personal best of 1:45.89 to claim the South Eastern Conference (SEC) title at the conference championships at the University of Missouri on Saturday, Mississippi State’s Navaskey Anderson said he is just getting started on his way to becoming the best ever 800m runner from Jamaica.

The time, the 14th fastest in the world this year is the fastest by a Jamaican and is just over half a second shy of Seymour Newman’s national record of 1:45.21 set back in 1977.

The former St Jago athlete held off Sam Whitmarsh of Texas A&M and Georgia’s Claymore Pender, who each ran personal best times of 1:46.09 and 1:46.71 for second and third, respectively in the race where the top-six all produced lifetime best performances.

However, for Anderson, a junior at Mississippi State, this is where his quest to go beyond Newman’s 45-year-old record begins.

“My job here is just now getting started,” he told Sportsmax.TV on Sunday.

“My goal is not only to be the best 800m that passes through Jamaica but also to bring the awareness and the spotlight to the younger generation letting them know that we can be dominant in the 800m as well.

“I will stay humble and work, my times will speak for themselves in due time.”

The 21-year-old Anderson has had to put in the work over the past few years to get to this point where he is within touching distance of the long-standing national record that only a few other Jamaicans like Clive Terrelonge (1:45.44), Mario Watson (1:45.58) and Alex Morgan (1:45.58) have got close to.

“To be great in the 800m there has to be a constant shift in mechanism, being able to run a fast 400m or 200m repeats today and being to hit a steady 10 miles the next morning,” said Anderson who stands at a wiry 1.93m (6’ 4”).

“Not everyone has the same body type or is built the way I am. I stay fit with morning runs and coordinate with my strength coach to get workouts that are going to help me move forward at least two to three times weekly.”

The journey to this point has been difficult but he has never given up hope nor lost sight of his goals as an athlete even when things were not going according to plan while he was at St Jago.

“I started high school running the 400m and the 1500m, taking on the 1500m at champs for my first two years. I made the finals both years but it was constant downhill after that,” he said, explaining that he believes “It was just not my time. I was training to the best of my ability but I wasn’t able to compete at a high level at Champs.”

Notwithstanding those early disappointments, Anderson never gave up and his fortunes began to change when he moved on to Essex County College in the United States.

“I stayed motivated and worked with Coach Andrew Kidd, who helped me develop a strong endurance background. I then went to Coach Lionel Leech at Essex County College. From 1:57-mid, coach got me down to 1:52-low is less than two years,” he said.

“I then made a great decision to attend Mississippi State, the right 800m university where Coach Chris Woods worked tirelessly to get my time down from 1:52 to 1:45 and still in progress in less than two years. That is spectacular.”

He said he has no plans to rest on his ‘spectacular’ progress with his goal now clearly in sight.

“I’ll keep working and I’ll keep working,” he concluded.

 

 

 

 

Retired Jamaican Olympian Veronica Campbell-Brown has announced that she and her husband, Omar, are expecting a second child. This, as she celebrated her 40th birthday on Sunday.

Her first child, Avianna, was born on February 23, 2019.

“Four decades! I am grateful to celebrate another milestone with hubby and Avianna as we excitedly anticipate the arrival of baby number two,” she said on Instagram.

“Today is the beginning of another year if abundant blessings.”

After a glittering career during which she won 49 medals in international competition including Olympic titles in the 200m in Athens in 2004 and in Beijing in 2008as well as a 100m world title in 2007, Campbell-Brown announced her retirement in June 2021, just prior to the start of the Jamaican National Athletics Championships at select a team to the Tokyo Olympics.

 

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