Jamaican sprinting sensation Brianna Lyston signs with LSU

By Sports Desk June 23, 2022

18-year-old Jamaican sprinting sensation Brianna Lyston will take her talents to the NCAA next season after signing with Louisiana State University (LSU), the school announced on Thursday.

Hydel’s Lyston achieved personal bests this season of 11.14 in the 100m to win at the Central Championships on March 15 and 22.53 to win the 200m at the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships on April 9.

That 22.53 effort broke Simone Facey's class one record of 22.71 set back in 2004.

She also ran 23.16 to win gold at the 49th Carifta Games at the National Stadium in Kingston on April 18.

Lyston will hope to join the likes of Trinidadian 2011 World Championships 100m bronze medallist Kelly-Ann Baptiste, Jamaican Olympic and World Championship 800m finalist Natoya Goule, Jamaican 400m hurdler Nickiesha Wilson and others as Caribbean NCAA champions representing LSU.

Rising American sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson also attended LSU where she set a NCAA record of 10.75 while winning the National Division I title in 2019.

 

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  • What an athlete: Samuda hails retiring Fraser-Pryce's inspiring resilience and commitment to country What an athlete: Samuda hails retiring Fraser-Pryce's inspiring resilience and commitment to country

    As the news of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s pending retirement continues to soak in, Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president Christopher Samuda is among those already expressing gratitude to the decorated athlete, whose life and legacy on the track, has been an inspiration to many across the global sporting landscape.

    In fact, Samuda hinted at his association's plans to celebrate the legacy of Jamaican sprint icon, who will hang up her spikes after the Olympic Games in Paris, later this year.

    Since she won Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008, Fraser-Pryce has enjoyed one of the most dominating careers in track and field history, as she tallied eight Olympic medals, including three gold, 16 medals at the World Athletics Championships, which includes 10 world titles, and ranks as the third fastest woman in history with 10.60 seconds in the 100m.

    But she is not quite done yet, as she will certainly be aiming to add to those accolades and, by extension, fittingly end her illustrious career on a high.

    “Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will retire from the track, but it will always be her stomping ground, given the lessons she taught and her legacy will remain. What an athlete. She is a culture of absolute discipline, courage and resilience. An Olympian and World Champion whose enduring commitment to country is inspiring,” Samuda told SportsMax.TV.

    “She is a global sporting ambassador whose credentials are well known and are accepted by many countries. The Jamaica Olympic Association will honour those attributes which resided in ‘Pocket Rocket’, and which are now gaining ineffable expression in ‘Mommy Rocket’,” he added.

    On that note, Samuda, while reflecting on her many accomplishments, highlighted that Fraser-Pryce is only human, who has given her all to the demands of balancing sport with family life.

    “More importantly, she's a daughter, a mother, a wife, and a colleague. An Olympian, a human being endowed with a humanity that embodies goodwill, and a smile that comes from the heart. She embodies a spirit and personhood that makes her not just a gold medalist, but more importantly a standard bearer,” Samuda shared.

    “What an explosion she has been on life's track which will forever bear her indelible footprints,” he noted.

    The 37-year-old Fraser-Pryce in a recent interview, explained that her decision to retire after this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris stems from her wanting to dedicate more time to her family.

    “My son needs me. My husband and I have been together since before I won in 2008. He has sacrificed for me and it’s because of that support that I’m able to do the things that I have been doing for all these years. I think I now owe it to them to do something else,” Fraser-Pryce said.

    The vivacious athlete’s win in Beijing made her first Jamaican woman to win an Olympic 100m gold, and her follow-up victory in 2012 made her only the third woman to win back-to-back Olympic titles. She joined other greats Wyoma Tyus and Gail Devers of the USA to accomplish the feat.

    Fraser-Pryce’s 2009 World 100m title in Berlin, saw her become the first woman to hold Olympic and World titles simultaneously, a feat she accomplished twice with victories in London in 2012 and Moscow in 2013.

  • Help is on the way: Gonsalves commits to assisting Vincentian standout Maloney ahead of Paris Games Help is on the way: Gonsalves commits to assisting Vincentian standout Maloney ahead of Paris Games

    The St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) government declared its commitment to supporting athlete Shafiqua Maloney as she prepares for the upcoming Paris Olympics in August.

    Maloney garnered significant attention during her recent appearance on the SportsMax Zone, where she revealed that she experienced homelessness for several months in the past year and has been unable to compensate her coaches for an extended period of time. She also shared that her departure from the United States would result in her being barred from reentry until her application for an O-1 visa is approved. This visa application carries a price tag of $8,500.

    Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves on Friday stated that despite Maloney’s qualification, her journey to the Paris Olympics will be challenging. He also expressed his government’s dedication to providing assistance.

    "I spoke to Shafiq to congratulate her and more importantly, for her own perseverance, and to commit to her the support of the Government of St Vincent for the Olympics in the first place, which is in August in Paris. She told me many things, which is not my place to talk about. I am not going through the many emails she sent to specific people because I do not want any controversy to surround this talented young lady," the Gonsalves shared.

    "All I want now is that, going forward, between now and the Olympics, we help to take care of this young lady and see that she gets what is reasonably required. She told me a number that I wouldn’t reveal. Between now and August, I told her to send me details, and in relation to the visa, which I know about, she said some people were trying, but you know, the US visa authorities are problematic. I told her to send me all that has happened to see if, at a particular level, we get it sorted out," he added.

    The prime minister also revealed that there could be possible sponsorship for Maloney through East Caribbean Group of Companies (ECGC) which has not been confirmed.  

    "Camilo told me last evening that ECGC wants to be engaged, possibly in a sponsorship with Shafiqua. So, I called Jomo Cato and asked him to send me what they had in mind. I asked him what number they had, and I told him the number Shafiqua had told me. She said, Prime Minister, this is the Olympics. I want to be at the Olympics. But we are hoping that this matter can be sorted out before then," Gonsalves said.

    The 24-year-old Maloney, who was the sole flag-bearer for St Vincent and the Grenadines at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, recently established a new national 800 metres record of 1:58.69, at the 2024 Tyson Invitational in Arkansas. She surpassed her previous mark of 1:59.94.

    Maloney followed up that performance with another national record of 4:33.68 in her debut run at a mile.

    "I've never raced a mile before, so I found someone to hang on to and when I knew it was time to go, I just went. It (my late kick) kind of felt the same surprisingly, so whether it is a mile or 800m, the last 200m felt good, it probably wasn't as fast, but it felt the same and I just went out there and had fun. That is the most important part of what you do, especially when it is something your'e not used to, you always need to have fun and of course, execute," she told Arkansas Track and Field after the race.

    "It is a long season, so I am just trying to stay healthy, remain injury free, but also get the work in so when it comes to Paris and the rounds, I am able to get the work in to be consistent and advance to the final. So, I am just trusting the process and trusting the Lord more than anything, He has been carrying me through. I know trusting in the Lord, myself and my coach, is definitely going to get me where I need to be," the talented athlete reasoned.

     

  • Justin Gatlin heaps praise on retiring Fraser-Pryce. "Shelly-Ann has been such an inspiration to the sport for so long...she battled every elite of this era!" Justin Gatlin heaps praise on retiring Fraser-Pryce. "Shelly-Ann has been such an inspiration to the sport for so long...she battled every elite of this era!"

    As news of her impending retirement continues to reverberate throughout the track and field community, two-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce continues to draw praise from some of the sport’s biggest stars.

    The most recent to sing the Mommy Rocket’s praises were Olympic and World Champion Justin Gatlin and co-host Rodney Green on their Ready Set Go Podcast.

    Since she won Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008, Fraser-Pryce has gone on to have one of the most dominating careers in track and field history. Her win in Beijing made her first Jamaican woman to win Olympic 100m gold. Her follow-up victory in 2012 made her only the third woman to win back-to-back Olympic titles joining other greats Wyoma Tyus and Gail Devers of the USA to accomplish the feat.

    Winning the world 100 title in Berlin in 2009, saw her become the first woman to hold Olympic and World titles simultaneously, a feat she would accomplish twice after victories in London in 2012 and Moscow in 2013.

    Feats such as these are why Green lamented her decision to hang up her spikes after what will be her fifth Olympic campaign in Paris this summer.

    “Man, we ‘bout to lose a female juggernaut of our sport, man, a staple. I mean, I think in her country they should, I don't know if a statue would do or they should name a track or something, man. Man, we going to lose Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce this year, man, this is our last year around the world, you know, competing. What do you think about that?

    (Jamaica unveiled a statue of Fraser-Pryce at Independence Park in Kingston in 2018.)

    In response, Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic 100m champion and 2005 and 2017 World Champion, lauded the Jamaica superstar for her work on and off the track, stating, “Man, Shelly-Ann has been such an inspiration to the sport for so long. Watching her make her first Olympic team in 2008 and her dominance for so many years into the sport and watching her grow. She was out there in the world and watching her mature into the powerful, successful woman she is now, hat’s off to her. She deserves everything.”

    Gatlin, who enjoyed a fierce rivalry against Fraser-Pryce’s contemporary, Usain Bolt, made reference to her fierce rivalry with compatriot Elaine Thompson-Herah and what it did to bring energy to the sport.

    “We wish she could run many, many more years because she is the kind of person that rises to the occasion,” said Gatlin of the Jamaican who has only once failed to win a 100m medal in a global championship. That was in 2011 when she finished fourth in the 100m final in Daegu, South Korea.

    Fraser-Pryce won 100m gold at the World Championships in 2007, 2009, 2013, 2019 and 2022. She was third at the most recent championships in Budapest, Hungary. She missed the 2017 championship because she was pregnant with her son Zyon.

    “Watching her duke it out with Elaine (Thompson-Herah) throughout the years,” Gatlin continued, “they’d be seeing who would get to 10-7 first and then who would get to 10-6, and it made for pure entertainment because they both rose to the occasion.”

    Green then chimed in clarifying that Fraser-Pryce not only battled with her Jamaican counterpart but also with the very best the USA had to offer.

    “Elaine is just the recent one. She battled with many people that banged, like Carmelita Jeter. She went back and forth with Jet, man. She went back and forth with Veronica Campbell from her own country and the late great Tori (Bowie).”

     Gatlin then said, “She battled every elite female in this era.”

    “Juggernauts, 10-6, 10-7 women through time, man,” Green remarked. “Like she has been amazing to our sport, she has been graceful to our sport. She has been nothing but a class act and I just think she will definitely be missed.

    “I think as she makes her rounds this year, around the world, farewell tour, every country she goes, win or loss, when she runs, they should let her do a lap man, because this is the last time we’re going to get to see an amazing athlete grace track and field; the Mommy Rocket. It’s sad to see her go but I understand why she has to go.”

    In a recently published interview with Essence Magazine, the 37-year-old Fraser-Pryce explained that her decision to retire after the Olympic Games in Paris stems from her wanting to dedicate more time to her family.

    “There’s not a day I’m getting up to go practise and I’m like, ‘I’m over this’,” she said. “My son needs me. My husband and I have been together since before I won in 2008. He has sacrificed for me.

    “We’re a partnership, a team. And it’s because of that support that I’m able to do the things that I have been doing for all these years. And I think I now owe it to them to do something else.”

     

    Gatlin said he understood her decision.

    "She said she owes it to her family to do something else now, especially her husband said she's been competing from 2008.She's been married for some time now for her husband and her child too. She owes it to them to just do something else and that's very honorable. Absolutely.

    "I mean, when you when you are an athlete of her stature, your time is limited because your focus is on your own success, because that's what got you to where you're at, and you try to kind of juggle or balance family time, personal life around your successful career but everything, everything in your life is kind of floating around track, so now it's like with her son becoming older and having more time to be able to be a wife and a mom that's important.”

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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