After two gold medals at Fighting Illini Big 10 Relays, Abigail Schaaffee eyes an upgrade

By April 28, 2021

The University of Minnesota’s Abigail Schaaffe emerged from last weekend’s Fighting Illini Big 10 Relays with two gold medals but armed with the knowledge that she has to work on being more consistent before the conference championships in mid-May.

At the meet held at Demirjian Park in Champaign, Illinois, the Jamaican freshman won the 400m hurdles on Friday in 58.63 over Illinois freshman Franklin Jessica who clocked 58.99.  Her Minnesota teammate Val Larson was third in 59.17. Her winning time was the fastest time in the conference so far this season.

Then on Saturday, Schaaffee anchored a team of Jayla Campbell, Janielle Josephs and Larson, to victory in the 4x400m relay in a conference-leading 3:38.40.

Illinois ran 3:42.01 for second place while a second team from Minnesota was third in 3:52.10.

The 2019 ISSA Boys and Girls Championships 800m bronze medalist was delighted with her weekend’s work but said there was still room for improvement, especially in the one-lap hurdles event.

“I am feeling pleased about my time and the performance,” she said. “I just need to work on my technique some more which would give me a faster time going into the championship.

“I have been working on my start, as in getting to the first hurdle in a faster spilt. My coach catches a spilt to each hurdle; my progression with that has been fluctuating. I get better then I go back to what I was doing another day. But I am just working on being consistent.”

Meanwhile, she was quite pleased with her leg of the mile relay, saying: "It felt good. I just want to get down to a faster split so we run a faster time."

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Related items

  • Thompson-Herah opens with outdoor 7.15s 60m win at Queens/Grace Jackson Invitational Thompson-Herah opens with outdoor 7.15s 60m win at Queens/Grace Jackson Invitational

    Elaine Thompson-Herah began her 2023 campaign with a victory over 60m at the Queen's/Grace Jackson Invitational at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

  • Can Jamaica's growing stock of female sprint hurdlers rise to global dominance? Can Jamaica's growing stock of female sprint hurdlers rise to global dominance?

    For more than a decade now, Jamaica’s women have bossed the 100m.  Veronica Campbell-Brown won Jamaica’s first global 100m gold medal in Osaka in 2007 and since then Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah have basically made the 100m their own with the former winning five world titles and two Olympic titles while Thompson won back to back 100m titles in Brazil in 2016 and 2021 in Tokyo, Japan where she established a new Olympic record of 10.61.

    However, with their dominance of the blue-ribbon sprint at its zenith, the women from the land of wood and water seem poised to begin dominating yet another event, the 100m hurdles. Since the 1990s, Jamaica has done reasonably well at the sprint hurdles.

    Michelle Freeman was the first Jamaican woman to reach a global final and eventually won won global medals in 1993 and 1997. Dionne Rose and Freeman were Jamaica's first ever Olympic finalists, finishing fifth and sixth, respectively in 1996.

    The following year Freeman and Gillian Russell, a 1995 World Championships finalist, went 1-2 at the World Indoor Championships.

    Brigitte Foster-Hylton and Delloreen Ennis-London picked up from them with the former winning silver  at the 2003 World Championships, bronze in 2005. Ennis-London won a silver and bronze at the 2005 and 2007 World Championships respectively.

    Foster-Hylton made the breakthrough at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin with a fantastic run to give Jamaica gold, Ennis-London won the bronze. Danielle Williams won Jamaica’s second 100m hurdles gold in Beijing 2015 in Beijing and followed with a bronze medal in 2019.

    Two years later, Megan Tapper created history for Jamaica when she became the first-ever Jamaican woman to win a medal in the 100m hurdles at an Olympic Games when she captured bronze in Tokyo, Japan.

    Then at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, Britany Anderson, a finalist in Tokyo in 2021, won silver in the sprint hurdlers.

    Tapper and Anderson are among a growing cadre of Jamaican female sprint hurdlers who are among the very best in the world. Among them are Ackera Nugent, the World U20 60m hurdles record holder who opened her 2023 season with a time of 8.00 indoors and Demisha Roswell, who ran a personal best 12.44 and is the fastest Jamaican woman in the world this year over the 60m hurdles with a 7.98 clocking this past weekend.

    There is also hope that former national record holder Janeek Brown will make a successful return to the event this season after two years of disruption in her personal life and athletic career. Perhaps, the most talented of the lot is 17-year-old Kerrica Hill, who last year succeeded Nugent as World Under 20 champion and who recently turned professional.

    In 2022, Jamaica had four of the 10 fastest women in the world. The USA also had four while Puerto Rico and Nigeria had one each.

     If Jamaica’s women are to reach the pinnacle and find some level of dominance it will require a lot of technical work and consistently fast hurdling to get there but if the 100m women are anything to go by, nothing is beyond their reach.

     

  • Mississippi State Junior Rosealee Cooper runs 8.07 to win 60m hurdles at Bob Pollock Invitational Mississippi State Junior Rosealee Cooper runs 8.07 to win 60m hurdles at Bob Pollock Invitational

    Mississippi State Junior Rosealee Cooper won the Women’s 60m hurdles at the Clemson Bob Pollock Invitational in South Carolina on Friday.

    The 22-year-old former St. Jago High standout ran 8.07 to win ahead of Tennessee’s Charisma Taylor (8.10) and Amber Hughes (8.20) who ran unattached.

    Jamaican 2015 World Champion in the 100m hurdles, Danielle Williams, was also in the race but was disqualified after a false start. She had earlier run 8.07 in the prelims to advance as the fastest qualifier.

    Elsewhere, Antiguan Tennessee Junior Joella Lloyd ran 7.21 to finish third in the 60m behind teammate Jacious Sears (7.17) and Nike’s Kayla White (7.20).

    Lloyd represented Antigua & Barbuda in the 100m at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 as well as the World Championships and Commonwealth Games in 2022.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.