Jamaica jumper Lamara Distin took top spot at the Southeastern Conference Championships, on Friday, adding to an already impressive run of results this season.

Distin, who has broken the national long jump record several times in the last several months, kept her concentration to dominate the field after a six-hour weather delay.  Eventually, the Texas A&M athlete posted an event-winning mark of 1.95m to complete the SEC indoor and outdoor high jump title sweep.

The athlete finished ahead of South Carolina’s Rachel Glenn who recorded a best of 1.86m and LSU’s Nyagoa Bayak who finished third with 1.86m on the countback.  The in-form Distin also had three attempts at 1.99m but failed to clear the bar.

Lamara Distin literally continues to soar to new heights each week.

Charokee Young ran a massive lifetime best and world-leading time to win the 400m over fellow Jamaican Stacey-Ann Williams at the Texas A&M vs Texas Dual Meeting at Bryan-College Station in Texas on Saturday.

Young, who had mixed results running indoors, has been a lot more assured outdoors as a week after running a 48.98 relay split at the Texas Relays, the 21-year-old Texas A&M sophomore stormed to victory in 50.00, obliterating Williams’ meet record of 51.34 set last year. It also moved her closer to Athing Mu’s facility record of 49.68 also set last year.

It was also a significant improvement over her previous best of 50.85 set last year May.

A fast time was clearly on the cards when Young took control mid-race surging past Texas’ Kennedy Simon to take the lead. Williams, the Texas Junior, responded to Young’s move and stormed past her teammate to challenge Young for the lead.

However, the former Hydel High 800m star never looked likely to yield and pulled away to win in the world-leading time.

Williams broke her own meet record clocking 50.56, the second-fastest time in the world for 2022 while Simon was third in a personal-best 50.68.

 Young moves up to number two all-time on the Texas A&M Aggies women’s 400m list and jumped to number five among the collegiate performers on the all-time chart.

Johnathan Jones won the men’s race in a conference-leading and meet record 45.07. The Barbadian quarter-miler broke his own meet record of 45.82 that was set last year.

Texas A&M’s Emmanuel Bamidele finished second in 45.25 with Jones’ teammate Willington Wright taking third in 45.64.

Meanwhile, in the Women’s 100m, St Lucia’s Julien Alfred ran a personal best of 11.07 to take the victory over teammates Kynnedy Flannel 11.34 and Kevona Davis 11.37. Alfred’s time was a new meet record eclipsing Flannel’s record of 11.23 set last year.

Alfred was third in the 200m in 23.10. The race was won by A&M’s Laila Owens in a personal best and conference-leading 22.57. However, she just managed to hold off Texas’ Rhasidat Adeleke, who was second in 22.59.

In one of the more epic clashes of the day, former Texas A&M multi-sport star Tyra Gittens, now a senior at Texas equalled her personal best of 1.95m to win the high jump over former teammate, the in-form Lamara Distin (1.93).

Distin, who defeated Gittens at last month’s NCAA Indoor Nationals, led when she cleared 1.91m but a fired-up Gittens cleared 1.93 at her first attempt, snatching the lead from her former teammate. Distin managed to clear 1.93 on her third attempt.

However, the Trinidadian Olympian cleared 1.95m, a new meet and facility record, to secure victory after Distin failed all three attempts at that height.

Marleen Guerrero was third with her best clearance of 1.80m.

Gittens enjoyed further success on the day as she soared out to 6.58 to be second on the long jump won by Deborah Acquah of A&M with a new personal best, conference-leading and meet record 6.89m.

Ackelia Smith jumped 6.46m for third.

 

 

 

 

Jamaica and Texas A&M sophomore Lamara Distin claimed the women’s Long Jump title at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama, on Saturday.

Distin, who set the NCAA’s leading mark and national indoor record last month, got the better of Trinidad and Tobago and Texas Longhorns jumper Tyra Gittens.  The Jamaican jumper equalled her best of 1.92 metres to win the event, with Gittens recording a season best of 1.89m to earn the silver medal.  Third place went to South Carolina’s Rachel Glenn who recorded a mark of 1.86m.

Elsewhere, University of South Carolina’s Davonte Burnett claimed the men’s 60m title with a new personal best of 6.50.  The Jamaican finished ahead of Indiana’s Rikkol Brathwaite, who was second in 6.52, with Tennessee’s Favour Ashe third in 6.55.

In other events, Wayne Lawrence of Iowa finished 7th in the men’s 400m, an event won by North Carolina’s Randolph Ross and Texas Tech’s Vashaun Vascianna finished just outside the medal places in the men’s 60 MH, which was won by Florida State’s Trey Cunningham.

 

 

Texas A&M Junior Charokee Young enters the South Eastern Conference (SEC) Indoor Championships at the Aggies Gilliam Indoor Stadium this weekend in perhaps the form of her life.

The former Hydel High School star, opened the season running 37.33 in the 300m at the Wooo Pig Classic, which ranks her 18th in collegiate history and then in her first race over 400m, won in 52.00 at the Charlie Thomas Invitational.

She then clocked an impressive 51.24 in the 400m at the Don Kirby Open to win in what the fourth-best time all-time indoors at Texas A&M that established her as the Aggies leading quarter-miler, replacing the outstanding Athing Mu, who went pro before winning gold medals in the 800m at the US trials and the Tokyo Olympics.

Herself a former 800m runner, Young believes her progress this season comes down to building on her success last season when she finished the Texas Tech Invitational with two event titles, winning the 400m at a time of 52.64 and ran the second leg on the 4x400m that won at 3:31.09, the second-fastest 4x400m in the NCAA in 2021 as well as clocking a personal best 400m time of 51.93 at the Charlie Thomas Invitational, the fifth-best performer in Aggie history.

The season culminated with her booking a ticket to Japan for her first Olympics.

“I honestly feel like what drove my improvement this year is just adding to what I had already learned last year. So instead of starting from zero, I started from 50 per cent,” said Young, who is looking beyond the NCAA to don Jamaica's colours in the individual 400m at the World Championships in Oregon in July.

“I am still trying to learn more in trying to improve my races.

“I feel like my experience in Tokyo really motivated me for this year to work hard and just go out and give it my best shot. I am really working hard this year so I wouldn’t be like an alternate, hopefully, I will be able to cement my spot on the team. So I am working hard so I can run faster and hopefully get a better result.”

Wanting to succeed for both school and country can be challenging for collegiate athletes. Navigating indoor and outdoor seasons with each having both regional and national competitions can be physically and mentally taxing.

Young acknowledges that reality but believes she is now better able to find that balance that will allow excelling at both.

“I do agree that the NCAA takes a toll on your body but if you can complete an NCAA circuit, it shouldn’t be a problem to push a couple more months to go to the World Championships. Last year was my first time doing it, so this year I will have an idea what it feels like so I will be way more prepared this year than last year,” she said.

With that in mind, she said, her primary goal this season is to improve each time she steps on the track. It is clear in her mind that if she keeps doing that, then doing well for Texas A&M and Jamaica will be achievable.

“I really don’t have a set time I want to achieve this year, I just hope to keep getting better and better, so my main goal this year is to end with a season-best,” she said.

 

 

World U20 sprint hurdles champion, Ackera Nugent, was in record-breaking form on Saturday’s second day of the Larry Wieczorek Invitational at the Recreation Building in Iowa City, Iowa.

Nugent, 19, set a new meet record of 8.11 for the 60m hurdles in the preliminary round and smashed it in the final, running a personal best of 7.90. The winning time was also a new track record, facility record and meet record.

The time moves Nugent to the 11th spot all-time in collegiate indoor track competition and the best-ever U20 time. Her teammate, Kennedy Bailey finished in second place with a time of 8.3 seconds.

For her efforts, Nugent was one of four MVPs at the meet alongside teammates Johnny Brackins who won the triple jump and Tuesdi Tidwell, who triumphed in the pole vault.

Meanwhile, Nugent’s compatriot Kavia Francis and teammates Mariah Ayers, Aaliyah Miller and Gontse Morake finished with a silver medal and a time of 3:40.87 in the 4x400m relay.

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