Team Jamaica Bickle, (TJB) has named Dr Kristal McGreggor to the Board of Directors of the organization.  She succeeds a long-standing member of TJB, Oswald Hancle, who passed away late last year.

A former student and athlete of the St. Andrew High School for Girls, where she was a member of the Track and Field team and captain of the Basketball team, Dr McGreggor’s attended the Bronx Community College where she won a full athletic scholarship to Hampton University where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Master of Science in Sports Administration.

Dr McGreggor has a passion for youth mentorship. She took her first steps in this arena while still in college, when she, along with friends, Tashanna Willcock and Claudia Calder formed Camp21, an organization dedicated to the mentorship of Jamaican student-athletes living in the United States.

She also served as Director of Operations and Assistant Throws Coach for the Track and Field program for three years before taking up her doctoral studies in Sport Management at the University of Michigan.

 “It is a great honour to serve as a member of the Board of Directors for Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB). I appreciate the confidence TJB has shown in me over the years. I fully support the vision and mission of TJB, and I am eager to contribute my knowledge and experience to advance the growth of the organization,” Dr McGreggor said. 

Based in Michigan, Dr McGreggor currently serves as an Academic Mentor and Co-founder of the Achieve A Dream Foundation through which she aims to build her mentorship initiative and assist athletes in their character development.

“She is a great asset to our board, the future and the growth of TJB. Personally, I am quite proud of her, knowing her journey, from whence she came to the pinnacle of academia. Throughout it all, service and volunteerism remained a hallmark of her being,” said Chairman of TJB Irwine Clare Snr., of Dr McGreggor.

Other members of the board are Blane Stoddart, Vincent Heath, Michelle Neil, Horace Lynch, Oswald Brown, Ayesha Hinds (Secretary), Lance Clarke (CFO), Karen Wilson-Robinson, Esq - Vice-Chair.

Formed in 1994, Team Jamaica Bickle is a not-for-profit organization, based in New York, under the leadership of Irwine G. Clare Snr and which provides much-needed support for Jamaican athletes who compete at the annual Penn Relays Carnival, held at the University of Pennsylvania.

Team Jamaica Bickle, Inc. also supports athletes, athletic and youth programs across the Caribbean and the United States.

In 1999, Team Jamaica Bickle became the first Jamaican organization to be a participating sponsor at the Penn Relays.

 

Ackera Nugent was announced as the Big 12 Conference’s Women’s Outstanding Freshman of the Year on Thursday.

Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB) said it is disappointed but understands the reasons for the cancellation of the 2021 Penn Relays that were set to run off from April 22-24, 2021.

Hearing dates for the consolidated appeals of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and World Athletics against 2019 400m World Champions Salwa Eid Naser have been set for Thursday, April 22 and Friday, April 23, 2021.

Abigail Schaaffe was a standout once again winning her last 600m for the season in a new personal best time and then ran her fastest ever split on the 4x400m relay team as the University of Minnesota’s women topped the Big 10 Championships at the Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio.

After achieving personal best marks in both long and triple jumps at the SEC Championships in Fayetteville last weekend, Tennessee’s Carey McLeod believes his best this season is yet to come as he aims to seal a spot on Jamaica’s team to the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

It was all about the comeback for Texas A&M’s Tyra Gittens, who rebounded from a disappointing first day at last week’s SEC Indoor Championships to win two gold medals and consequently, the coveted Cliff Harper Award for scoring the most points.

It was her second hold on the award and the first time an athlete has won it outright since 1997.

In two weeks, she will seek pentathlon redemption at the NCAA National Championships where she intends to break the collegiate record of 4703 points held by Georgia’s Kendall Williams.

“To win the Cliff Harper Award for the second time was definitely a good feeling. After my performance on Thursday, I was definitely down, I was definitely embarrassed, I was definitely upset but it’s all about the comeback. It’s all about how you come back from a terrible performance,” she told Sportsmax.TV.

“We are all human. We are all going to have those days as athletes but I was very proud of myself. This is my first time winning two gold medals at SECs and I was so happy to be able to put up 23 points. It’s reassuring knowing my team can rely on me and I know I can rely on myself to come back from devastating situations.”

Expected to do well in the pentathlon, after scoring a personal best 4612 points at the Texas Tech Invitational on January 29, things could not have gone worse for the 22-year-old Trinidadian in her efforts to defend the title she won in 2020.

The worst of those performances came in the long jump where she only managed to register a mark of 4.11m, well below her season-best of 6.62m.

She was forced to settle for sixth place, her score of 3818 points, a massive 703 shy of the 4501 scored by the newly crowned 2021 champion, Anna Hall of Georgia.

Despondent and embarrassed by her poor showing, Gittens turned to family for refuge.

“After talking to my family and talking to my sister, she played college volleyball, and she said anytime a negative thought would come in she would grab the thought and just throw it away and all of last night (Thursday) that is what I was doing,” she revealed.

“I wouldn’t even let it linger. As soon as I felt some negativity, I just grabbed it and threw it away and it worked because today (Friday) it was only positive and negative Tyra was out of sight.”

It worked.

Within an hour late Friday, Gittens won two gold medals for Texas A&M. First, cleared 1.89m – just shy of her personal best 1.91m - in the high jump to defeat LSU’s Abigail O’Donohogue and avenge her pentathlon loss to Hall, who were second and third, respectively, each having cleared 1.86m.

She then equalled her personal best (6.62m) to win the long jump ahead of LSU’s Aliyah Whisby (6.61m) and Georgia’s Titiana Marsh (6.39m).

“Today (Friday) was all about beating myself because yesterday I let the negative Tyra, the bad Tyra that we don’t like to see, overtake,” said an elated Gittens afterwards.

“I let her win yesterday and today (Friday) I relaxed, I had fun. I did everything that I wanted to do with executing and I cannot be happier. I am exhausted, but I am so proud of myself, and I am very happy.”

The comeback completed, redemption comes next and that will be the point of her focus over the next two weeks.

“These two weeks are going to be very important. I have a lot to work on,” she said. “I am going to use it to train and just get consistent and I am coming for the NCAA record.”

Joella Lloyd and Carey McLeod shone brightly for the University at Tennessee at the SEC Championships at the Randal Tyson Indoor Track Centre in Arkansas on the weekend.

Usain Bolt's one-time great rival Yohan Blake has declared he will refuse all COVID-19 vaccines, and would rather miss the Tokyo 2020 Olympics than be immunised.

The Jamaican sprinter won silver in the 100 metres and 200m at London 2012, as Bolt landed gold in both races. Only Bolt has ever run faster than Blake over those distances.

Speaking on Saturday, Blake expressed his opposition to being given a vaccine.

The International Olympic Committee has indicated athletes will not need to be vaccinated before taking part in the Tokyo Games, but vice-president John Coates recently said it was "certainly being encouraged".

The Olympics, postponed from last year due to the coronavirus crisis, is due to run from July 23 to August 8.

Quoted by the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper, Blake said: "My mind still stays strong, I don't want any vaccine, I'd rather miss the Olympics than take the vaccine, I am not taking it.

"I don't really want to get into it now, but I have my reasons."

Blake, who won 100m gold at the 2011 World Championships, is now 31 and Tokyo may be his last chance to shine on the Olympic stage.

He said in a video posted late on Saturday night: "Love me or dislike me, but I am here for a reason, to serve God, and at the same time be a servant for God to help each and every one.

"I am a righteous man, I am a man of God, and I believe that everybody do have a choice in life, no matter what. And I want to tell someone, don't let anyone take away that choice from you.

"At the end of the day if anything should happen, nobody's going to be by your side apart from God. No one is going to be there to hold your hand, it's going to be you.

"Follow your mind, don't follow the crowd. At the same time, be respectful to each and every one. Don't let no one take away your choice."

Jamaica has had 422 confirmed deaths from COVID-19, and 23,263 cases, the country's government announced on Saturday.

The country has yet to receive first shipments of a vaccine, but health minister Dr Christopher Tufton said on Friday they would "soon" arrive.

Jamaica and Baylor University hurdler, Ackera Nugent, had to settle for second spot on the heels of a blistering run from Texas Longhorn Chanel Brissett, in the women’s 60mh final, at the Big 12 Indoor Track & Field Championship in Lubbock, Texas on Saturday.

In the preliminary round, it was Nugent who grabbed the headlines, after storming to an impressive 7.91 seconds, well clear of Brissett who took second in 8.06. 

In the final, however, it was Brissett who set the track on fire after finishing first in 7.89 for a new meet record.  Nugent finished second in 7.98 with Texas’ Emelia Chatfield third in 8.05.

In the women’s 60m, another Jamaican Kevona Davis was narrowly edged out for the top spot after finishing just behind Texas teammate Kynnedy Flannel.  Flannel clocked 7.25 for first place, Davis clocked the same time with the two separated by milliseconds.  Monae Nichols was third in 7.46.  In the women’s 200m the finishing order for the Texas teammates was the same, with Flannel taking top spot in 22.55 and Davis second in 22.87.  Baylor University’s Aria Minor was third in 23.03.

At the SEC Indoor Championships, there was a top spot finish for Jamaica and LSU sprint hurdler Damion Thomas, who took top spot in 7.60, a new personal best.  LSU teammate Eric Edwards JR was second in 7.67, with Arkansas Tre’Bien Gilbert third in 7.70.

 

Texas A&M’s Charokee Young will miss out on the SEC Championships that began on Thursday because she has been exposed to someone infected by Covid-19.

Tyra Gittens goes into tomorrow’s SEC Championships in a confident mood seeing how well she has performed indoors this season.

The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) has received approval from the relevant government authorities to stage a series of competitive meets in order to allow junior and senior athletes the opportunity to sharpen up.

In the main, local track and field events have not been held on the island since March of last year, as part of efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.  The government recently announced plans to re-start sporting events on a case by case basis and the event, called the JAAA Qualification Trial Series, will be the first approved for the track and field local governing body.

The trials will be on February 27, held across several venues across the island, and have specific events on offer.  Among the events on offer will be the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 2000m SC, 3000m, 5000m, 70mH, 80mH, 100mH, 110mH, 400mH, 4x100m, 4x400m, 4x200m, 1600m SMR, Long Jump, Triple Jump, High Jump, Pole Vault, Shot Put, Discus and Javelin.

Athlete’s wishing to compete in the meet must sign a COVID-19 waiver, with waivers signed by parents for athletes under-18.  The meets will feature no spectator with strict COVID-19 protocols in full effect at all the venues.

 Charokee Young believes improving her running form and having a better understanding of what she does has led to better performances so far this season.

The 20-year-old rising star also revealed that she has dropped the 800m because of her love for the 400m and that she is definitely aiming to make Jamaica’s Olympic team to Tokyo this summer.

“I think the Olympics are within my reach. I am pretty close to the times (required to qualify) and I am definitely going to try out for the Olympics. Once I am healthy I am definitely going to try to make the Olympic team,” she said.

Just over a week ago, Young, the former Hydel High School standout, split 51.12 that helped Texas A&M an all-time collegiate-best of 3:26.27 at the Tyson Invitational, the ninth-fastest time ever. It was also a season-best time, a meet record and facility record.

It was a performance that saw the team named the U.S. Track & Field National Athlete of the Week.

Young told Sportsmax.TV that they went into the race intent on breaking the record.

“Our aim was to break the record and I did my best,” she said. “I wasn’t focused on how fast I was going to run, was just focused on doing my best for that day.”

Prior to enrolling at Texas A&M, Young had personal bests of 2:06.02 and 52.48 in the 800m and 400m, respectively. In her freshman year, she ran 2:05.80 indoors in March 2020, before the pandemic shut down the collegiate season.

So far this season, she has picked up from where she left off, running ran a personal best 51.93 indoors, which along with the 51.12 relay split last week, has demonstrated her steady improvement.

“I have been working on my running form. My form has gotten much better. I also have more knowledge about what I am doing, I am learning more about my body and I am more mature now,” she said while explaining that she anticipates running even faster as she transitions to outdoors later this year.”

“I am getting better each time I touch the track so if I hit personal bests I will be happy. My health is pretty good and the more correct your form is the less you run the risk of getting hurt.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) has sought to assure the island’s athletes that it is doing everything possible to facilitate the safe resumption of track and field across the island.

For the most part, all types of track and field competitions across the island have been shuttered since last year, as part of efforts to halt the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

In order to resume, sports administrations must submit a series of plans that illustrate how it is that sporting events will comply with the strict protocols set out by the goverment's Disaster Risk Management orders.

The JAAA, who have submitted the documents, is confident they have put together a strong proposal and pointed to the fact that the proposal has been shared with other North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) members, who are expected to adopt several of the recommendations.

Among the organisations proposals are the provision of COVID protocol marshals, trained by the Ministry of Health and Wellness to oversee competitions and training; hosted sensitisation sessions with coaches, team managers, and athletes, a guide for meet organisers, and a team manual for competitors.

According to the JAAA, they are yet to be given a response from the authorities but have in the meantime urged athletes to continue to prepare for the upcoming season and to continue following the existing protocols.

 

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