Healthy again and armed with a new mindset, Demisha Roswell is intent on making her senior year count for Texas Tech in the NCAA this season.

The 25-year-old former Vere Technical athlete impressed on Friday, January 20, when she ran 7.98 over 60m to finish second to Masai Russell at the Red Raider Open in Lubbock, Texas.

Kentucky’s Russell won in a world-leading 7.75 but Roswell’s time made her the fastest Jamaican woman in the world this year after eclipsing the 8.00 run by Arkansas’ Ackera Nugent in Fayetteville, Arkansas on January 13.

It was a welcome return to form from injury for Roswell, who defeated Nugent to win the Big 12 Championships last May, running an outdoor personal best 12.44 for the 100m hurdles.

However, her celebrations were short-lived as an injury slowed her significantly for the remainder of the season. She was seventh at the NCAA Division I Championships in a pedestrian 12.94 and just missed out on a place on Jamaica’s team to the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, when she finished fourth at the Jamaican championships in 12.83.

Since then, the work she has put in to get healthy again has been  paying off but it wasn’t easy.

“The background work was somewhat tough for me because I was struggling with my injury plus my mentals, but it paying off little by little,” she said.

“It (rehab) went well even though I hate it but my coach and trainer were very tough on me to get me back where I’m supposed to be.

“The time didn’t surprise me at all, to be honest. I’m confident about this season so I’m hoping I keep healthy.”

Roswell also revealed that she is approaching the new season with a different mindset. She is more focused and committed to being successful this season as she intends to leave her mark in her final year in the NCAA.

“I want more this year and I want my name to be remembered,” she said.

 

 

 

Track and field superstars Shericka Jackson and Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone are set for an exciting clash in the 60m at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix at the New Balance Track in Boston on February 4.

Jackson, who finished as runner-up in Jamaica’s National Sportswoman of the Year awards last week, had a magnificent 2022 season which saw her 21.45 to become the fastest woman alive in the 200m on her way to winning gold in the event at the World Championships in Eugene.

She also ran a new personal best of 10.71 to finish second in the 100m behind Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce. Jackson, 28, has a 60m personal best of 7.04 which she ran to finish sixth at the World Indoor Championships in Serbia last year.

The USA’s McLaughlin-Levrone, 23, is also coming off a spectacular year which was crowned with her being named as the World Athletics Female Athlete of the Year in December.

In July, she became the first woman in history to run a sub-51 second 400m hurdles when she ran a sensational 50.68 to win her maiden 400m world title. That was after she broke her own then-world record of 51.46, which she ran to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics, with a 51.41 effort at the US Championships in June. McLaughlin-Levrone has never run a 60m race.

World Championship 100m finalist Aleia Hobbs and World Indoor Championships 60m silver medallist Mikiah Briscoe will also be in the field in Boston. 

St Lucia’s sprint queen Julien Alfred set a new NCAA record on Saturday clocking a world-leading 7.02 to win the 60m dash at the Martin Luther King Invitational held at the Albuquerque Convention Centre at the University of New Mexico.

The University of Texas Senior ran a world-leading 7.05 in the preliminary round before storming to the new record and personal best in the final.

The final was barely a contest as Alfred, the 2022 NCAA 100m champion, was miles ahead of Texas teammate Rhasidat Adekele, who was runner up in 7.20 just edging out Maboundou Kone, who ran 7.21 for third.

Alfred now owns the three fastest times over 60m ran by any woman in NCAA history at 7.02, 7.04 and 7.05 seconds, respectively

Saturday’s victory was a continuation of her impressive start to the season.

She won her season-opener event in the 300m dash at the Commonwealth College Opener with a time of 37.36. She went on to win the 200m at the Cardinal Classic with a time of 23.10 and helped Texas run the 13-fastest 4x400 time in UT history with a time of 3:30.55.

 

 

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Rasheed Broadbell were crowned as Jamaica’s National Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year, respectively, at the 2022 RJRGLEANER Sports Foundation National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards on Friday at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel.

The 35-year-old Fraser-Pryce, now a five-time National Sportswoman of the year after wins in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2019 previously, produced an outstanding year in which she won her fifth 100m title at the World Athletics Championships in July, in Eugene, Oregon, leading a Jamaican sweep of the podium places with Jackson finishing second in a personal best 10.73 seconds and Elaine Thompson-Herah third in 10.81 seconds.

Fraser-Pryce was also the Diamond League 100m champion in 2022 and ran a world-leading 10.62 seconds among her record seven sub-10.70 100m races during the season.

Meanwhile, Broadbell enjoyed an excellent breakout season in which he ran 13.08 seconds to win 110m hurdles gold at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and enjoyed some strong Diamond League performances, including a personal best time of 12.99 seconds while defeating American World and Olympic champion Grant Holloway of the USA at the Lausanne Diamond League meet in August, before finishing second to Holloway at the finale in Zurich the following month.

World 200m champion Shericka Jackson and West Indies all-rounder Rovman Powell, who led the Jamaica Tallawahs to their third Caribbean Premier League T20 title and Jamaica Scorpions to their first Super 50 title in 10 years, were the respective runners-up.

 

Clemson sprinter Kiara Grant started her 2023 collegiate season in ominous form with a personal best and world leading 7.09 seconds to win the 60m at the Red Raider Open at the Sports Performance Centre in Lubbock, Texas on Friday.

The 22-year-old former Alpha standout’s time was also a new ACC record, shattering Tonya Carter’s record of 7.15 seconds, which had stood for 23 years. She is also now the joint eighth-fastest Jamaican in the event.

American Marybeth Sant-Price, the World Indoor bronze medalist from last year, was second in 7.18 with Sedrickia Wynn of Texas State taking third place with a time of 7.35.

Elsewhere, Jamaican Texas Tech sprint hurdler Demisha Roswell produced a time of 7.98 seconds to finish second in the 60m hurdles.

The 25-year-old Vere Technical alum, who lowered her 100m hurdles personal best to 12.44 last season, was beaten by Kentucky’s Masai Russell who ran a collegiate record 7.75 for victory.

LSU’s Leah Phillips was third in 8.14.

The Convent of Mercy Academy, Alpha High School, has expressed appreciation to Express Canteen Services for sponsorship of its sports programme.

Express’ sporting support for the traditional all-girls institution was formalized during a $250,000 cheque handing-over ceremony on Tuesday by the company’s CEO, Ryan Foster, to Principal Mrs Kali McMorris, in the presence of teachers, coaches and athletes from a wide cross-section of sports to include netball, swimming and track and field.

Noting the long-lasting benefits of sport, Mrs. McMorris reasoned about the invaluable nature of Express’ contribution.

She said: “I think most importantly, when we get funding like this it offers the opportunity for all sports, who have students who are really eager and come together, even without some of the formal trappings of a team, to participate. And I think participation in sports is a lifelong activity that we want to inculcate in all our students for health, for wellness and  of course, for any prospects that you can have academic advancement.

“The relationship with Express Canteen, that partnership that Mr. Foster has entered into with us, has already borne fruit and we are happy,” the Principal added. “We call ourselves the Alpha family. I think one of the things you do when you join a family is you pool together your resources and so to Express we’re happy that they’re a part of our family and we’re grateful to them to be contributing in this way for the fulfilment of our dreams and our girls’ dreams.”

The school’s history of involvement in team sports was also revisited, with Mrs. McMorris noting that they have been particularly strong in netball, and continue to do well in track and field, as a small team. She also shared a growing admiration for the girls, given their efforts during the past three years.

“These young ladies, our fifth formers in particular and this track team that we currently have is particularly dear to me because I think they’re resilient, independent and determined. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, despite all the challenges of training and financing when the school would’ve wanted not to continue with a programme for safety, for finances, these young ladies came together with their parents and their coaches and they demonstrated to the Principal that they could have a team,” said Mrs. McMorris. “And they train and they found ways to overcome all the financial challenges and as a result of it we were able to draw together as a community to make that team at least go to Champs.”

That show of commitment has not escaped Foster either.

“I have been very impressed, not only with the humility and dedication of the school’s administration, but how the girls have performed,” he said.

Foster, who is also the CEO/secretary general of the island’s apex sporting body, the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), stated: “The Convent of Mercy Academy, Alpha, has long been a well-established educational institution that has contributed significantly to the Jamaican landscape. As their food partner, we also believe in providing students with a balanced education where students not only excel in the classroom but the field of play.

“Express Canteen is proud to make this donation towards the Alpha sports programme and hopes that this contribution will encourage the performance of the girls in their respective sporting discipline,” he added. “As CEO of the JOA and Express Canteen, sport is seen as vehicle whereby our students can self-actualize and we will be supporting our girls in their endeavors on the field of play. Express believes that it is not the size of your company, but it is how you can sacrifice to make the lives of others better. After all, we are only here for a short time."

Sprinter Amoi Kentish, who has been on the track team since first form all the way through to fifth, competes in the 100m hurdles, 100m, 200m and 4x100m.

Commenting on Express Canteen’s support, she said: “I can say on behalf of my team we are very grateful because since we’ve restarted our track season we’ve been to one track meet, three basically, and not most of our team members have track gear. So we wear our Alpha tops and tights, but we still try our best to get our girls out to compete, to support the school and to go out there and do our best.

“So this sponsorship will really do us well. If we could get more gear and more footwear (that’d be good). Some of our sneakers is old and the bottom is falling off, so this sponsorship will really do us good for that,” she explained.

Halyncia, another track athlete, who runs the 400m hurdles, also expressed gratitude.

“The members of this team are very grateful that we were chosen to be a part of this sponsorship and we will be using this money to build and to help each of the sports to get better, and get uniforms, and to enter each event at a track meet, a netball competition, or a swim meet,” Henry shared. “…It (sponsorship) will help a lot because a lot of us are improving; drastically, little by little, step by step, but we’re going to get there because we’re disciplined, we’re focused and we’re determined.”

Dominican Triple Jumper Thea Lafond has been named by Dominican newspaper The Chronicle as their 2022 Person of the Year.

“Thank you to The Chronicle for this honor and for listening to my story,” said Lafond-Gadson in a post in Instagram.

“2022 was a truly blessed year! Let’s make 2023 even better,” she added.

The 28-year-old Lafond enjoyed a career-best season in the triple jump in 2022.

In addition to a gold medal at the NACAC Championships in August, she took home silver at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham later that month and enjoyed a fifth-place finish at the World Championships in Eugene in July and a fourth-place finish at the World Indoor Championships in Beograd in March.

Lafond also won the triple jump at the Rabat Diamond League in June.

Brendaline Descartes is the new President of the Saint Lucia Athletics Association, following an elective congress on Saturday.

She was formerly second vice president and takes office as the second woman to be installed as president of the SLAA.

The rest of the executive is as follows: Samie D Henry (1st vice president), Andy Behl (2nd vice president), Wayne Burton (Secretary), Lisa Joseph (Assistant Secretary), Cornelius Breen (Treasurer), Makeba Alcide (Public Relations Officer), Kenvin McPhee (Floor Rep) and Laurisia Laurent (Floor Rep).

Eliud Kipchoge’s 2:01:09 marathon world record, along with world U20 records set last year by 100m sprinter Letsile Tebogo and Jamaica’s 4x100m team, have been ratified.

At the World U20 Championships in Cali, the Jamaican quartet of Serena Cole, Tina Clayton, Kerrica Hill and Tia Clayton teamed up to take the title in 42.59, taking 0.35 off the previous record that the same team had achieved on 22 August 2021 at the previous World U20 Championships in Nairobi.

A similar quartet – but with Brianna Lyston on third leg instead of Hill – had clocked a marginally quicker 42.58 at the Carifta Games earlier in 2022, but it could not be ratified as a record.

Double Olympic champion Kipchoge won the Berlin Marathon last year, taking 30 seconds off the marathon world record he had set in the same city on 16 September 2018.

The 38-year-old Kenyan went out hard, passing through 5km in 14:14 and 10km in 28:22 – not just comfortably inside world record pace, but also well inside a projected two-hour finish. He maintained that pace through half way, which was reached in 59:50 – identical to his half-way split when he produced a sub-two-hour run in an unofficial orchestrated race in Vienna three years ago. His pace started to drop slightly from then on, but he was still comfortably inside world record pace.

Ethiopia’s Andamlak Belihu had been level with Kipchoge up until that point, but the Kenyan superstar then gradually pulled clear and was out on his own. He passed through 30km in 1:25:40, then reached 35km in 1:40:10. By the time he passed through 40km in 1:54:53, his lead had grown to move than four minutes.

Kipchoge went on to cross the line in 2:01:09, making this the eighth consecutive men’s marathon world record to be set in Berlin.

"I am overjoyed to have broken the world record," said Kipchoge. "I wanted to run the first half so fast. After 38km I knew I would be capable of breaking the world record. The circumstances were great, and so was the organisation.”

Botswana’s Tebogo successfully defended his 100m title at the World Athletics U20 Championships Cali 22. He had broken the championship record in his heat with 10.00, then won his semifinal in 10.14 before going on to dominate the final in 9.91 (0.8m/s).

His winning time took 0.03 off the world U20 record he had set in Eugene on 15 July in the heats of the World Athletics Championships Oregon22.

“When the gun went off, I had to make sure I made the best start of my life – and it was the best start of my life,” said Tebogo. “As soon as I took my first step, I knew the title was mine. I didn’t worry about the time. I didn’t look.”

 

Barbadian 400m superstar Sada Williams took home four awards at the Barbados Olympic Association’s annual Awards Ceremony on December 22 at the Hilton Barbados Resort.

Williams, who won gold in the women’s 400 metres at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in a new meet and national record of 49.75, was rewarded for that feat.

In addition to being named Senior Female Athlete of the Year, she also received the International Excellence award and the coveted President’s Award from BOA chief, Sandra Osborne.

“I am extremely honoured to receive such an important award – the President’s Award. I also want to recognise the other nominees who also had an outstanding season,” the 25-year-old World Championships bronze medallist said.

“The successes I had this past season would not have been possible without the contributions and encouragement of so many people, too many to name and I sincerely thank each one of you for helping me make this a memorable season and for giving me a chance to win this award,” she added.

In addition to her medals at the World Championships and Commonwealth Games, Williams also took silver at the NACAC Championships in the Bahamas in August.

World Athletics Under-20 championships gold medallist Ackera Nugent has moved from Baylor University to the University of Arkansas.

The former Excelsior High star runner, who won gold in the 100m hurdles at the world junior championships in Nairobi, Kenya in 2021, had attended Baylor for the past two seasons.

On Wednesday, Nugent, the World U-20 indoor record holder in the 60m hurdles, posted a photograph of herself on Instagram wearing a University of Arkansas shirt while clearing a hurdle with the word ‘Arkansas’ on it.

“Rule #3, forget ATTENTION and GROW in PRIVATE. I spoke less and God did the rest. (Psalms 27:1),” she captioned the post.

At Arkansas, she will join several Jamaicans including World Championships men’s long jump finalist Wayne Pinnock and Olympian Carey McLeod, who both transferred from the University of Tennessee; discus throwers Ralford Mullings, who transferred from Arizona State and Roje Stona who previously attended Clemson University.

Shakwon Coke also signed for Arkansas after leaving Barton County College along with World Under-20 triple jump champion Jaydon Hibbert, who had previously signed with Tennessee. Jamie Farr, Ryan Brown and sprint hurdler Phillip Lemonious are also on the men’s team.

Nickesha Pryce, formerly of Vere Technical and Iowa Western Community College, and Joanne Reid, formerly of St Jago High, are also on the women’s roster.

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced that Jamaica will host a World Anti-Doping Agency Forum in January in Kingston.

The Forum will target Ministers of Sport in the Caribbean and will be attended by the President of the World Anti-Doping Agency, Witold Bańka,

Minister Grange said it will be the second WADA Forum specifically for sports ministers in the Caribbean and is a follow-up to an online Forum that was held in October.

“At that online Forum, Jamaica — because of our leadership position in anti-doping in the region — offered technical guidance to other countries and WADA also agreed to support capacity building and cooperation among nations. So, this Forum from January 26 to 27 will build on our discussions from October and will also see some delegates touring JADCO facilities as part of a study tour,” said Minister Grange. 

19 Ministers of Sport and their delegations are scheduled to attend the Forum.

Minister Grange said the Forum would help to “advance the development of a plan of action for anti-doping programmes across the Caribbean with the aim of keeping sports clean.”

Rising junior track athlete Jenna-Marie Thomas charts off to Geneva, Ohio, United States on Wednesday on a full athletic scholarship at SPIRE Institute and Academy.

Thomas, 14, currently holds four NGC/NAAATT National Junior Championship titles having swept the girls’ U-15 60-metre hurdles, 200m, 300m hurdles and 400m events at the annual meet in July. There, she also earned U-17 shot put silver.

The IG Fastlane Athletics Club sprinter/hurdler will continue her high school studies at SPIRE in grade ten and will focus on developing in the 200 and 400m sprints, as well as 100m and 400m hurdles.

Thomas was pleased to secure the scholarship at such a young age and is intent on making the most of her budding athletic career. She leaves Holy Faith Convent, Couva to head to Ohio.

“I attained this scholarship by displaying great potential on the track, and academically, which provided the opportunity for me to qualify and receive a full athletic scholarship.

“Getting a scholarship at this age was unexpected; however, receiving one would have been part of my goals as an athlete. Some of my main goals and aspirations I would like to achieve while there are improving and excel in both sprint and hurdle events,” she said.

Locally, she’s been coached by IG Fastlane’s Samuel Roach for the past seven years. Her hurdles coaches are Nataki Dasant, Heathcliffe Thorne, Aiesha Colthrust and Kern Alexis.

Thomas also earned girls’ U-17 4x100m relay bronze at the Carifta Games in Jamaica earlier this year. She was fifth in the 400m final.

Thomas also finished fourth in the women’s 400m event at the 2022 National Open Championships, clocking 57.89 seconds.

Despite her experience on the track, Thomas said she was still a bit nervy to start school in the US. However, the speedster wants to embrace the opportunity and face the challenges head on, in pursuit of a successful athletic career.

“I am bit anxious but mostly excited to study because of the new experiences. I think balancing school and sport would be quite similar to what I normally do just balancing a new environment would be a bit challenging in view of the fact that the climate is different to my home country.

“I plan on approaching everything with a positive attitude in that way it will be one step closer to achieving my goals,” she added.

Her personal bests are; 60m hurdles (9.53s), 100m (12.82s), 200m (25.90s), 100m hurdles (15.31s), 300m hurdles (44.89s), 400m (57.89s), 400m hurdles (1.05s), high jump (1.53m) and shot put (10.06m).

Looking ahead, Thomas said she would like to spend most of her time working on the 400m hurdles.

 

Over 600 children in Waterhouse and Ewarton were treated to food, gifts and fun by World Championship and Olympic gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce at the 15th staging of her annual Christmas Treat on Monday.

Meals such as hot dogs, popcorn, snow cones, rice and peas with fried chicken and macaroni and cheese with salad, chicken soup as well as unlimited juices and water were provided.

GraceKennedy provided an activity zone with Santa giving snacks from his sack throughout the day while Digicel provided five different bouncy houses and an inflatable obstacle course.

Children also received a SFP Pocket Rocket Foundation gift bag containing age-appropriate toys along with a GraceKennedy snack bag. Older children received branded NIKE drawstring bags.

“Once again, I thank my Sponsors this year NIKE, GraceKennedy, Digicel, Excelsior, Rubis, Toyota Jamaica, Scoops Unlimited and Sagicor in making both the Ewarton and Waterhouse Christmas Treat a tremendous success,” Fraser-Pryce said.

Jamaica’s Ackera Nugent and American wonderkid Erriyon Knighton are among four athletes to have their world records ratified by World Athletics.

In a release Friday, World Athletics said Nugent achieved her world U20 indoor 60m hurdles record when winning at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville on March 13, 2021.

Other performances that were faster than the previous ratified world record of 8.00 set by Klaudia Siciarz in Torun on February 18, 2017 – including Nugent’s own 7.91 earlier in 2021 – did not fulfil all the criteria for ratification.

Nugent’s 7.92 does meet the criteria, so becomes the world U20 record.

Meanwhile, Knighton achieved his world U20 200m record at the US Championships on 26 June, running 19.69 to improve on his own previous ratified record of 19.84, also set at Hayward Field in Eugene on June 27, 2021.

Knighton had opened his season with a time of 19.49 in Baton Rouge, but that mark could not be ratified as a world U20 record because specific anti-doping testing requirements were not met.

Elsewhere, the world 10km record of 29:14 set by Yalemzerf Yehualaw in Castellon on February 27 has also been ratified.

In Castellon, Yehualaw became the first woman in history to dip under the 29:30 and 29:20 barriers on the roads, running 29:14 to improve the ratified record of 29:43 set by Joyciline Jepkosgei in Prague on 9 September 2017 and the mark of 29:38 achieved on 3 October 2021 by Bahrain’s Kalkidan Gezahegne in Geneva.

In a race held under ideal weather conditions, and with pacing assistance from Dutch distance runner Richard Douma, Yehualaw set off at a swift pace. They covered the opening kilometre in 2:51 and by 3km, reached in 8:36, Yehualaw was on target for a sub-29-minute finish.

She went through halfway in 14:28 – one of the fastest 5km clockings in history – and was still inside 29-minute pace. The Ethiopian slowed a bit during the second half, but a final kilometre of 2:52 (and a second half of 14:46) was enough to carry her to a 29:14 finish.

“I knew I had the world record in my legs and wanted to produce a challenging performance for any athletes who may attempt the record in the near future,” she said.

In March this year, Mokoka ran 2:40:13 at the Nedbank Runified 50km in Gqeberha to improve on the inaugural world 50km record of 2:42:07 that had been set by Ethiopia’s Ketema Negasa at the same event last year.

Mokoka is now the official world 50km record-holder, although CJ Albertson clocked 2:38:43 in San Francisco on 8 October, and that performance has also been submitted for record ratification.

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