Former COCAA winners listed as Indoors all- Americans for first time

Former COCAA winners listed as Indoors all- Americans for first time

BY PAUL A REID
Observer West writer
reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, June 04, 2020

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Three former County of Cornwall Athletics Association (COCAA) Western Champs winners were last week named Indoors all-Americans for the first time after the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) published the list for the NCAA Division 1 and Division 2 schools.

Owayne Owens, formerly of Cornwall College, now representing the University of Virginia, and former Rusea's High hurdler Brithon Senior, now of South Dakota, were named on the Division 1 list, while Kelly-Ann Beckford, formerly of Albert Town High, now at Lincoln University in Missouri, was named on the Division 2 list.

Thirty-eight Jamaicans were named on both lists for the indoors season that ended in March, as the outdoors season was cancelled out of concern over the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a shift from the norm this year, all of the qualifiers for the 2020 NCAA Division I and 2 Indoor Track & Field Championships were included on the list after the events were cancelled due to the pandemic.

“Due to the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA championships the NCAA Division Track & Field Executive Committee adopted several criteria, including all student-athletes listed on the start list for the anticipated event...the four student athletes per anticipated relay who produced the performance that was declared and accepted into their event would be named as all-Americans,” said a release from the USTFCCCA.

Additionally, for this year it said “there will not be a distinction of 'first-team', 'second-team', or 'honourable mention' to these recognitions.”

The top eight finishers in all events at the NCAA Championships are designated as 'first team all-Americans', ninth to 16th places are 'second team', while 17 to 24th are 'honourable mention'.

Beckford, who also attended GC Foster College before heading to Lincoln University, was a three-time all-American in the 800m, mile run and the distance medley relay (DMR), and was one of nine Jamaicans from that school who got the distinction.

The freshman was a triple champion at the Mid-American Athletics Conference in February, winning both the 800m and the mile, and was part of the Lincoln University team that won the DMR.

Owens, who was second in the triple jump at the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) behind his teammate and compatriot Jordan Scott, was ranked seventh in the NCAA Division 1, with his personal best 16.25m.

The athlete, who won the triple and high jumps at the 2018 COCAA Western Champs and was named the champion male athlete, also scored a perfect 4.0 for his grade point average for the spring semester.

Senior won the Summit League 60m hurdles title in his first season at the University of South Dakota and also set the school record 7.74 seconds during the season, beating the 7.77 seconds set by his Coach Tevaskie Lewin, a former Herbert Morrison athlete.

The multiple Western Champs gold medallist, who was South Dakota's male rookie of the year, was ranked 16th in the Division 1, and was the final seed into the Championships.


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