J'cans shine on US collegiate circuit

J'cans shine on US collegiate circuit

P Burrowes

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

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SOUTHEASTERN Conference (SEC) Indoor silver medallist Damar Forbes and decorated collegian Kimberly Williams, a standout at Florida State University, were top Jamaican performers at US college indoor meets at the weekend.

Forbes leapt a season-best 7.93 metres for the seventh-best jump in the world this year, while Williams registered a season-best 13.82 metres for the ninth-best mark in the triple jump for 2012.

A junior at Louisiana State University (LSU), 21-year-old Forbes finished second at the Razorback Invitational at Fayetteville, Arkansas to world-leader and American Marquise Goodwin, a World Junior champion now at the University of Texas who won with 8.10 metres. Third was American Mychael Stewart who competed unattached.

Ninth at the NCAA Division One Indoor Championships last year at College Station, Texas, Forbes has the third-best collegiate jump so far, with American Bryce Lamb of Texas Tech University in second with 7.94 metres.

However to automatically qualify for the 2012 NCAA Division One Indoor Championships in Nampa, Idaho, from March 9-10, long jumpers must reach the mark of 8.00 metres. Only Goodwin has so far qualified.

Meanwhile Williams, who completed her eligibility for the NCAA last year, is now focused on the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey on March 9-11. The entry standard for the women's triple jump there is 14.10 metres, which must be achieved between January, 2011 to February 27, 2012.

The reigning Central American and Caribbean Games champion, 23-year-old Williams has a personal best 14.23 metres set in February 27, 2010.

Since then, her best jump was 13.96 metres with which she won the Atlantic Coast Conference indoor title on February 26, 2011 at Blacksburg, Virginia.

Williams is currently ranked, by All-Athletics.com, as the 35th best athlete in the world in the triple jump, led by European and World Champion Olha Saladuha of Ukraine.

Competing at the Jayhawk Classic in Kansas, Williams, unattached, won the triple jump ahead of Americans Crystal Mannings (13.43m), unattached, and Andrea Geubelle (13.20m) of the University of Kansas.

Elsewhere, at the Penn State National Invitational, Dane Hyatt, unattached, ran a season-best 47.01 seconds for second place in the 400 metres. American Josh Scott, unattached, won in a time of 46.40 seconds with another American Dominic Scott of American International College clocking 47.02 seconds for third place.

In the women's equivalent at the Boston University Terrier Classic, Sophia Smellie ran a season-best 53.74 seconds for victory, beating American Latosha Wallace, 54.45 seconds, and Bahamian Katarina Smith, 54.75 seconds.

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