Jamaicans claim 6 gold medals at NJCAA Region VI indoor championships


Jamaicans claim 6 gold medals at NJCAA Region VI indoor championships

Observer writer

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

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FORMER Jamaican junior Annia Ashley of Barton County Community College retained her triple and high jump titles while Courtney Lawrence of back-to-back men's champions Cloud County Community College set a meet record in the men's shot put at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region VI indoor championships, which ended at Pittsburg State University's Robert W Plaster Center in Concordia, Kansas, on Sunday.

Six Jamaicans won individual events at the two-day championships that saw Cloud County win both titles for the first time, making it back-to-back wins for the men's and their third in four years, and winning the women's second title and first since 1981.

Daniel Cope of Cloud County set a new personal best 19.35m to win the men's weight throw; NJCAA event leaders Tyrese Reid and Kayan Green of Barton won the men's and women's 800m titles, respectively, while Andrew Betton of Cloud County retained his heptathlon title.

It was a busy Sunday for Ashley who won the triple jump with 12.33m while her teammate Nia Robinson was fourth with 12.33m, taking just two legal jumps, and passed on her final two as well.

On Saturday, Robinson, formerly of Rusea's High School, lost the long jump title in the final round and had to settle for the silver with a personal best 6.06m, with Ashley placing fourth with 5.58m.

She also missed Sunday's high jump which Ashley won with a 1.66m clearance.

Reid, who attended Spot Valley High School, lowered his personal best to one minute 52.03 seconds, eighth-best in school history, while Green, the former Edwin Allen High School standout, ran 2:16.34 minutes for her win while teammate Sasha Brown was sixth.

Betton, who led the multi-event from Saturday, amassed a personal best score of 4,736 points to win and took over the NJCAA lead while his teammate Renaldo Savoury was sixth with 4,035, also his best tally in the seven-event discipline.

It was a packed weekend for Betton, the former Calabar High School student, as he was third in the high jump with 2.00m and third in the pole vault with 3.85m, tied with Savoury who also attended Calabar High School.

Lawrence, who has been rewriting the NJCAA shot put record book all season, set the meet record 18.49m, better than the 18.18m set in 2003, and improved on his second place from last year, while his former Petersfield High School teammate Daniel Cope was also winning his first major US college title on Saturday, copping the men's weight throw with a new personal best and Cloud County Community College school record 19.35m.

Cope, who was third in the event last year, improved on his personal best 19.04m set less than two weeks ago, dominated the contest and beat second-place Fabio Hessling of Barton County (18.16m) by a full metre, with Fred Moudani also of Barton taking third with 16.26m.

Former Kingston College jumper Shakwon Coke of Barton County, the reigning national Junior College champion, finished second in the triple jump with 15.16m on Sunday, a day after he as third in the long jump with a best of 7.19m.

Marie Forbes of Cloud County was second in both the weight throw (17.86m) and the shot put (14.25m), both improvements on last year, while Lashanna Graham of Barton County was third in the 400m with a lifetime best 56.60 seconds and an automatic qualifier for the national championships next month.

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