Sprint hurdler Nugent runs sparkling best at Aggie Invitational

Sports

Sprint hurdler Nugent runs sparkling best at Aggie Invitational

BY PAUL A REID
Observer writer
reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

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Jamaica's Ackera Nugent continued her torrid start to her collegiate track and field career after she blazed to a sparkling personal best 8.08 seconds to win the women's 60m hurdles at Saturday's Aggie Invitational at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium at Texas A&M University.

It was the second-straight victory for the former Excelsior High School standout after she had won the previous weekend at Texas Tech and became only the second-best performer ever for Baylor University and was tied for the ninth-best time ever.

Additionally, the World Under-18 record holder climbed to number three all-time on the Jamaican Under-20 list, behind Britany Anderson's 8.02 seconds set in New York in February 2020 and Shermaine Williams' 8.07 seconds set in Houston, Texas, in March 2009.

Also on Saturday, former Cornwall College sprinter Matthew Brown won the men's 60m with a season's best 6.78 seconds at the Larry Wieczorek Invitational, while former Jamaica College jumper Andre Douglas set a Campbell University programme record in the triple jump when he won at the Carolina Challenge at the University of South Carolina.

Nugent, who medalled in the 100m hurdles at the Pan American Under-20 in Costa Rica in 2019, is tied for 15th best Under-20 all-time after she dominated the event, winning by a clear margin with Texas A&M's Kaylah Robinson in second with 8.26 seconds and University of Houston's Naomi Taylor third in 8.29 seconds.

After only two meets, Nugent has climbed into the Baylor record books and is the second-best performer behind Tiffany McReynolds who has the top 10 times, all set between 2011 and 2014, and the school record 7.93 seconds.

Douglas, who transferred from University of Texas-San Antonio, broke Campbell University's record of 15.50m, set in 2006 by Lincoln Gordon, with a season best 15.69m, just shy of his personal best 15.71m.

The jump saw him up to seventh in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rankings.

Brown, who was running his second meet of the indoor season and was third at a home meet at University of Nebraska two weeks ago, improved his season's best mark after he had run 6.79 seconds at the first meet.

Former Kingston College thrower Zico Campbell replaced his teammate and compatriot Roje Stona in fifth place on Clemson University's shot put all-time list after he threw a lifetime best 17.66m for third place at the Hokie Invitational at Virginia Tech.

It was the fourth-straight meet at which Campbell was improving his personal best and had a massive improvement over his previous best 16.83m set a week prior at the Clemson Invite.

Stona was sixth at Virginia Tech with a season's best 17.24m, while Danielle Sloley, also of Clemson, improved her lifetime best when she placed sixth with 13.45m.

Pan Am Games medallist Lamara Distin was second in the high jump with a clearance of 1.71m at her home meet at Texas A&M, her second meet after sitting out all of last year, failing to clear 1.76m.

Former St James sprinter Kayla Bonnick of University of Virginia was fifth in the 60m final at Virginia Tech, running a new personal best 7.51 seconds.

Meanwhile, in the junior college ranks, Barton County's Nia Robinson extended her dominance at the top of the triple jump rankings with a massive new lifetime best 12.58m to place third at the Red Raider Invitational at Texas Tech, while Tyrese Reid had two junior college leading marks, in the 600 yards and the 1,000m.

Robinson, formerly of Rusea's High School and who is coming off being named the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) Field Athlete of the Week for her double win at the Coffeyville, led the triple jump for a long time, but was eventually passed by two seniors from Texas Tech.

Her mark was, however, almost a full metre better than the 11.66m she did at Coffeyville and was the sixth best ever at Barton and would have placed the freshman in the top 15 of the NCAA Division 1 ranking.

Her teammate, former Edwin Allen athlete Annia Ashley placed fifth with 12.49m and is second on the junior college ranking.

Both also cleared 1.63m in the high jump, Ashley getting eighth and Robinson ninth, both automatic qualifiers for the national championships.

Reid, who attended Spot Valley High School, ran a personal best of 1 minute 19.67 seconds for fourth place in the 600 yards and placed third in the 1000m with 2 minutes 37.62 seconds, both tops in the junior college rankings.


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