20 Jamaicans down for action at US indoor championshipsFriday, March 05, 2021
Twenty Jamaican athletes were on Wednesday declared eligible to participate in next weekend's National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 track and field indoor championships at Randal Tyson Complex at University of Arkansas, in Fayetteville.
Former Garvey Maceo and Kingston College horizontal jumper Carey McLeod, who is the number-one-ranked male triple jumper in the US college system; former Edwin Allen sprinter Kevona Davis; and former Hydel High athlete Trishauna Hemmings all qualified in two individual events.
Meanwhile, eight of the Jamaicans, who were denied the opportunity to compete last year, will have the chance to atone.
The total number of Jamaican athletes who were nominated matches the number that qualified for last year's event, which was cancelled the day before the event was to have started, at University of New Mexico, out of concerns over the novel coronavirus pandemic.
McLeod, who set University of Tennessee records at the South-eastern Conference (SEC) indoor championships last weekend, will compete in both the long and triple jumps; Davis, who is one of two University of Texas athletes on the list, will contest the 60m and 200m events, while Hemmings of Clemson University will contest the 200m and the 60m hurdles.
McLeod, who also attained Olympic qualifying standards in both jumps last week, is also on the list of athletes who will return and includes Kiara Grant of Norfolk State University, Stacey Ann Williams of the University of Texas, Charokee Young of Texas A&M University, Wayne Lawrence of the University of Iowa, Damion Thomas of Louisiana State University, Brithon Senior of South Dakota and Owayne Owens of the University of Virginia.
The other Jamaicans who will be taking part are Kemba Nelson of the University of Oregon, Ackera Nugent of Baylor University, Daszay Freeman, Ryan Brown and Phillip Lemonious of the University of Arkansas; Lamara Distin of Texas A&M, Rhianna Phipps of Kansas State University and Gabriel Bailey of Kent State University, all of whom will be making their first trip to the national championships.
In addition to being the top-ranked triple jumper with his monster 17.17m jump last week, McLeod is also ranked number three in the long jump with 8.25m just ahead of Ryan Brown's 8.12m.
Owens, who was ranked seventh at the end of the indoor season last year, is fourth in the triple jump after he won the Atlantic Coast Conference title with a personal best 16.48m last weekend.
Damion Thomas is the second ranked 60m hurdler among the men while Lemonious is ranked number six.
Nugent, the newly crowned joint World Under-20 record holder, is second ranked in the women's 60m hurdles, while Stacy Ann Williams is ranked number three in the women's 400m with Young two spots down in fifth place.
Young had qualified for the nationals in the 800m last year, but concentrated on the quarter-mile this season and will be part of the Texas A&M 4x400m team that had set a US Collegiate record last month.
Nelson is ranked fifth in the women's 60m with Grant seventh and Davis the last qualifier at 16th, but is ranked sixth in the 200m with Hemmings at number nine.
— Paul Reid
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