OVER the years, Jamaican female sprint hurdlers have had great success at both the junior and senior international levels.
Among them are Michelle Freeman, Delloreen Ennis London, Brigette Foster Hylton, Danielle Williams, and Megan Tapper having success at the senior level while Rushel Burton, Gillian Russell, Britany Anderson and Ackera Nugent have shone brightly at the junior level.
Over the past weekend, at the NCAA Division 1 Outdoor Big 12 Conference Championships in Lubbock, Texas, a new name in Jamaica female sprinting hurdle was revealed as former Vere Technical athlete Demisha Roswell made a big statement at the senior level.
Competing for Texas Technical University, she sped to an impressive 12.44 seconds to win the women’s event to become the fourth-fastest Jamaican ever in the event behind Williams, Anderson and Janeek Brown.
In the process, she defeated former World Under-20 champion Nugent of Baylor University who finished second in a personal best 12.45 seconds and became the fifth-fastest Jamaican ever in the event.
Roswell’s new time is the fastest by a Jamaican in the event this season and is ranked number two on the IAAF’s top list, just behind Olympic Games champion Jasmine Camacho Quinn of Puerto Rico with 12.39 seconds.
The performance by Roswell days ago has left several fans asking who is this new sensation? Roswell competed for Vere Technical in the event at the 2017 ISSA Boy’s and Girl’s Athletics Championships where she finished sixth in the Class One final in 13.99 seconds.
As the top four were all inside Petagaye Williams’ record of 13.56 seconds where Gabriel McDonald of Edwin Allen won in 13.12 seconds, ahead of Janeek Brown of Wolmer’s Girls second in 13.16 as Nicolee Foster of Holmwood Technical was third in 13.40 seconds while Roswell teammate, Amoi Brown was fourth in 13.50 seconds.
The west Kingston native has been showing great improvement in the event since enrolling at New Mexico Junior College in Texas in 2019. She was National Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA) 60 metres hurdles indoor champion in 2019 and also outdoor 100 metres hurdles champion. She repeated this feat the following year before joining the programme at Texas Technical.
Roswell’s best performance before last Sunday for her new school came at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships in the 100 metres hurdles in 2021 where she finished fourth in the finals in 13.39 seconds.
Her performance in winning was indeed a gigantic one as in a fighting finish she overtook leader Nugent close to the finishing line to improve big time.
Surely, the 24-year-old athlete has thrown down the gauntlet to other Jamaicans in the event ahead of the National Senior Championships set for later next month as a lot of fireworks is expected as athletes seek spots on the Jamaica team for this summer World Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon.