Five J'cans big winners in NCAA Division 1Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Five Jamaicans — led by former national junior representatives Owayne Owens, Cayton Brown and Andrenette Knight — were big winners on the NCAA Division 1 circuit over the weekend.
Owens and Knight, both of the University of Virginia, set new personal bests to win the men's triple jump and women's 400m hurdles, respectively at the Virginia Challenge, while Brown of the University of Florida won the men's high jump and was second in the triple at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational.
There were also wins for Kayla Bonnick in the women's 100m at the Virginia meet and Demar Francis of the Univesity of South Dakota in the men's 200m at the Sioux City Relays in South Dakota.
Owens just missed taking over second place on the University of Virgina (UVA) all-time men's outdoor triple jump list when he jumped 16.45m (-0.1m/s) just .01m off second place but moved up to number five on the NCAA list and extended his led in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Former Jamaica College jumper Malik Cunningham of Villanova was second, also with a life time best 15.69m (0.3m/s). Knight equalled the UVA record 56.54 seconds set in 2011 by Ayla Smith and is tied for third in the NCAA after she lowered her previous best 56.94 seconds set at the East Regionals in 2018.
Brown, the former Jamaica College star and a fifth-year senior at the University of Florida, won the high jump at the Tom Jones meet on Friday with 2.21m then was second in the triple jump on Saturday with 16.16m (-1.5m/s).
Clarke, formerly of Excelsior High was running his first outdoors 200m, clocking 21.64 seconds (-0.5m/s) while Bonnick ran 11.63 seconds to win the women's 100m in Virginia, former Papine High runner Dominique Clarke of the University of Albany was third in a personal best 11.74 seconds (0.7m/s) and had a second personal best, after running 24.30 seconds (0.2m/s) for fourth in the 200m on Saturday.
Daszay Freeman of the University of Arkansas clocked a big personal best 12.96 seconds (1.3m/s) for second in the 100m hurdles final at the Tom Jones meet after she had run 13.48 seconds in the first round.
Asani Hylton of Stephen F Austin Univerity took second in the 110m hurdles at the Michael Johnson Invitaional at Baylor, running 14.73 seconds (1.8m/s).
Kyle Mitchell of Liberty University continues to extend his shot put record after he placed third at the Virginia Challenge with a new personal best 19.18m with teammate Warren Barrett fifth with 17.89m.
Former Hydel High Champs gold medallist Fiona Richards was fourth in the women's discus throw with 49.63m on her debut for Virginia Tech, while former St Jago athlete Shania Scott of Albany threw 45.53m.
Nayoka Clunis of the University of Tennessee had two top 10 performances, taking fifth in the women's hammer throw with a season best 61.94m at the Virginia Challenge on Friday and was then sixth in the shot put Saturday with 16.03m, as Albany's Scott threw 14.25m.
Myesha Nott, a former Western Champs gold medallist for Rusea's High, was seventh in the women's triple jump for West Virginia (WVU) with a lifetime best 12.33m (0.5m/s).
Peter-gay McKenzie, also of WVU, was sixth in the women's triple jump with 6.14m (2.8m/s); former Calabar High runner Xandre Blake of Albany ran a personal best 10.69 seconds (0.2m/s) in the men's 100m.
At the Big 10 Invite hosted by the University of Nebraska in Prairie View, Texas, Phillipe Barnett of the University of Minnesota was third in the hammer throw with 58.15m and also threw 46.50m in the discus throw while Devia Brown was fourth in the women's discus throw with 51.32m.
— Paul Reid
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