Nugent, Woodley in record-breaking form for US colleges
Jordani Woodley

FORMER Jamaican national junior representatives Ackera Nugent and Jordani Woodley were in record-breaking form in the 60m hurdles event for their respective US colleges over the weekend.

Nugent, the World Under-20 100m hurdles champion in Nairobi, Kenya, last year, opened her indoor hurdles season with a brilliant, personal best 7.90 seconds to win the 60m hurdles event at the Larry Wieczorek Invitational at the University of Iowa on Saturday.

Woodley, the former Rusea's High Western Champs winner and medallist at the NACAC Under-23 last year, broke the University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP) programme record when he ran 7.82 seconds in heats at the Dr Martin Luther King Collegiate Invitational at Albuquerque Convention Center in New Mexico.

Nugent, the Baylor University sophomore who won the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Indoors title last season, broke her own school record as well as several others and sent a message that she will be hard to beat this season.

The time, which is 11th best on the all-time collegiate list, broke the Baylor University record 7.91 seconds that she set last year, and the facility record of 8.01 seconds that was set in 2018 by Tonea Marshall of LSU.

In the preliminaries she had run 8.11 seconds to break the meet record of 8.12 seconds, which was also set in 2018.

Woodley, a freshman at UTEP where he is coached by former Jamaican Commonwealth champion Lacena Golding-Clarke, broke the school record and lowered the 7.89 seconds set in 2020 by Shakeem Smith, and placed third in the final as well, running 7.94 seconds.

There were also collegiate wins for Lamara Distin of Texas A&M University and Gabrielle Bailey of Kent State University.

Distin, the NCAA outdoor silver medallist from last year, won the women's high jump at the Aggie Invitational at Texas A&M with 1.80m, needing just two attempts.

The NACAC Under-23 champion passed on the first four heights then cleared 1.75m, passed 1.78m and then cleared 1.80m on her first jump, before retiring.

On Friday evening, Bailey won the women's shot put at the Kent State vs Akron Dual meet, with a heave of 16.39m, while former Rusea's High Western Champs winner Aliesha Shaw, making her college debut for Kent State, was third with 14.69m.

Also at the Larry Wieczorek Invitational, Kavia Francis of Baylor was second in the women's 200m, running 24.22 seconds; Safin Wills, who transferred from Texas Tech to Purdue, was third in the men's long jump with 7.36m and seventh in the triple jump with 14.06m.

At the Aggie Invitational, former Calabar thrower Kobe Graham of Sam Houston State threw a personal best 16.30m for third in the men's shot put.

At the Brant Tolsma Invitational at Liberty University, former Barton County and University of Minnesota standout Kevin Nedrick, now at Liberty, was second in the men's shot put with 18.32m.

There were also long jump wins at the junior college level for Shakwon Coke of Barton Community College and Michael Buchanan of Iowa Western.

Coke jumped 7.80m to be the top college athlete at the Red Raider Open at Texas Tech University, while Buchanan jumped 7.41m to break the meet record at the Northwest Missouri Open, beating the old mark of 7.39m.

Alliyah McNeil of Iowa Western won the women's high jump at the Missouri meet, clearing 1.77m and breaking the meet record of 1.74m.

Nia Robinson of Barton Community College was second in the women's long jump with a best mark of 6.17m, the second-best mark in the junior college rankings so far.

Ackera Nugent

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