Three J'cans named collegiate Athletes of the Week
Jamaican high jumper Lamara Distin. (Photos: Observer file)

Three former Jamaican junior track and field representatives were named Athletes of the Week for their respective American college conferences earlier this week after outstanding performances at indoor meets last weekend.

University of Virginia triple jumper Owayne Owens and Texas A&M University's high jumper Lamara Distin produced National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) leading marks, while University of South Florida's high jumper Romaine Beckford equalled his school record.

Owens, the former Cornwall College athlete, was named the men's field events Performer of the Week by the Atlanta Coast Conference (ACC) after he was second in the men's triple jump at the Virginia Tech Invitational with a mark of 16.23m.

He was the first collegian in the event as his compatriot and former teammate Jordan Scott won with 16.27m, fourth best in the world.

Scott represented the University of Virginia then transferred to the University of Southern California for this final outdoor season before returning to Virginia to train with Coach Mario Wilson.

Distin, the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association Under-23 champion last year, cleared an indoors personal best and meet record 1.88m to win the women's high jump at the Ted Nelson Invitational hosted by Texas A&M and was named the South-Eastern Conference (SEC) female field events Performer of the Week.

Her mark is the second best in the world so far, number one in the college ranks and second best all time at Texas A&M.

Beckford, the former Buff Bay High and South Plains Community College star, opened his NCAA career with a win, taking the victory at the Commodore Challenge hosted by Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.

Beckford cleared 2.16m, tying the South Florida programme record set in 2013 by Chase Meyers and was good enough for him to be named the American Athletic Conference (AAC) Men's Field Athlete of the Week.

Meanwhile, Zackery Dillon of Morgan State University was a honorary mention in the Mied-Eastern American Conference (MEAC) after he won the men's shot put with a personal best distance of 16.40m at the Historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) Showcase held at the Armoury in New York Saturday before last.

— MEAC honorary mention

South Florida's Romaine Beckford
Former Jamaica junior triple jumperOwayne Owens.


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