Women bow into NCAA action tomorrow
A good display is expected from many of Jamaica's young female athletes when they start competition at the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) Division One Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon, tomorrow.
With several of these athletes expected to strongly challenge for places on Jamaica's senior team to this summer's Tokyo Olympic Games, a lot of local attention will be focused on their performances, with the National Senior Championships scheduled to take place in two weeks.
Four Jamaicans will be involved in the opening individual track event on the day, as the women's 100m hurdles semi-finals will get under way at 6:46 p.m Jamaica time. In heat one, former Excelsior High High standout Ackera Nugent, and Daszay Freeman, a former Manchester High and The Queen's School athlete, will be in action. Competing for Baylor University, Nugent, the indoor 60m hurdles champion, will be gunning for the double and with a season- and personal-best 12.76 seconds, she will run out of lane five. Freeman, a freshman at the University of Arkansas, and who qualified from the regional meet with 12.92, will run out of lane four.
Former Glengoffe and Hydel High School hurdler Trishauna Hemmings, with a season's best of 12.94 will compete in heat two. Rosealee Cooper, formerly of St Jago High and now representing Mississippi State University, has a season's best of 12.98. She will run in heat three.
It will be a busy evening for Nugent, as she will be back on the track 14 minutes after competing in the hurdles event to battle countrywoman Kemba Nelson in heat one of the 100 metres, having qualified with 11.15 seconds. Nelson, the former Mt Alvernia High sprinter who was a surprise winner earlier in the season of the NCAA 60 metres title, will be hoping to go all the way here as she will be competing at home for the University of Oregon. Nelson has a season- and personal-best 10.98. Two of the country's top female 400m runners this season, Stacy Ann Williams of the University of Texas A&M and Charokee Young of Texas A&M University, will be in action in the one-lap event at 7 p.m. Williams, a St Elizabeth Technical High past student, has a season's and personal best of 50.34 and will compete in heat one. Young, a former Hydel High athlete, with a personal best of 50.85 this season, will run in heat three. The NCAA's number-one-ranked athlete in the 400m hurdles, Andrenette Knight (University of Virginia) who qualified with 56.07 seconds, and Kimiesha Chambers (Kansas State University) will be involved in the intermediate hurdles at 7:30 pm. Knight, a former Vere Technical High and St Jago hurdler, will run in heat two, while Chambers, a former St Elizabeth Technical standout with a best of 57.22, runs in heat three. Kevona Davis, the former Edwin Allen High star sprinter, completes list of Jamaicans who will compete in individual track events on the day. The University of Texas, Austin freshman with a best of 22.87 seconds will run out in the semi-finals of the 200m.
Two other Jamaicans will be involved in field events action. Taisha Pryce, a former St Andrew Technical student with a season's best of 6.73 metres, will compete for Kansas State University at 7 p.m. in the long jump. Gabrielle Bailey of Kent University will compete in the shot put at 7:40 p.m. The former St Jago athlete has a season's best of 16.65 metres.