Mullings ecstatic with national record performance
Ken Mullings, from Freeport, Grand Bahama, has always been a great all-around athlete.
When The Bahamas last hosted CARIFTA, at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium in 2013, Mullings broke on the scene in the high jump event. He picked up a silver medal in the under-17 boys high jump, leaping 2.03 meters (m) – 6’ 7-3/4”. Two years later, Mullings experimented with the multi events, given the all-around talent that he had. He has been nothing short of sensational since, improving his times, heights and distances across the board. In 2016, Mullings won a bronze medal at CARIFTA in the octathlon with 5,560 points behind teammate Kendrick Thompson who set a new championships record of 5,849 points and Jamaican Marcus Brown who totaled 5,800 points.
This past weekend, competing at the Fred Wilt Invitational at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA, Mullings re-wrote the indoor national record in the men’s heptathlon.
The University of The Bahamas (UB) sophomore recorded personal best times and distances almost across the board, to win the event at Purdue, and destroy the old national record by almost 500 points in the process. Mullings totaled 5,059 points to break Desmond Major’s former national record of 4,596 points. Individually, he scored more points than Major in six of the seven events.
In the 60m, Mullings ran 7.19 seconds to score 816 points, he totaled 814 in the long jump with a leap of seven meters flat (22’ 11-3/4”), Mullings scored 624 points in the shot put with a best toss of 12.29m (40’ 3-3/4”), he had 813 points in the high jump with a leap of 2.01m (6’ 7”), scored 879 points in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.42 seconds, he cleared 3.64m (11’ 11-1/4”) in the pole vault for 519 points, and ran 3:07 in the 1,000m for 594 points.
When Major set that national record at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Championships in 2014, he had times of 7.37 in the 60m, 8.76 in the 60m hurdles and 2:45.02 in the 1,000m. He had distances of 6.59m in the long jump and 9.63m in the shot put. Major also turned in heights of 1.81m in the high jump and 3.20m in the pole vault. Major himself is a former CARIFTA gold medalist, winning gold in the open boys heptathlon in 2013.
“The University of The Bahamas congratulates sophomore student-athlete Ken Mullings on his historic feat at the Fred Wilt Invitational at Purdue University this past weekend,” said UB Athletics Director (AD) Kimberley Rolle. “Ken dominated the competition at Purdue with the second place competitor finishing with 4,144 points. UB Athletics is very proud of Ken and his accomplishments and expects these results to improve further as he attends more events. Congratulations to Ken Mullings, the new national record holder for The Bahamas’ men’s heptathlon.”
Mullings himself was ecstatic.
“I’m happy with it, with this being my first heptathlon indoor event for the University of The Bahamas,” said Mullings. “I feel like I trained long and hard for it, and I feel like I really deserve it. I want to thank the coaches, Coach (Ednal) Rolle and Coach (Rupert) Gardiner, for helping me out to achieve this goal. I would also like to thank Mrs. Rolle (AD Kimberley Rolle) and Sasha (Head Athletic Trainer Sasha Ferguson) for providing me with the instruments that I needed for this event. I would also like to thank my mother and sisters who supported me through the offseason.”
Mullings said that he anticipates scoring even higher as the season goes along.
“I think I made a name for myself, and others will be looking for me to perform. I just want to go out there and show them that The Bahamas has athletes who could do the multi as well,” said Mullings. “I feel like I could improve in all of the events. No event will ever be perfect, but in each event, there’s room for improvement. If I have to work on something in a short period of time, I’ll choose the pole vault and the throwing events because those are my weakest events,” he added.
A number of other athletes competed for the UB Mingoes at the Fred Wilt Invitational this past weekend.
Avery Thompson finished second in the men’s 60m hurdles in 8.11 seconds. He ran 8.18 seconds in the heats.
Yurick Dean was fourth in the men’s 60m in 6.97 seconds and his teammate Javaughn Culmer was eighth in 7.12 seconds. They ran 6.96 and 7.07 seconds in the heats respectively.
The duo of Dean and Culmer returned to the track for the men’s 200m, and placed fourth and 14th out of 28 competitors in times of 22.71 and 23.96 seconds respectively.
Quanisha Marshall was fifth overall in the women’s 800m in 2.23.14, and Geneisha Capron was 11th in 2.35.19.
Brandon Hanna was sixth in the men’s 600m in 1.29.39.
UB had two competitors in both the men and women’s 400m. In the men’s quarter, Michael Stuart and Donya Roberts finished eighth and ninth in times of 51.81 and 51.86 seconds respectively. In the women’s 400m, Amber Ford was 11th in 1:00.71 and Romica Josey finished one spot behind, in 12th, in 1.01.13.
Finally for UB, in the women’s 200m, Gabrielle Shannon and Alexandria Strachan were 14th and 20th, out of 43 competitors, in times of 26.21 and 27.13 seconds respectively.