Battling all the way back from a hip flexor injury that slowed her progress in 2017, Charisma Taylor is once again proving her worth as one of the top young athletes in the country.
It didn’t take long for the 19-year-old freshman at Washington State University (WSU) to break one of the longest-standing school records on the books when she re-wrote the mark in the women’s triple jump indoors. Competing at the New Mexico Invitational at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico – just her third meet for the WSU Cougars – Taylor leapt a personal best 12.96 meters (m) – 42’ 6-1/4” – to win the triple jump competition convincingly on Saturday. Just last week, she leapt 12.54m (41’ 1-3/4”) to break the school’s freshman record, and now she owns the top mark in program history. On Saturday, her teammate, junior Cathilee Mullings, was a distant second with a distance of 12.23m (40’ 1-1/2”).
Taylor’s fantastic leap on Saturday, which came on her second attempt, erased the old school record of 12.89m (42’ 3-1/2”) that was set by Nigerian-born Blessing Ufodiama, of the United States, back in 2004. Taylor’s mark is also the third best by a freshman this season and ranks at number 15 in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Taylor wasn’t done yet. She won the women’s long jump competition with another personal best mark, 6.03m (19’ 9-1/2”), finishing just three centimeters short of the school’s freshman record. Elizabeth Lopez from the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez (UACJ) finished second with a leap of 5.73m (18’ 9-3/4”). Taylor’s jump was the ninth-best in school history.
Taylor is one of the most versatile young athletes in The Bahamas today. She competes in the sprints and sprint hurdles in addition to both horizontal jumps.
She is a three-time gold medalist at CARIFTA in the jumps.
Also in action this past weekend was Daejha Moss, a Bahamian collegiate athlete at North Dakota State University. Moss, a sophomore, finished second in the women’s high jump competition at the 2019 Mark Colligan Memorial Meet at the Nebraska-Devaney Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, with a leap of 1.66m (5’ 5-1/4”). Candice Dominguez, a senior at Nebraska, won that event with a leap of 1.71m (5’ 7-1/4”). Just last week, Moss had a personal best leap of 1.73m (5’ 8”).
Moss also competed in the women’s long jump, and was second in that event as well, finishing with a best leap of 5.81m (19’ 0-3/4”). Live Hilton, a freshman at Texas State, won that event with a leap of 5.83m (19’ 1-1/2”). Moss was just off her personal best of 5.85m (19’ 2-1/2”).
Collegians Brianne Bethel and Alexis Gray were in action for their respective schools at the Houston Invitational at the Yeoman Fieldhouse in Houston, Texas, USA.
Bethel, a junior at Houston, finished second in the women’s 200m in 24.20 seconds. Gray, a senior at Texas Southern University, was right behind her, finishing third in 24.27 seconds. Hannah Jackson, from Rice, won that event in 23.83 seconds.
Gray also took part in the 60m, finishing fifth in that event in 7.58 seconds. She ran 7.52 seconds in the heats. Bahamian elite athlete Tynia Gaither also ran in the women’s 60m. Representing Adidas, she was second in the final in 7.46 seconds after running 7.49 seconds in the heats. Chelsea Francis, a junior at Southern Methodist University (SMU) won that event in 7.28 seconds.
Gray ended her meet by running the first leg for her school in the women’s 4x400m relay. The Texas Southern Tigers finished fifth in 3:55.94.
Also at the Houston Invitational, Texas Southern’s Javan “50” Martin, a freshman, competed in the 60m and 4x400m relay for his school. Freeport, Grand Bahama native Martin was fifth in the 60m in a personal best time of 6.88 seconds after running 7.08 seconds in the heats. He and his teammates didn’t fare well in the 4x400m as they ran 3:30.28 for 15th. Houston’s John Lewis III, a senior, won the men’s 60m dash in 6.81 seconds.
Running at the Razorback Invitational at the Randall Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Samson Colebrooke, a junior at Purdue, was 10th in the men’s 200m, in 21.38 seconds. Trinidadian Akanni Hislop, a junior at Louisiana State University (LSU), won that event in 20.96 seconds. Colebrooke ran the second leg for the Purdue Boilermakers in the men’s 4x400m relay. They finished third in 3:07.81.
At that same meet, Doneisha Anderson, a freshman, ran the third leg for the Florida Gators in the women’s 4x400m relay. The Gators finished third in 3:34.59.
Also at the Razorback Invitational, former CARIFTA gold medalist Tamar Greene competed in both horizontal jumps for the Boilermakers. Greene, a sophomore, finished second in the triple jump event with a personal best leap of 15.84m (51’ 11-3/4”). Florida’s Clayton Brown, a junior, won that event with a massive leap of 16.29m (53’ 5-1/2”).
In the long jump, Greene was 13th finishing with a best leap of 6.96m (22’ 10”). He had a personal best leap of 7.06m (23’ 2”) earlier this season. Not to be outdone was Arkansas’ Laquan Nairn. The multi-talented Bahamian collegiate athlete, a junior, was eighth in the men’s long jump with a leap of 7.50m (24’ 7-1/4”). Florida’s Grant Holloway, one of the best all-around athletes in college, won that event with a massive leap of 8.02m (26’ 3-3/4”). Holloway is a junior.
Indiana’s Jyles Etienne continued his stellar season, picking up his third victory in the men’s high jump of the season. The sophomore jumper leapt 2.06m (6’ 9”) to win the men’s high jump competition at the 2019 Indiana University Relays at the Gladstein Fieldhouse in Bloomington, Indiana. Trent Nytes, a senior at Wisconsin, finished second with a leap of 2.02m (6’ 7-1/2”).
Competing for The Bahamas at the Penn State National Meet at the Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track Facility in State College, Pennsylvania, Keianna Albury, a senior, was second in the women’s 200m in 24.18 seconds. Her teammate, Alexis Holmes, a freshman, won that event in 23.83 seconds. Albury also ran in the 60m. She was fourth in the final in 7.55 seconds after running 7.59 seconds in the heats and 7.52 seconds in the semis. Albury also ran the opening leg for the Penn State Nittany Lions 4x400m relay team, and they finished second in 3:42.06.
Taking part at the 2019 KMS Invitational at the Birmingham Metro CrossPlex in Birmingham, Alabama, Bahamian collegiate athlete Cliff Resias, a senior at Southeastern Louisiana University, won the men’s 200m in a personal best time of 21.42 seconds. He false started in the 60m. Bahamian teammate Donovan Storr, a junior at Southeastern Louisiana University, was third in the 200m in a personal best time of 21.60 seconds. Storr was ninth in the 400m in another personal best time, 48.31 seconds. Three other Bahamians, all representing R.K. Athletics, ran in that men’s 400m race.
Andre Colebrook finished fourth in 47.95 seconds, Maverick Bowleg was fifth in 48.16 seconds and Ashley Riley finished seventh in 48.28 seconds. Jamaican Twayne Crooks, a freshman at Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) won that event in 46.88 seconds.
The indoor seasons for a number of Bahamian collegians continue next weekend at various venues around the United States.