Astwood’s national record highlights collegiate performances

A national record highlighted another productive weekend from Bahamian collegiate athletes as they took part in their respective conference championships around the United States.

Just a week after Wagner College junior Tiffany Hanna had a massive throw of 18.28 meters (m) – 59’ 11-3/4” in the women’s weight throw, Acacia Astwood, a sophomore for the UNLV (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) Rebels, was a tad better throwing 19.02m (62’ 4-3/4”) on her final toss at the Mountain West Indoor Championships at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

That was good enough for a second place finish and is a new Bahamian national record. Tarynn Sieg, a junior at Colorado State, won the gold with a throw of 19.70m (64’ 7-3/4”). Astwood’s teammate Cassidy Osborne-Butler was right behind her settling for the bronze with a throw of 19.01m (62’ 4-1/2”).

Over at the Big Ten Indoor Championships at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio, Jyles Etienne claimed his first conference title, winning the men’s high jump competition and matching his personal best clearance in the process. Etienne, a junior for the Indiana Hoosiers, cleared 2.23m (7’ 3-3/4”) for the gold medal. Michael Burke, a senior at Minnesota, also cleared 2.23m but did so on his second attempt while Etienne went over the bar at that height on his first attempt and had just one knockdown in the competition up to that point. Burke won the silver and Rutgers junior Perry Christie cleared 2.18m (7’ 1-3/4”) for the bronze.

Another Bahamian in that event, Shaun Miller Jr., a freshman at Ohio State, finished seventh clearing 2.08m (6’ 10”) on his first attempt.

Devine Parker is gradually bouncing back to form after an injury-plagued season a year ago. Now with Ohio State, the sophomore sprinter powered her way to silver medals in personal best performances in both the 60 and 200m at the Big Ten Championships. In the 60m, she recorded a time of 7.36 seconds for the silver medal behind her teammate Anavia Battle, a junior. Battle won in 7.29 seconds. Winning the bronze was Amira Young, a sophomore at Minnesota, in 7.37 seconds. Parker ran 7.44 seconds in the heats.

In the 200m, Parker won another silver medal in 23.24 seconds after running 23.83 seconds in the heats. Battle won the gold in 22.79 seconds and Purdue freshman Kerris Roberts settled for the bronze in 23.61 seconds.

At those same championships, Samson Colebrooke, a senior at Purdue, took part in three events – running the 60m, the 200m and the 4x400m relay. Colebrooke was sixth in the 60m in 6.75 seconds after running 6.72 seconds in the heats. His teammate Waseem Williams, a junior out of Jamaica, won the gold in 6.58 seconds. Indiana sophomore Rikkoi Brathwaite from the British Virgin Islands, finished second in 6.67 seconds and Pudrue freshman Marcellus Moore settled for third in 6.69 seconds.

In the 200m, Colebrooke won the bronze in 20.91 seconds after running the top qualifying time of 20.80 seconds in the heats. Iowa sophomore Wayne Lawrence Jr. took the gold in 20.85 seconds and Ohio State junior Tyler Johnson won the silver medal in 20.87 seconds.

In the men’s 4x400m, Colebrooke and the Purdue Boilermakers finished ninth in 3:14.02. The other members of the team were Williams, Jabari Bryant and Dainon Wray. Iowa won the gold in 3:04.91, Ohio State claimed the silver in 3:06.12 and Minnesota won the bronze in 3:07.16.

Both Doneisha Anderson and Megan Moss ran at the Southeastern (SEC) Conference Championships at the Texas A&M Gilliam-Indoor Track Stadium in College Station, Texas.

Florida sophomore Anderson was fifth in the women’s 400m in 52.28 seconds after running 52.53 seconds in the heats. She then went on to help the Florida Gators women’s 4x400m relay team of herself, Taylor Manson, Nikki Stephens and Semira Killebrew to a fifth place finish in 3:32.87.

Kentucky freshman Moss failed to qualify for the women’s 400m final, running 53.23 seconds in the heats. She was 10th overall. She went on to help the Kentucky Wildcats earn a silver medal in the women’s 4x400m relay finishing in 3:30.42. That team included herself, Abby Steiner, Chloe Abbott and Natassha McDonald.

Moss’ teammate Alexis Holmes, a sophomore, won the gold in the women’s 400m in 52.08 seconds, South Carolina junior Stephanie Davis was second in 52.15 seconds and Louisiana State University (LSU) freshman Amber Anning finished third in 52.25 seconds. Texas A&M junior Syaira Richardson ran an identical time as Anning but was edged out for the bronze medal in a photo finish.

In the women’s 4x400m, Alabama took the gold in 3:29.36, Moss and Kentucky settled for the silver in 3:30.42, and LSU won the bronze in 3:31.23.

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Sheldon Longley

Sheldon Longley joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2001 as a sports reporter. He was promoted to sports editor in 2008. Sheldon has an extensive background in sports reporting. He covered three Olympic Games and three world championships, along with multiple smaller regional and local games.

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