Sports

Bahamian trio earn All-American DII honors

A pair of Bahamian hurdlers and a triple jumper earned their spots on the USTFCCCA (U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association) Indoor All-America Honors List for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II (DII) track and field season in 2020.

The three Bahamian collegians are Denisha Cartwright, Shyrone Kemp and Jahmaal Wilson.

Considering the NCAA DII Indoor Championships was canceled due to the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the USTFCCCA adopted a provision criteria. The criteria stated that for individual events, athletes must have been listed on the start lists for their respective events at the NCAAs. In the relay events, the four runners who produced the time for the championships would be approved for the All-America list. The alternates were left off.

The championships were slated for March 13-14 at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Alabama.

Cartwright earned two honors for her performances in the 60 meters (m) hurdles and the 60m dash. It was a great start to the freshman’s collegiate career.

The Central State University Marauders athlete finished with a season’s best time of 8.49 seconds in the 60m hurdles. She accomplished that in a win at the Grand Valley State University (GVSU) Big Meet Invite in February. That time was also the fastest time in the NCAA DII in that event.

In the 60m dash, the former CARIFTA athlete was superb, running a season’s best time of 7.48 seconds at the same meet she ran her season’s best time in the hurdles.

Cartwright also earned the USTFCCCA South Region Athlete of the Year Award. She was on the verge of making history as the first Marauders female athlete to compete in multiple events at the NCAA DII Indoor Championships.

The former Temple Christian School athlete also had a personal and school best of 24.49 seconds in the 200m at the GVSU meet.

Kemp was instrumental for the Minnesota State University at Moorhead Dragons in the pit, qualifying for the championships in the triple jump event. The sophomore broke his school’s 43-year-old record in the triple jump, leaping a personal best 15.17 meters (m) – 49’ 9-1/4” – to be ranked at number nine in the NCAA DII. He recorded that distance at the South Dakota State University Indoor Classic back in February. The Grand Bahamian finished first in that event at that meet.

Before being named an All-American, Kemp was the Dragons’ Male Newcomer of the Year for the impact he had on the program this past season. Kemp was busy during the season, also taking part in the 60m dash, the high jump and the long jump. His season’s best in the long jump was 7.15m (23’ 5-1/2”), which was done at the Northern Sun Indoor Track and Field Championships in February. He had a season’s best leap of 2.09m (6’ 10-1/4”) in the high jump at that same meet. On the track, he ran his only 60m race in 7.25 seconds at the Beaver Invite Meet in January. He false-started his other 60m race in December 2019.

Kemp has represented The Bahamas quite a few times as a junior athlete.

Wilson, a freshman at the West Texas A&M, received the honor for the 60m hurdles. His season’s best time of a speedy 8.02 seconds was done at the New Mexico Team Open in early February to finish fifth. That time was also ranked at number 16 in NCAA DII competition.

At the Lone Star Conference Championships, Wilson finished sixth in the final with a time of 8.26 seconds, after running 8.11 seconds in the preliminaries.

The freshman has been performing at a high level. He also ran the 60m this past season, and his season’s best was 6.95 seconds, which was done at the 2020 Power 5 Meet in January. He finished first in that event.

The trio had a great year and will look to return stronger next year after having their seasons shortened due to the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of 716 honors were handed out to student-athletes from 117 institutions.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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