Sports

Bahamians experience success in collegiate meets

It was another successful weekend for Bahamians participating on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I circuit as several athletes had top finishes.

In neighboring Coral Gables, Florida, it was Xavier Coakley from the University of Miami Hurricanes who won the men’s 110 meters (m) hurdles race at the Hurricane Alumni Invitational at Cobb Stadium. The senior powered his way to a personal best of 13.81 seconds. He was the only competitor to go under 14 seconds in that race. With that time, he now has the 20th fastest time in the NCAA Division I rankings.

The Southeastern University Fire duo of Davonte Vanterpool and Darion Carter were second and third respectively. Vanterpool finished with a time of 14.18 seconds while Carter clocked 14.25 seconds.

Also at that meet was CARIFTA gold medalist Rhema Otabor who competed in the women’s javelin throw. The Florida International University (FIU) Panthers freshman won that event with a throw of 49.53m (162’ 6”). She did that throw on her third attempt of the day. It was not close to her season opener back in March, a distance of 54.19m (177’ 9-1/2”) at the Hurricane Invitational that has her ranked at number seven in the nation. That throw in March gave her a school record, the junior national record and surpassed the World Athletics Under-20 Championships qualifying standard.

Otabor has now won three straight events in the javelin throw to start the outdoor season. Her teammate Dina Cosic was second as she posted a throw of 44.82m (147’). Finishing third was Youngstown State University Penguins’ Cambrie Campbell who recorded a throw of 39.82m (130’ 8”).

Jyles Etienne was one of 11 Indiana University Hoosiers athletes to win an event at the Big Ten Invite #2 at the Billy Hayes Track and Field Complex in Bloomington, Indiana. The junior cleared an outdoor season’s best of 2.03m (6’ 8”) to finish first overall. Finishing second was his teammate Grayson Rolen who cleared 1.99m (6’ 6”). He held off the University of Illinois Fighting Illini’s Kavin Rajagopal who cleared 1.95m (6’ 4-3/4”) to lock up third place.

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Miners’ Shakeem Smith pulled away from the field in the men’s 400m hurdles to come away with the win in 50.48 seconds. The senior did that feat at the Texas Tech Masked Rider Open at the Fuller Track and Field Complex in Lubbock, Texas. He was close to his personal best of 50.45 seconds. Smith finished ahead of New Mexico Junior College Thunderbirds’ Javed Jones who finished over a second behind with a time of 51.55 seconds. Smith’s teammate Ned Azemia clocked 52.05 second to place third.

Running in a strong field at that same meet, Oral Roberts University (ORU) Golden Eagles’ senior Sasha Wells broke her own school record to win the women’s 100m hurdles final with a time of 13.30 seconds. She broke the record of 13.39 seconds that was set in 2019. Texas Tech Red Raiders’ Demisha Roswell was second as she crossed the finish line in 13.36 seconds. The Miners’ Maribel Caicedo finished third after posting a time of 13.57 seconds.

Wells’ teammate and fellow Bahamian Gabrielle Gibson, a junior, was fourth with a time of 13.57 seconds. Freshman Indea Cartwright, another Bahamian Golden Eagles athlete, was sixth as she clocked 13.84 seconds.

In the 200m, Gibson was seventh overall in 23.79 seconds, Wells was 12th overall in 24.07 seconds and Cartwright was 16th overall in 24.54 seconds.

Terrence Jones, a freshman at Texas Tech, was spectacular in the men’s 200m, finishing second in an event that had to be calculated down to the thousands of a second, running 20.965 seconds. Antonio Infantino, representing Team New Balance, won in 20.56 seconds, Jones was second, and New Mexico junior college freshman Tyrell Edwards finished third overall in 20.969 seconds.

West Texas A&M freshman Jahmaal Wilson was second overall in the men’s 110m hurdles, running 14.35 seconds. His teammate Tyrin Lewis, a senior, won in 14.20 seconds. Maliek Kendall, a junior at Texas Tech, was third overall in 14.47 seconds.

Another Bahamian, Karon Dean, a freshman at Barton County Community College, was fourth overall in the men’s 100m in 10.53 seconds. Chris Royster, representing the elite training environment of ALTIS, finished first overall in 10.05 seconds. Infantino was second overall in 10.32 seconds and Ashton O’Conner, a freshman at Texas Tech, was third overall in 10.36 seconds. Another Bahamian, Kendal Culmer, a sophomore at South Plains College, was 14th overall in 10.83 seconds.

Raymond Oriakhi and Matthew Thompson ran in the men’s 4x400m relay at the Tennessee Relays in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the Pittsburgh University Panthers duo helped their team to a second-place finish in 3:10.01. The other two members of the team were Lonzell Feagin and Ade Jones-Roundtree. They were unable to hold off the University of Tennessee Volunteers ‘A’ team who posted a time of 3:06.93. The Vols ‘B’ team was third with a time of 3:10.11.

Amelia Peterson matched her own personal best in the women’s long jump at the Big Blue Classic in Charleston, Illinois. The Western Illinois Athletics Fighting Leathernecks junior leapt a distance of 5.91m (19’ 4-3/4”) to finish second. She finished behind Northern Illinois University Huskies’ Jazmyn Smith who posted 5.99m (19’ 8”) for the win. Smith’s teammate, Kenyae Majors, was third with a leap of 5.60m (18’ 7-3/4”).

Collegiate Bahamians will return to action this weekend as they look to continue tuning up for their respective conference championships.

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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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