One year after being canceled due to the danger of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships are back, and 11 Bahamian collegiate athletes are headed to Eugene, Oregon, for the meet at the historic Hayward Field. Action gets underway today and will end on Saturday.
The Bahamian females who made the cut for the meet are Brianne Bethel (University of Houston Cougars), Charisma Taylor (Washington State University Cougars), Rhema Otabor (Florida International University Panthers), Megan Moss (University of Kentucky Wildcats), Serena Brown (University of Iowa Hawkeyes) and Doneisha Anderson (University of Florida Gators).
On the male side, Tamar Greene (Purdue University Boilermakers), Samson Colebrooke (Boilermakers), Terrence Jones (Texas Tech Red Raiders), LaQuan Nairn (University of Arkansas Razorbacks) and Adrian Curry (Ohio State Buckeyes) are headed to Eugene.
The young men will start the action for the Bahamians today.
Colebrooke, Curry and Jones will open up for their respective schools in the 4×100 meters (m) relay semifinals at 8.02 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). All three athletes helped their schools secure top-10 qualifying times.
Colebrooke and the Boilermakers have the eighth fastest qualifying time, 39.06 seconds, and will run in the first heat. Behind them at number nine by one hundredth of a second is freshman Jones and the Red Raiders with a time of 39.07 seconds. They will run in the third and final heat. Curry and the Buckeyes clocked 39.10 seconds to secure the 10th-fastest qualifying time. They will run in the second heat.
All three Bahamians will look to help their teams qualify for the final that gets underway on Friday evening. To qualify they will need to finish first or second in their heat or have the next two fastest times.
Colebrooke and Jones will return to action today at 10.14 p.m. EST in the 200m. They will both run in the third and final heat. Jones, the junior national record holder, has the 15th fastest qualifying time, 20.36 seconds. Colebrooke, who is running in his third NCAA Championships, has the 17th fastest qualifying time, 20.50 seconds.
They will look to qualify for the 200m final which is set for Friday. The qualifying process is the same as in the relays – the top two in each heat and the next two fastest times.
Nairn and Greene will be in action in the triple jump final on Friday. Nairn qualified with a distance of 16.05m (52’ 8”) to put him at number 15. Greene’s qualifying leap of 15.90m (52’ 2”) has him entering the competition at number 24.
The young women will begin competition tomorrow.
Bethel and the Cougars will be on the track at 6:32 p.m. EST in the 4x100m relay semifinals. They enter the semifinals with the eighth-fastest time (43.21 seconds) and will run in the second heat. Running in the third and final heat will be Moss and the Wildcats who enter with the 11th fastest time of 43.70 seconds.
The teams will look to qualify for the final on Saturday.
Otabor will be in action tomorrow at 7:45 p.m. EST in the javelin throw. The freshman enters the final with the 24th best throw a distance of 50.25m (170’ 9-1/4”).
Bethel will return to the track at 7.46 p.m. EST to run in the 100m. The junior will run out of the second heat and has the 15th fastest qualifying time of 11.27 seconds. She will look to advance to the final on Saturday.
Moss will run again in the 400m semifinals at 8 p.m. EST. Moss will run in the first heat and come into the semifinals with the 24th fastest time of 52.13 seconds. She will look to qualify for the final on Saturday.
Returning for a third time to the track tomorrow will be Bethel. She will run in the 200m semifinals after qualifying with the eighth fastest time of 22.78 seconds. That race gets underway at 8.44 p.m. EST. She will look to be in the final on Saturday.
The 4x400m semifinals will have Moss and Anderson on the track at 9.48 p.m. EST. Anderson and the Gators enter the competition with the third fastest time of 3:26.37. They will run in heat two. Moss and the Wildcats enter the semifinals with the 14th fastest time of 3:31.81. Both Anderson and Moss will look to help their teams qualify for the final on Saturday.
In action on Saturday will be Brown in the discus final at 5.35 p.m. EST. The junior has the fourth-best qualifying distance of 59.81m (196’ 2-3/4”).
Taylor’s triple jump final is set for Saturday at 6.20 p.m. EST. The sophomore heads into the final with the sixth-best distance of 13.63m (44’ 8-1/2”).