Denisha Cartwright led the field of Bahamian National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II (DII) athletes over the weekend, running the best time in the nation in division two in the women’s 100 meters (m) hurdles. She clocked 13.88 seconds in that event at the Maverick Spring Invite in Mankato, Minnesota, over the weekend.
This home meet was the first outdoor meet of the season for the Minnesota State University at Mankato Mavericks standout athlete. Cartwright is no stranger to securing the top time in the hurdles event. She had the fastest time in DII of 8.41 seconds in the 60m hurdles this past indoor season and was named as the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) NCAA Division II Women’s Track Athlete of the Year for the Central Region for indoor competition.
As for her outdoor opener, that time over the weekend was an NCAA DII provisional qualifying time and also a personal best mark for Cartwright. She will look to lower that time and get an NCAA DII automatic qualifying time of 13.47 seconds or lower as the season progresses.
The All-American indoor athlete went into the final with the top qualifying time of 14.33 seconds. Finishing a distant second was Gustavus Adolphus College Golden Gusties’ Birgen Nelson who posted a time of 14.32 seconds. Cartwright’s teammate Mackenzie Keune was third when she crossed the finish line in 14.37 seconds.
Cartwright’s teammate, fellow Bahamian Lyric Brennen, finished 11th with a time of 16.99 seconds in the preliminaries.
Sasha Knowles was in action at the Alice Coachman Invitational in Albany, Georgia. She finished with a silver medal in the 800m run for the Clayton State University Lakers with a time of 2:29.40. Albany State University Golden Rams’ Erin McCoy won the race with a time of 2:20.54. Fort Valley State University Wildcats’ Anaya Arnold finished behind Knowles with a time of 2:33.35.
Knowles and teammates Ariyonna Jones, Ny’Asia Green and Na’ilah Allen later won the 4x400m relay after clocking 4:02.59. They were able to hold off the Shorter University Hawks who placed second with a time of 4:05.99. The Wildcats was a distant third after recording a time of 4:33.33.
The 4x400m relay was one of five wins that the Lakers, under the guidance of head coach Chris “Fireman” Brown, had at the meet. Knowles’ silver medal was one of 11 top-three finishes for Brown’s squad.
There were top-three finishes for a quartet of Bahamians competing for the Minnesota State University at Moorhead (MSU-Moorhead) Dragons at the North Dakota State University Bison Spring Classic in Fargo, North Dakota.
Freshman Kendrick Major finished second in the 400m with a time of 50.91 seconds. The host school’s Adrian Harris won that event after recording a time of 48.76 seconds. Finishing third was Major’s teammate, Ibrahim Oduong, in 51.30 seconds.
Major was back in action in the 4x400m relay race. He and his teammates, Oduong, Drew Dosch and Braxton Bruer, ran a time of 3:25.53 to come away with a silver medal. North Dakota State University posted a time of 3:23.24 to win that event. Finishing third was the University of North Dakota as they ran 3:27.16.
Robynn Rolle-Curry was able to finish second in the 400m after clocking 58.39 seconds. Winning that race was Jerzie Finstad who ran unattached, finishing in 57.59 seconds. The Bison’s Katie Bye was third when she clocked 59.79 seconds.
Finishing with individual bronze medals each were Shyrone Kemp and Shaquiel Higgs. Kemp was third in the high jump after he was able to clear 1.96m (6’ 5”). His teammate, Chris Cook’s 2.06m (6’ 9”) was enough to win that event. The Bison’s Elijah Hylen was able to finish second place after posting a height of 2.01m (6’ 7”).
It was a battle for second place for Higgs in the men’s 100m. He clocked a wind-aided 10.94 seconds to finish third. His teammate Kory Powell-Oliver edged him out with the same time but took second in a photo finish. Winning the race was the Bison’s Alex Brosseau who ran 10.67 seconds.
Higgs and Kemp later teamed up with Powell-Oliver and Clay Jackson in the 4x100m relay. The MSU-Moorhead Dragons finished second in 42.93 seconds. The Bison clocked 41.88 seconds for the win.
Athletes have another chance to improve their performance this coming weekend as they will be back in action.