It’s not unusual for collegiate track and field athletes to get their seasons started in December before the Christmas holidays.
In fact, a number of Bahamians have already stepped on the track and competed in field events for their respective schools, a couple taking home track athlete of the week honors.
Samson Colebrooke, who had a breakout season a year ago, setting personal best times and school records almost across the board, was fantastic in his indoors season opener, winning the 60 meters (m) dash and competing in the men’s 4x400m relay for the Purdue Boilermakers. The Bahamian speedster is looking to have another progressive season, one in which he hopes culminates with an appearance at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Colebrooke, a senior, was named the season’s first Big Ten Conference Men’s Track Athlete of the Week in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I. A native of Exuma, Colebrooke opened the 2019-20 indoor season with a victory in the 60m at the Fred Wilt Open at the Purdue-Lambert Fieldhouse in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.
He won the final in 6.72 seconds, tied for the fourth-fastest time in the nation and the second-fastest in the Big Ten to date this year. Colebrooke earned a berth in the final after he placed first in the preliminaries in 6.75 seconds. His personal best time in that event is 6.65 seconds which was done at the Tiger Paw Invitational in Clemson, South Carolina, earlier this year. Colebrooke also competed in the 4x400m relay for Purdue at the Fred Wilt Open and ran the second leg as the Boilermakers ‘B’ team finished fourth in 3:24.89.
It was the second career track athlete of the week honor for Colebrooke, after he was recognized during the 2019 outdoor season. Along with his two career athlete of the week awards, Colebrooke was a 2019 Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree and named to the 2019 All-Big Ten Men’s Outdoor Track & Field First Team.
The Boilermakers are coached by Bahamian Norbert Elliott.
As a team, Purdue opened the 2019-20 indoor season with 10 victories at the Fred Wilt Open. Colebrooke and the Boilermakers return to action when they host the Gene Edmonds Memorial Invitational from January 10-11, at Lambert Fieldhouse. The two-day event will be the last home meet of the 2019-20 campaign.
Sasha Wells, a junior at Oral Roberts University, was
recently named as the Summit League Female Track Athlete of the Week.
She opened her season with three top-three finishes, including one event title, at the Bob Timmons Challenge at the Anschutz Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas.
Wells opened the meet winning the 60m hurdles with a time of 8:43 seconds, .02 seconds off her school record and Summit League record. Less than 25 minutes after winning her first race of the season, she placed second in the 60m in 7.63 seconds, before finishing the night as a member of the 4x400m relay team that clocked 3:56.22 for third. Bahamians Kayvon Stubbs and Gabrielle Gibson also ran on that Oral Roberts Golden Eagles’ women’s 4x400m relay team.
Individually, Wells’ 60m hurdles time is tied for ninth in the nation and her 60m dash time is in a four-way tie for 51st.
Wells is the first female Golden Eagles athlete to be named Summit League Female Track Athlete of the Week since Aniekeme Etim took home the honor in the first week of December 2017. It is the first athlete of the week honor for the five-time Summit League champion.
Wells and the Oral Roberts track and field program won’t be back in action until they travel to the Arkansas Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on January 17, 2020.