Collegiate athletes compete ahead of conference championships

A number of Bahamian collegiate athletes ended their regular seasons this past weekend and will now start preparing for their respective conference championships in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athletics.

Beginning next weekend, a number of the athletes will look to compete at a high level, so that they can qualify for the regional level and the ensuing NCAA Championships.

Kyle Alcine saved his best performance of the outdoor career for this past weekend as the junior set an outdoor personal best in the men’s high jump at his school’s meet, the Kansas State University Ward Haylett Meet, in Manhattan, Kansas. The Bahamian was able to clear 2.15 meters (m) – 7’ 0-1/2” – to place second overall.

Alcine was defeated by Olympic high jumper Erik Kynard Jr. who jumps for the Jordan brand. Kynard cleared a height of 2.20m (7’ 2-1/2”). Alcine’s teammate Devon Richardson was third, clearing 2.10m (6’ 10-3/4”).

Alcine’s previous outdoor best was 2.11m (6’ 11”). He achieved that performance at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTEP) Invitational back in March of this year. He now moves into the top 20 at number 18 in the NCAA Division I West outdoor rankings.

Next up for the Wildcats will be the Big 12 Outdoor Championships, which they will host at the R.V. Christian Track and Field Complex from May 14-16 in Manhattan.

Serena Brown launched the discus 57.25m (187’ 10”) to come away with a silver medal at the Wisconsin Big Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin, on Saturday. The University of Iowa Hawkeyes junior has the 13th best throw in NCAA Division I athletics this season – 57.44m (188’ 5”). In addition, she is ranked at number nine in the NCAA Division I West rankings.

Finishing ahead of Brown was Olympian Kelsey Card who threw 62.04m (203’ 6”) to set a facility record. The University of Wisconsin Badgers’ Josie Schaefer finished third with a throw of 55.65m (182’ 7”).

The Bahamian and the Hawkeyes will head to 

Champaign, Illinois, to compete in the Big Ten Championships next weekend, May 14-16.

At the Tom Tellez Invitational hosted by the University of Houston Cougars in Houston, Texas, Cougars senior Brianne Bethel was in action twice. She clocked a wind-aided 23.24 seconds for a third-place finish in the 200m. Winning that race was two-time Olympian Natasha Hastings who runs for Under Armour. The American posted a wind-aided time of 23.04 seconds. Bethel’s teammate, Cecilia Tamayo-Garza, was the silver medalist when she recorded a time of 23.17 seconds.

With only two teams finishing, Bethel and the Cougars’ 4x100m team ran away with a first-place finish in that event in 43.93 seconds. The team of Bethel, Camille Rutherford, Tamayo-Garza and Naomi Taylor powered their way to the 18th fastest time in NCAA DI athletics. The McNeese State University Cowboys finished behind the Cougars, finishing in 46.31 seconds.

The team of Rutherford, Bethel, Tamayo-Garza and Tristan Evelyn has the ninth-fastest time in NCAA DI rankings after posting a time of 43.68 seconds at the Houston Alumni Meet in early April.

Bethel will look to lower her times at the 2021 American Athletic Conference (AAC) Outdoor Track and Field Championships from March 14-16 in Tampa, Florida, on the University of South Florida (USF) campus.

Sasha Wells was the only Bahamian Oral Roberts University Golden Eagles athlete in action at the Arkansas Twilight at the John McDonnell Field in Fayetville, Arkansas. She reached the final in both the 100m and 100m hurdles. Wells was sixth in the 100m dash with a time of 11.74 seconds and fifth in the heats of the 100m hurdles with a time of 13.34 seconds.

However, due to bad weather, Wells did not run in the final in the 100m hurdles.

Wells will now prepare for the 2021 Summit League Outdoor Track and Field Championships presented by the US Air Force Special Warfare, from May 13-15, in Vermillion, South Dakota.

At the NCAA Division II level, it was Denisha Cartwright who ran a personal best of 11.98 seconds in the 100m prelims at her school’s meet, the Minnesota State University at Mankato Maverick Classic in Mankato, Minnesota, this past weekend. She was the only competitor to dip under 12 seconds in that race, and that was her only event at the meet. She did not run in the final.

Cartwright’s teammates Caitlyn Jones and Rose Cramer had the second and third fastest times in the prelims. Jones posted a time of 12.27 seconds and Cramer ran 12.33 seconds. In the final, Jones won with a time of 12.22 seconds. 

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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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