The University of The Bahamas (UB) Mingoes won six events at the 17th Star Performers Track and Field Classic over the weekend, opening local competition in athletics.
Ken Mullings won the open men’s high jump and the open men’s 110 meters (m) hurdles, Brandon Hanna took the open men’s 400m hurdles, Romica Josey won the open women’s 400m, Destiny Pratt won the open women’s 200m and Tyler Gardiner claimed the top spot in the open men’s 1500m.
Mullings, national record holder in the men’s decathlon and indoor heptathlon, won the high jump event by clearing 2.05m (6’ 8-3/4”). He cleared 2.06m (6’ 9”) at the Purdue University Gene Edmonds Memorial Invitational on January 11, and said he feels good about his consistency.
“It feels pretty good to clear 2.05 because it shows me that I’m consistent at the 2.05 mark which gives me like 850 points in the decathlon so I’m pretty happy with that. I could have worked on my timing over the bar which could’ve been a little better. I feel like if I improve more on the timing I should clear higher heights,” said Mullings.
Kendrick Thompson tied for second spot with Stoney Duncanson Jr. (Leap of Faith) as both cleared 1.90m (6’ 2-3/4”) with identical knockdowns.
Mullings and Thompson dominated the 110m hurdles competition. Mullings won the event in 14.51 seconds and Thompson took second in 15.18 seconds.
Gardiner got stuck in the pack in the open men’s 1500m but pushed out front in the back half of the race and pulled off a win in 4:23.94.
“The first quarter I was supposed to get out easy and coach wanted the race to start from the second quarter,” said Gardiner. “I started to pick it up gradually and I made it into the third quarter smoothly. There was a lot of head wind on the front stretch so I started to run out of gas with like 250 meters to go but it still was a good race for me.”
Josey and Gabrielle Shannon finished first and second respectively in the open women’s 400m. Josey won the event in 1:00.55 and Shannon took second in 1:01.03.
“It was pretty good,” said Josey. “It was better than what I did at Purdue. I see some more things I need to work on and when I go to practice I know that’s what my coach is going to be drilling to me. Hopefully next time I’ll do better.”
She added she needs to focus on her finish if she wants to be more competitive.
“I have a good start and I have a good mid-distance race, but when it comes down to finishing I’m a little weak. I need to try to push more,” said Josey.
Hanna had a superb second 200m in the open men’s 400m hurdles, coming back to win in 54.13 seconds. Edward Gayle took the third spot for UB in 58.53 seconds.
Destiny Pratt and Sierra Sears took the top spots in the open women’s 200m. Pratt finished in 26.50 seconds and Sears stopped the clock at 27.86.
Elana Mackey finished second in the under-20 girls 1500m with a 5:26.64 run. Llanzita Chea from Fast Forward Athletics won the event in 5:21.06.
Mia Mitchell finished second in the under-20 girls 400m hurdles in 1:09.17 for the Mingoes. Craiesha Johnson won the event in 1:05.27.
In the under-20 men’s high jump, Edvaughn Carey finished fourth for UB, clearing 1.75m (5’ 9”). Carey also finished second in the 100m, stopping the clock in 11.85 seconds.
Keianno Rolle leapt 13.69m (44’ 11”) in the under-20 boys triple jump competition for second spot behind Chima Johnson (PVS Sports) who leapt 13.85m (45’ 5-1/4”).
Elijah Swain finished third for UB in the open men’s 800m in 2:06.42. In the open men’s 400m, Donya Roberts finished sixth in 49.89 seconds. Maverick Bowleg (Road Runners) won the event in 48.54 seconds.
Miah Bethell finished seventh for UB in the open women’s 200m in 26.91 seconds.
Mingoes Head Coach Ednal Rolle said he felt good about his team’s first major local performance this season.
“Our athletes had some great performances considering we are just getting into the full swing of the season,” Rolle said. “Ken and Kendrick dominated their events and that’s going to set them up for multi-event competition later on this season. On the track we had some good times from our athletes. All in all this was a great meet for us.”
Next up for the Mingoes is the University of Tampa’s Invitational, set for February 20, in Tampa, Florida.