The Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) Dragons athletics team named Bahamian field athlete Shyrone Kemp the Male Newcomer of the Year on Wednesday on the school’s social media platforms.
The award is given to the male student-athlete in his first year of competition, whether freshman or transfer, who has made the most impact on his sport.
He redshirted in the indoor portion of the track and field discipline last season. This season he was active, taking part in the jumps and dabbling on the track.
The Grand Bahamian had several podium finishes during the year, including multiple first-place finishes in the triple jump.
“It feels great winning the Male Newcomer Athlete of the Year award, especially knowing that I improved as much as I thought I would. I wasn’t surprised; I was more confident of getting the award because I executed everything well, which made me aware of what I was capable of,” Kemp said.
Trevor Barry, a household Bahamian name, is an assistant head coach and a jump coach for the Dragons’ program. He has represented The Bahamas at several international meets, including the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
In an interview with the Dragons’ athletics program in March, he said that Kemp has come a long way, but has a lot more growth to go.
“Kemp is pretty raw. Last year, we just introduced him to the triple jump,” said Barry. “He has made leaps and bounds and he definitely has a lot more growth to go.”
Also coaching Kemp in the jumps was Dave Bergstrom.
This award came after Kemp won the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Newcomer of the Year award at the indoor championships back in February.
“My first year was a gaining year basically, because I started track and field my senior year in high school and as a freshman, I exceeded my coach’s expectations. My first year was about getting to know about the sport, which I did, and to develop my love of the sport. I was quite disappointed the season got dismissed early, because I qualified for the nationals in three of my events,” Kemp said.
He qualified for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Championships in the high jump, long jump and triple jump.
According to Kemp, the meet that stood out for him the most was the South Dakota State University Indoor Classic. At that meet, he jumped his personal best of 15.17 meters (m) (49’ 9 1/4”) in the triple jump in February. That distance also broke a 43-year-old school record and ranked him at number nine in the nation.
In the long jump, Kemp jumped a season’s best distance of 7.15m (23’ 5.5”) at the NSIC Track and Field Championships to win the bronze medal. At those same championships, he cleared 2.09m (6’ 10”) in the high jump to finish third place.
Also at those championships, he won the gold medal in the triple jump. Kemp was not able to better his personal best but he covered a distance of 14.99m (49’ 2 1/4”). That was the final meet for Kemp and the Dragons before the COVID-19 pandemic brought an abrupt halt to the season. The NCAA DII Track and Field Championships were slated for March 13 to 14.
Next year is very promising for the former Tabernacle Falcons student-athlete as he looks to break more records and finish atop the rankings.
Other Bahamians that are a part of the Dragons track and field team include Kendrick Major, Shaquiel Higgs and Ty Dawkins.