Terrence Jones and Steven Gardiner both set new indoor national records at separate National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I meets over the weekend, and both moved into the top 10 in their respective events all-time. There were some other notable performances over the weekend by Bahamian track and field athletes but the two by Jones and Gardiner stood out the most.
Jones was in action for the Texas Tech Red Raiders at the Texas Tech Corky Classic, sprinting away from the field to run a new national record of 6.45 seconds in the 60 meters (m) dash. Warren Fraser held the previous national record of 6.54 seconds. After bouncing off the wall at the Sports Performance Center in Lubbock, Texas, Jones took a bow in front of Red Raiders fans on Saturday, acknowledging the spectacular feat.
“It was my first indoor meet ever,” Jones said. “I just wanted to get through the meet, execute, do what my coaches tell me and then just produce results.”
Jones’ teammate Jacolby Shelton placed a distant second with a time of 6.59 seconds. Finishing third place was Liberia’s Emmanuel Matadi, who ran 6.60 seconds.
Jones also tied the NCAA mark set of the University of Tennessee’s Christian Coleman and Brigham Young University’s (BYU) Leonard Myles-Mills. Coleman did it in 2017 and Myles-Mills accomplished the feat in 1999. It was also a school record for the sophomore from The Bahamas.
It is the world-leading time this season and also tied the ninth-fastest indoor time of all-time in that event.
Grand Bahama native Jones lowered the previous record of 6.52 seconds which was set by Divine Oduduru in 2019. Jones almost broke the school record in the semifinals when he clocked 6.53 seconds, breaking the national record for the first time.
Gardiner had a great season-opener in the 300m, setting a new national record of 32.06 seconds on Friday, which was a world lead until American Jacory Patterson ran a blazing 31.99 seconds at the Clemson Invitational at the Clemson Indoor Track & Field Complex, on Saturday.
Running under brand sponsor Adidas, Gardiner ran the national record time at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Blazer Invitational in Birmingham, Alabama, on Friday. He broke his own national record of 32.26 seconds. In addition, he was able to break his own meet record of 32.51 seconds which was set back in 2018.
Finishing in second place was Great Britain’s Matthew Hudson-Smith, clocking 32.80 seconds. Placing third was the University of Alabama’s Mason Phillips as he crossed the finish line in 33.09 seconds.
Over at the Jim Green Invitational in Lexington, Kentucky, a few Bahamian athletes were in action at Kentucky-Nutter Field House.
Devynne Charlton, who ran for Puma, won the 60m hurdles final with a time of 8.02 seconds. It was fast enough to qualify her for the World Athletics (WA) World Indoor Championship. The University of Kentucky Wildcats’ Masai Russell was second with a time of 8.21 seconds and she was followed by Rutgers University’s Icisys Sadler who ran 8.37 seconds.
Charlton’s fastest time of the meet came in the semifinals when she clocked eight seconds flat.
In the 60m, Charlton turned in the fastest time of the day in the semis, running 7.42 seconds, but opted not to run in the final. She ran 7.54 seconds in the heats. Younger sister Anthaya, a Kentucky freshman, ran 7.66 seconds in the heats. Young Charlton was 12th overall in the 200m running 25.74 seconds. She also competed in the long jump, and was tied for third in that event with Cincinnati’s sophomore Juliet McGregor with a leap of 5.61m (18’ 5”). Cincinnati’s freshman Anaya Dees won that event with a leap of 5.71m (18’ 9”), and Kentucky’s sophomore Annika Williams finished second with a leap of 5.70m (18’ 8-1/2”).
Making her way back from injury, Kentucky redshirt freshman Jaida Knowles ran 7.63 seconds in the heats and 7.74 seconds in the semifinals. Knowles finished 10th overall in that event, and was ninth overall in the 300m, running 41.90 seconds.
The Wildcats’ Megan Moss was also in action on the track at that meet, helping their 4x400m relay team of Alexis Holmes, Abby Steiner, Dajour Miles and herself cross the finish line first in 3:33.02. Moss ran the third leg and the Wildcats have the second-fastest time in the world and NCAA this season.
The Wildcats’ ‘B’ team was second as they clocked 3:47. Ball State was third, running 3:47.06.
Moss also ran the 300m individual race and finished second after recording a run of 37.87 seconds. Holmes finished ahead of her in 37.37 seconds.
Doneisha Anderson was in action for the University of Florida Gators on Saturday, taking part in the Clemson Invitational in Clemson, South Carolina. Anderson and the Gators’ 4x400m team of Taylor Manson, Sterling Lester, Anna Hall and herself won the event in 3:33.11. That time is the third-fastest time in the world and NCAA this season.
Finishing behind them in second place was the University of Texas Longhorns with a time of 3:36.18. Finishing third was the host school as they crossed the finish line in 3:38.11.
Shaun Miller Jr. only had one other competitor in the high jump competition and he bowed out early, so Miller competed by himself for the most part, looking to set a facility record at the Badgers Big Ten Midwest Invite at the Gately Indoor Track in Chicago, Illinois. The sophomore cleared a college-best 2.16m (7’ 1”) to erase the previous facility record of 2.14m (7’ 0-1/4”). With that height, Miller is tied for eighth in the NCAA this season. He defeated Purdue University’s Gage Ernsberger who only cleared 1.89m (6’ 2-1/2”).
Kansas State University (KSU) Wildcats’ Kyle Alcine is proving to be in good shape as he picked up his second victory in the high jump competition this season. He did it with the second-best height in NCAA this season, clearing 2.19m (7’ 2-1/4”). Alcine did it at the KU (University of Kansas)/KSU/WSU (Washington State University) Triangular at the Kansas-Anschutz Field House in Lawrence, Kansas, on Saturday.
Acacia Astwood was victorious for the University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners in the weight throw this past weekend. She threw a distance of 18.23m (59 9-3/4”) at the Ted Nelson Invitational in Bryan-College Station, Texas on Saturday. Northwestern State University’s Kristin McDuffie was second when she threw 17.05m (55 11-1/4”), and Stephen F. Austin University’s Jayla Hooper was third, recording a throw of 16.88m (55’ 4-3/4”).
Daejah Moss held off two South Dakota State University jumpers to win the high jump event for the North Dakota State University Bison with a clearance of 1.68m (5’ 6”). She was in action at the Bison Team Cup at the Shelly Ellig Indoor Track and Field Facility in Fargo, North Dakota.
Moss defeated Addison Eisenbeisz who cleared the same height as her. Madison Kizer was third when she cleared 1.63m (5’ 4-1/4”).
Charisma Taylor came away with a victory in the 60m hurdles for the University of Tennessee Volunteers with a time of 8.15 seconds. She held off two Duke University sprinters at the Virginia Tech Invitational at the Rector Field House in Blacksburg, Virginia. Isabel Wakefield was second in 8.37 seconds and Chyler Turner was third with a time of 8.50 seconds.
Taylor also won the long jump event with a leap of 6.25m (20’ 6-1/4”). The University of North Carolina’s Anna Keefer was a close second, posting a leap of 6.24m (20’ 5-3/4”). Rounding out the top three finishers was Taylor’s teammate Prommyse Hoosier who leapt 6.15m (20’ 2-1/4”).
It was a strong start for the Vols transfer student-athlete.
Bahamian collegiate athletes will continue their indoor seasons at separate venues around the United States this week.