It’s early December, which means for Bahamian collegiate track and field athletes, it’s the beginning of their athletic seasons.
A few Bahamian athletes got their seasons underway in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) this past weekend, competing at various meets around the United States.
Wanya McCoy, a sophomore at Clemson University, showed tremendous progression a season ago, setting personal best times in both short sprints, and showing early season form of potentially going even faster this year with blazing times over the weekend.
Competing at the Clemson Open inside the Clemson Indoor Track & Field Complex in Clemson, South Carolina, the up-and-coming Bahamian sprinter recorded personal bests in both the 60 and 300 meters (m) indoors. McCoy, 19, ran a personal best of 6.69 seconds in the preliminaries of the men’s 60m, then came back in the final and won that event in 6.76 seconds. His time in the prelims has him tied with three others for the 11th fastest in the world this year in the under-20 boys division.
‘The Real McCoy’ as he is known, wasn’t done yet. He also won the men’s 300m, running a blazing personal best of 32.53 seconds. That time is less than a second off Steven Gardiner’s national record and is tied for the 23rd fastest of all time. McCoy is also the number two Bahamian athlete of all time in that event behind Gardiner.
Also seeing action over the weekend was Megan Moss, a junior at the University of Kentucky. Moss competed at the Commonwealth College Opener at the Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center in Louisville, Kentucky.
Moss, 20, ran in the 500m and 4x400m relay. In the 500m, she finished second in 1:13.24. That race was won by Kennedy Simon, a senior at the University of Texas, in 1:08.59.
Moss came back and ran in the women’s 4x400m relay with her teammates Karimah Davis, Masai Russell and Yasmin Brooks. Moss ran the third leg and they won in 3:40.05. Louisville was second in 3:42.70 and Bellarmine University rounded out the top three in 3:53.45.
After missing the 2022 outdoor season, Anthaya Charlton is back and she is back with a bang. Also competing at the Commonwealth College Opener, the Kentucky Wildcats sophomore matched her personal best time in the 60m, ran a new personal best in the 200m and was just off her personal best jump in the long jump event.
In the 60m, Charlton matched her personal best time of 7.41 seconds in the heats, came back in the final and finished fourth in 7.53 seconds. In the 200m, she finished sixth in a personal best of 24.91 seconds. Over in the long jump, Charlton finished second in that event with a best leap of 5.94m (19’ 6”). The 19-year-old was just off her personal best leap of 5.99m (19’ 8”).
Taking part in the 2022 Dakota Indoor Classic inside the Fargodome Sports Arena in Fargo, North Dakota, was University of North Dakota senior Daejha Moss. Moss, 23, won the high jump competition with a clearance of 1.76m (5’ 9-1/4”) and finished second in the long jump with a personal best leap of 5.96m (19’ 6-3/4”). Her clearance in the high jump was just two centimeters short of her personal best height in that event. North Dakota State sophomore Grace Emineth won the long jump competition with a leap of 6.05m (19’ 10-1/4”).
Also at the Dakota Indoor Classic, Bahamian Shyrone Kemp, 23, was in action for the MSU-Moorhead Dragons. The Dragons compete in the NCAA Division II.
Kemp, a senior, finished first in both the men’s 60m and the men’s long jump.
In the 60m, he had a winning performance of 7.01 seconds after running a personal best time of 6.93 seconds in the heats. In the long jump, he had a winning jump of 7.42m (24’ 4-1/4”) – a personal best leap for him and third all-time in MSU-Moorhead history. The winning jump was also a qualifying jump for this season’s NCAA Indoor Championships.
Bahamian Shaquiel Higgs, 22, was third in the men’s 60m in 7.05 seconds after running an identical time in the heats. The senior athlete finished eighth in the 200m in 22.98 seconds. In the 60m hurdles, he ran a time of 8.77 seconds.
It didn’t take long for Tiffany Hanna to establish herself at Fordham University in New York City, New York. The graduate transfer from Wagner College smashed Fordham’s school record in the women’s weight throw at the Youree Spence-Garcia Invitational at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex on Staten Island, New York.
Hanna, 23, turned in a massive heave of 17.44m (57’ 2-3/4”) in the women’s weight throw to win that event. Finishing a distant second in that event was St. John’s University junior Ismini Andreou with a throw of 15.18m (49’ 9-3/4”). Hanna’s throw smashed the previous school record of 15.84m (51’ 11-1/2”) by Arianna Washington in 2006. Hanna’s throw was also an Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) qualifying mark.
In the women’s shot put event, Hanna finished fourth with a throw of 11.28m (37’).
Her stellar performances earned her the Maxine Williams Memorial Award for the meet’s most outstanding female performer.
In the NCAA Division II, Denisha Cartwright competed for the Minnesota State University (MSU) at Mankato Mavericks at the Chuck Petersen Open at Myers Field House in Mankato, Minnesota.
The junior athlete earned three top three finishes, all in personal best times, crossing the finish line first in the 60m hurdles, first in the 200m and second in the 60m, to lead her team to a first-place finish overall in the team standings.
In the 60m hurdles, Cartwright, 22, ran a new personal best time and facility and school record of 8.18 seconds after running 8.19 seconds in the heats. Her previous personal best and school record was 8.23 seconds. In the 200m, Cartwright’s winning time of 24.21 seconds was also a new personal best and facility and school record. In the women’s 60m, Cartwright was second behind her teammate Makayla Jackson, a junior. Jackson ran a new facility and school record of 7.29 seconds and Cartwright was second in a personal best time of 7.31 seconds after running 7.40 seconds in the heats.
The NCAA indoor season continues next weekend.