Bahamians compete in conference championships

Sands, FSU win ACC title; Wilson comes close to world championships qualifying standard

Sheldon LongleySend an emailMay 17, 2022 274 5 minute readFacebookTwitterLinkedInShare via Email

 Bahamian coach at Florida State University (FSU) “Superman” Leevan Sands and the FSU Seminoles celebrate a men’s title at the conclusion of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championships at Morris Williams Stadium at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, over the weekend. Sands is in his first year as an assistant coach with responsibility for jumps at FSU.

The collegiate athletics landscape in the United States (US) is heating up as various athletes compete in their respective conference championships, and other athletic meets of note, in preparation for a run at their regionals and nationals.

A Bahamian who stood out was Jahmaal Wilson at the West Texas A&M Last Chance Meet 2022 at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.

Running at altitude, Wilson, a sophomore at West Texas A&M, won the men’s 110 meters (m) hurdles in a blazing 13.35 seconds – just three one hundredths of a second off the qualifying standard for the World Athletics (WA) Championships in Eugene, Oregon, USA, this summer. That global meet is set for July 15-24.

Running unattached, Tyrin Lewis finished second in 13.55 seconds, and Cameron Macon, a sophomore at Texas A&M University-Commerce, was third in 14.05 seconds.

Over at the 2022 Summit League Championships at the Oral Roberts ONEOK Sports Complex in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a quartet of Bahamians performed well at their collegiate home facility.

Gabrielle Gibson, a senior at Oral Roberts University, was second in the women’s 200m in a wind-aided 23.72 seconds after running 24.05 seconds in the heats. Sara Reifenrath, a sophomore at South Dakota, won that event in 23.20 seconds, Gibson was second, and Erin Kinney, another sophomore at South Dakota, finished third in 23.88 seconds.

Gibson came back and won the women’s 100m hurdles in 13.57 seconds after running 13.42 seconds in the heats. It was a 1-2 finish for The Bahamas in that event as Indea Cartwright, a sophomore at Oral Roberts, finished second in 13.59 seconds after running 13.41 seconds in the heats. Elise Ulseth, a sophomore at North Dakota, finished third in 13.97 seconds.

Cartwright went into the 400m hurdles final with the top qualifying time of 1:00.55 from the heats but she did not finish the final.

Lakelle Kinteh, a junior at Oral Roberts, finished fifth in the women’s 100m in 12.17 seconds after running 12.12 seconds in the heats. She also competed in the women’s long jump and was 16th overall with a best leap of 5.50m (18’ 0-1/2”).

In the women’s 4x100m, Kinteh, Gibson, Judith Bediako and Cartwright, in that order, finished second for Oral Roberts University in 45.09 seconds. South Dakota won that race in 44.99 seconds and North Dakota State finished third in 45.88 seconds.

In the women’s 4x400m, Oral Roberts team of Chanice Forbes, Gibson, Nikki Victorious and Adrena Mazzei, in that order, finished fifth in 3:52.83.

Another Bahamian at Oral Roberts, Bradley Dormeus, a senior, finished second in the men’s 400m in 46.20 seconds after running 47.12 seconds in the heats. Demar Francis, a sophomore at South Dakota, won that race in 45.79 seconds, and Cody Roder, a senior at North Dakota State, was third in 46.22 seconds.

Also at the Summit League Championships, Daejha Moss, a senior at North Dakota State, finished second in the women’s high jump with a leap of 1.76m (5’ 9-1/4”). Daniella Anglin, a freshman at South Dakota, won with a leap of 1.79m (5’ 10-1/2”) and her teammate Carly Hering, a junior, finished third, clearing the same height as Moss – 1.76m. Moss finished ahead of her based on number of knockdowns.

Moss was also fourth in the women’s triple jump with a jump of 12.24m (40’ 2”). Her teammate Jodi Lipp, a junior, won that event with a leap of 12.76m (41’ 10-1/2”), Shalom Olotu, a sophomore at Oral Roberts, was second with a leap of 12.57m (41’ 3”), and Alissa Melvin, a junior at North Dakota State, finished third with a leap of 12.38m (40’ 7-1/2”).

Moss was also seventh in the women’s long jump with a leap of 5.83m (19’ 1-1/2”).

At the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Championships at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi, Sasha Wells, a senior at Florida, finished seventh in the women’s 100m hurdles in 13.75 seconds. Her teammate, Doneisha Anderson, a junior, was 18th overall in the women’s 400m in 53.66 seconds. She also ran on the Florida Gators’ women’s 4x400m relay team and they finished seventh in 3:26.85. That team was made up of Taylor Manson, Sterling Lester, Anderson and Talitha Diggs, in that order.

Megan Moss, a sophomore at Kentucky, was 11th overall in the women’s 400m in 52.70 seconds. She was an alternate on Kentucky’s record-setting 4x400m team as the quartet of Karimah Davis, Dajour Miles, Abby Steiner and Alexis Holmes, ran a new collegiate record of 3:21.93 for the title. Texas A&M was second in 3:22.01 and Arkansas finished third in 3:22.05.

Florida women won the team title with 107 points and Kentucky was fourth with 85 points.

The Kentucky Wildcats feature a number of Bahamians and are led by Head Coach Rolando ‘Lonnie’ Greene and Assistant Coach Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie.

At the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championships at Morris Williams Stadium at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, Wanna McCoy, a freshman for the Clemson Tigers, was fourth in the men’s 200m in 20.50 seconds after running 20.68 seconds in the heats. He also ran on the Tigers’ 4x400m relay team and they won in 3:05.15. The team consisted of McCoy, Tarees Rhoden, Cameron Rose and Aman Thornton, in that order. The Florida State University (FSU) Seminoles were second in 3:05.83 and Pittsburgh was third in 3:06.07.

Raymond Oriakhi, a sophomore at Pittsburgh, finished 28th overall in the men’s 400m in 51.14 seconds.

FSU won the team title easily, scoring 149 points for their second straight ACC outdoor championship. Virginia Tech was a distant second with 93 points, and Virginia finished third with 83 points. FSU women were third with 99 points. The University of Miami won with 108 and Duke was second with 100.5 points.

Bahamian ‘Superman’ Leevan Sands, in his first year as an assistant coach at FSU with responsibility for the jumps, said winning a conference title feels great. In his specialty, the men’s triple jump, FSU sophomore Jeremiah Davis finished third with a best leap of 16.16m (53’ 0-1/4”) and was named as the Most Valuable Performer for the Seminoles. Jacore Irving, a junior, was sixth with a best leap of 15.38m (50’ 5-1/2”).

“To come here and win a conference title in my first year is a good feeling,” said Sands. “This school has a great tradition of jumpers and runners and I’m excited to be a part of the movement. It’s only up from here for us. We’re going to the regionals with some great marks and if everyone do what they’re capable of doing, I have no doubt that we could have a shot at winning the nationals. I’m just thankful and looking forward to great things. I’m thankful to God for this opportunity – to be a part of a great team in a great atmosphere with great coaches. As coaches, we encourage each other and in turn we carry it over to the athletes and the results are shown. We’re looking forward to great things.”

Over at the Big 10 Outdoor Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Shaun Miller, a sophomore at Ohio State University, finished second in the men’s high jump with a clearance of 2.17m (7’ 1-1/2”). Mayson Conner, a junior at Nebraska, won with a clearance of 2.20m (7’ 2-1/2”). Cassidy Henshaw, a senior at Michigan, cleared the same height as Miller but had to settle for third based on number of knockdowns.

Oscar Smith, a sophomore at Ohio State, competed in the men’s 110m huddles and finished fourth in 13.59 after running 14.01 seconds in there heats. Joshua Zeller, a junior at Michigan, won that race in 13.19 seconds, Kentre Patterson, a senior at Ohio State, finished second in 13.39 seconds, and Josh Braverman, a senior at Iowa, was third in 13.56 seconds.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I East Preliminaries is set for May 25-28 at the Robert C. Haugh Track & Field Complex in Bloomington, Indiana, while the west preliminaries is set for that same time at the John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Indiana University at Bloomington will host the east preliminaries while the University of Arkansas will host the west preliminaries.

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