The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division One Track and Field Outdoors Championships gets underway at the Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, on Wednesday, June 9th, with many Jamaica athletes participating.
Thus far a total of 33 Jamaicans have qualified from the preliminary rounds which were held previously. The men will compete on Wednesday and Friday with the women competing on Thursday and Saturday. However, the decathlon (for men) will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, while the heptathlon (for women) will be contested on Friday and Saturday.
Five Jamaicans have qualified for two individual events over the next four days, with Ackera Nugent of Baylor University down to contest the 100m hurdles and the 100m; Gabrielle Bailey of Kent State University is set to contest the shot put and discus throw; the University of Tennessee’s Carey McLeod is set to compete in the long and triple jumps; Clayton Brown of the University of Florida vie for top honours in the high and triple jumps, similar to the University of Texas’s O’Brien Wasome.
Twelve men will be in action on Wednesday’s opening day of competition when three will contest the 110m hurdles and triple jump. Phillip Lemonious (University of Arkansas), Lafranz Campbell (Clemson University) and Damion Thomas (Louisiana State University) will line up in the semi-final of the hurdles while McLeod, Wasome and Jullane Walker (Kansas State) will contest the final of the long jump.
In the 400m semis, Sean Bailey (University of Texas-El Paso) and Wayne Lawrence Jr (University of Iowa) will challenge for a place in the final, while in the 400m hurdles semi-finals, Leonardo Ledgister (Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi) is the Jamaican representative seeking to punch a ticket in the final.
Liberty University’s Kyle Mitchell will contest the shot put, while Asani Hylton of Stephen F Austin will begin competition in the decathlon event.
Jamaicans won three events in the women’s category at the NCAA in 2019, as Janeek Brown, then of the University of Arkansas, copped the 100m hurdles; Jazmyn Fray of Texas A&M won the 800m, and Shardia Lawrence of Kansas State University triumphed in the triple jump.