Today’s opening day of competition for the women at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division One track and field outdoors championships at the newly refurbished Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, will be a busy one for Baylor University’s Jamaican sprinter Ackera Nugent.
The freshman, who won the NCAA Indoors 60m hurdles and has equaled her school’s 100m record and second-best all-time in the 100m hurdles, will compete three times in less than 90 minutes on the first day, with her last two events separated by about 15 minutes.
Nugent is one of 12 Jamaicans who will compete in seven individual events today.
The men started competition yesterday and decathlete Asani Hylton was marginally ahead of the pace when he set his personal best 7,536 points earlier this year.
After three events, Hylton was in sixth place with 2,398 points, with personal best marks — running a personal best 10.94 seconds (-0.6m/s) for the 100m; leaping 7.01m for the long jump (0.3m/s), and throwing a lifetime best 13.66m for the shot put.
Today, Nugent will be part of the Baylor women’s 4x100m team in the semi-final at 3:32 pm (Oregon time), in which they will come up against the University of Oregon team that includes Kemba Nelson and a fast North Carolina A&T team.
An hour later, the former Excelsior High runner will contest the semi-final of the 100m hurdles, facing another Jamaican, Daszay Freeman, of the University of Arkansas. The top two from each of the three races advance automatically.
Also running in the 100m hurdles semi-finals will be Trishauna Hemmings of Clemson University and Rosealee Cooper of Mississippi State.
Nugent will literally have just enough time to get back to the start line for the 100m, where she will run in the first of the three sections and will face two of the fastest women in the NCAA this year — Tamara Clarke of the University of Alabama and Twanisha Terry of the University of Southern California.
Nelson will run in the third race as she also seeks a place in the final on Saturday.
Big 12 champion Stacey Ann Williams, of the University of Texas, and Charokee Young, of Texas A&M University, will contest the second round of the 400m. Andrenette Knight of the University of Virginia, who is ranked number three nationally, and Kimisha Chambers of Kansas State will take part in the 400m hurdles, while Kevona Davis of Texas will take part in the 200m.
Gabrielle Bailey of Kent State will take part in the shot put today, the first of two events in which she will participate, while Taishia Pryce of Kansas State will contest the long jump.