Athletics

Dacres again!

...as Jamaica end NACAC Senior Championships with 21 medals

BY PAUL A REID
Observer writer
reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, August 13, 2018

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World leader Fredrick Dacres and Shanieka Ricketts both set championships records as Jamaica ended the North American Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) Senior Championships on a high yesterday with 11 more medals, including three gold, as the regional championships ended at Varsity Stadium in Toronto, Canada.

Dacres threw 68.47m to lead a Jamaican first and second place finish in the men's discus throw as Traves Smikle took second, while Ricketts successfully defended her triple jump title with 14.25m (-0.9 m/s), improving her own record in the final round after a battle with American silver medallist Tori Franklin.

Jamaica finished the three-day championships with 21 medals — seven gold, nine silver and five bronze — much better than the nine medals won three years ago in San Juan, Costa Rica.

Yesterday Shericka Jackson also won a gold medal in the women's 200m. Tajay Gayle in the men's long jump, Smikle, Janieve Russell in the women's 400m hurdles, Annsert Whyte in the men's 400m hurdles, both female relay teams, and the men's 4x400m team won silver medals, while Ramone Bailey in the men's long jump and Nigel Ellis in the men's 200m all won bronze medals.

Neither of the men's relay teams won a medal as the 4x100m could only finish fourth, while the 4x400m team was disqualified after they had initially finished second behind the USA.

Dacres added yet another record to his growing list of achievements as, after setting the record at the Commonwealth Games in March, he surpassed the old record of 60.68m set in 2015 by American Russ Winger on all five of his legal throws as the first four men in the field of six also went past the old mark.

After throwing 65.89m on his first throw, a mark that would have won the gold medal, Dacres then threw 67.39m in the second round before his big throw on the final attempt to end the competition on a high.

Smikle, who had won the bronze at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Colombia just over a week ago, upgraded to silver with 65.46m with the USA's Reggie Jagers taking bronze with 62.70m.

Ricketts started slowly and was second behind Franklin after the first round but got better as the competition went on. She took over the lead in the second round with 14.04m (-1.7m/s) and held it until the fifth round when the American jumped 14.09m (-0.4m/s).

Ricketts responded immediately with 14.21m (-1.1m/s) on her fifth jump and then extended her lead to 14.25m to beat the 14.23m she set in Costa Rica in 2015.

Dominica's Thea Noeliva Lafon was third with 13.74m after fouling her first two jumps and was in danger of not getting to the final rounds.

Jackson just managed to edge Canada's Crystal Emmanuel for the gold in the women's 200m, running 22.64 seconds (-0.3m/s) to set a new stadium record as the 'home town' girl ran 22.67 seconds both under the 22.82 set by Emmanuel two days earlier.

America's Phyllis Francis took third with 22.91 seconds as Jamaica's Jodean Williams was fourth in 23.19 seconds.

Gayle jumped a new personal best 8.24m (-0.3m/s) in the final round of the long jump to secure the silver medal, longer than the 8.19m he set earlier this year as Marquis Dendy of the USA won with a championship record 8.29m (-0.4m/s) set on his first jump to beat the 8.06m set by his compatriot Cameron Burrell in 2015.

Bailey, who was also over the old championship record, once again saved his best for the final round where he got out to 8.09m (-0.2m/s) to take the bronze ahead of Bermuda's Tyrone Smith.

Russell clocked 53.81 seconds to take the silver medal in the women's 400m hurdles, beaten to the line by America's Shamir Little in 53.32 seconds with another American, Georganne Moline, in third with 54.26 seconds, all under the previous championship record of 54.35 seconds set by American Tiffany Williams in 2015.

Leah Nugent, who had run the fastest time in the semi-finals, finished fifth in 55.74 seconds.

Whyte added another silver to the one he won at the CAC Games, when he ran 48.91 seconds in the men's 400m hurdles, beaten to the line again by the British Virgin Islands Kyron McMaster, who ran a championship record 48.18 seconds for the gold.

American Khallifan Rosser took the bronze in 49.13 seconds, beating Jamaica's Shawn Rowe with 49.40 seconds.

Ellis, the bronze medallist in the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Poland two years ago, won his first medal at a senior championships for Jamaica when he finished third in the men's 200m, running 20.57 seconds (1.7m/s).

Trinidad's Kyle Greaux won the gold in a championship record 20.11 seconds, under the 20.12 second set by Jamaica's Rasheed Dwyer in 2015, while Canada's Aaron Brown took the silver in 20.20 seconds.

The women's 4x100m team that was without 100m silver medallist Jonielle Smith, was second in 43.33 seconds with the team of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Jura Levy, Jodean Williams, and Shericka Jackson.

The USA won with 42.50 seconds and Canada third in 43.50 seconds.

Jamaica led the women's 4x400m final with just under 100 metres to go when the USA anchor Courtney Okolo caught Christine Day, blowing past her to lead her team to the victory in three minutes 26.08 seconds to the Jamaicans' 3:26.77 minutes and Canada third in 3:28.04 minutes.

Okolo, who failed to win a medal in the 400m where she was the defending champion, was timed in 49.70 seconds on the anchor leg.

Stephenie Ann McPherson, the 400m champion, and CAC champion Tiffany James ran the first two legs for the Jamaican team, with Anatasia LeRoy on the third leg, opened up what looked to be a commanding lead only to see the USA reeling them back in late.

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