T&T's Sparkle McKnight opened her outdoor season with a win in the women's 400 metres hurdles event at the 93rd Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, Mike A Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas, USA on Saturday.
McKnight clocked 57.27 seconds to finish ahead of Columbian Melissa Gonzalez (58.69) and Alanah Yukich University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) junior with 58.78.
Also featuring at the Relays were senior student/athlete Akanni Hislop of the Louisiana State University (LSU), Arkansas-Pine Bluff sophomore Safiya John and freshman Tamia Badal of the University of Colorado.
John placed ninth in the women's heptathlon at the Texas Relays with 5,243 points. She earned in the seven disciplines -100m hurdles (14.10 sec/904pts), high jump (1.64m/783), shot put (11.04m/598); 200m (26.11/788); long jump (5.89m), javelin (35.84m/588), and 800m (2:28.95/706).
Badal competed in three events and only had success in the team event, the women's 4x400m relay, running the third leg to help her team to third place with 3:40.73. This after advancing with the fourth-fastest time of 3:45.69.
She also raced in the 400m hurdles event, with her 1:03.25-clocking placing her 32nd, and then she placed 35th overall in the 100m hurdles with 14.20, running a minus-0.4 wind.
Hislop advanced to the final of the men's 200m with the eighth fastest time of 21.01 in the preliminary heats but did not compete in the medal race. He did, however, help his team to second spot in the men's 4x100m relay final, running the lead-off to help his team cross the line in 38.70.
In the Florida International "Pro Addition" at the Ansin Sports Complex in Hollywood, Florida, Asa Guevara raced to gold in the men's 400m also on Saturday. He clocked 47.13 to win section one of the timed final, to edge eventual second-place Musa Isah BRN with 47.16, and in third place was heat two winner, Ashton Schwartzman of IMG Elite (47.24).
Ruebin Walters, running unattached, excelled at the Al Schmidt Bulldog Relays, Mike Sanders Track & Field Complex in Starkville, Mississippi, copping silver in the men's 110m hurdles. He clocked 13.59 to follow University of Alabama (UAB) Robert Dunning (13.45) to line. T&T's Franklyn Stanislaus (Arkansas-Pine Bluff) also faced the starter in the event and he was 12th (15.96).
Later, Stanislaus lined-up in the 400m and finished 24th (50.20) while compatriot Joshua St Clair (UAB) did much better but he missed out on a medal, placing fifth in the one-lap event with 47.79. St Clair, a junior at UAB, finished ninth in the 200m with 21.21 (1.6).
Three more local athletes saw action including Tyriq Horsford (Mississippi State), Anya Akili (Tennessee Tech) and Cherisse Murray (UAB).
Horsford just missed out on a medal placing fourth in the men's javelin (74.77m), Akili had a full schedule, finishing 12th in the women's javelin (27.88m), 15th in the high jump (1.47m), 22nd in the 400m (59.52) and 36th in the 200m (25.78w) while Murray, a Junior, placed 11th (40.37) in the women's discuss throw.
Long-distance runner, Tonya Nero of Shocker Track Club placed third in the women's 5,000m at the Wichita State Shocker Spring Invitational in Kansas with a time of 17:42.96.
St Hillaire set school record
Dwight St Hillaire set a school record for the University of Kentucky (UK) on Saturday at the outdoor season opener, the Weems Baskin in Columbia, South Carolina.
Hillaire ran 20.25 in the 200m dash, besting NCAA champion Rondel Sorrillo's 11-year-old mark of 20.29. St Hillaire is now seventh on the T&T all-time outdoor list behind Ato Boldon' 19.77 acheived in July 13, 1997; 19.97 (Jereem Richards/May 27, 2017); 19.97 (Kyle Greaux (July 31, 2018); 20.08 (Aaron Armstrong/April 10, 1999); 2016 (Rondel Sorillo/August 11, 2011); 20.18 (Richard Thompson/May 30, 2008).
St Hillaire also ran the lead-off to help UK to victory in the 4x100m (39.52).
In Bloomington, Indiana, at the Big Ten Invite, University of Minnesota sophomore Kion Benjamin picked up double sprint silver medals. He was runner-up in both the 100m and 200m with 10.51 (1.4) and 200 21.08 (2.9), respectively. Benjamin's chance of another medal did not materialise in the 4x100m relay as his Minnesota squad was disqualified.
Field specialist Ianna Roach competed in two events at the meet. The University of Iowa freshman placed eighth (14.64) in the women's shot put and 10th (46.17) in the hammer throw.
At the Bobcat Invitational in San Marcos, Texas, Alisha St Louis of Eastern Michigan featured in two events. In the triple jump, she finished sixth (12.06m) and in the long jump, St Louis was 13th (5.43m).
Sprinters shine on NJCAA circuit
T&T athletes dominated the sprint events at the New Mexico Spring Open in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Thursday.
New Mexico Junior College's Tyrell Edwards and Aaron Brewster claimed the top two spots in the men's 200m. Edwards with a bit of assistance by the wind (2.4) won in 21.38 with Brewster runner-up with 21.64. Their T&T/New Mexico teammates Onil Mitchell and Timothy Frederick also competed and they respectively placed fifth (22.18/2.9w) and sixth (22.32/2.9).
In the women's version of the race, New Mexico JC freshman Ayla Stanisclaus sprinted to victory in the women's 200m with 24.04.
Mitchell did, however, reach the podium in the 100m dash, placing second with 10.78 (1.0) while Brewster clocked the same time and was adjudged third. Frederick finished fifth with 10.97 (1.0).