Three for Pernell to Dominate Conference Performances #team-st-lucia
With outdoor track and field conference championships for most NCAA Divison I schools this weekend, several Saint Lucian athletes were in action between Thursday and Sunday. The undoubted star of the weekend, though, was sophomore sprinter Pernell Joseph of Missouri State University.
Competing in the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Championships on Sunday at Wichita State University’s Cessna Stadium in Wichita, Kansas, the 21-year-old Management student got three gold medals and one bronze to lift the Bears to fifth overall with 98 points. She started off by joining fellow Saint Lucian, Merica Moncherry, along with Kimsue Grant and Althia Maximilien, to win the 4x100m dash in 44.90 seconds, the third-fastest time in school history. Joseph, Maximilien, Moncherry and Alyx Dull capped the day with a third-place finish in the 4x400m relay, running 3:42.71, less than two seconds out of first place.
But Pernell also shone individually. She won the 100m dash in 11.61 seconds, a new personal-best performance. Merica, a freshman, ran 11.85 to finish third in the event. Pernell and Merica had run personal-best times of 11.70 and 11.76, respectively, in the preliminaries on Saturday. They also ran career-best times of 23.76 and 23.81 in the 200m preliminaries. Pernell’s time was the fastest in the qualifying rounds, and they both carried that form into the final, running 23.82 and 23.97 for a close 1-2 finish. Sensational stuff from the two latest Saint Lucian Bears.
Texas State University hosted the Southland Conference Championships in San Marcos, Texas, and sophomore sprinter Jhorden Hunter picked up two medals. She helped the University of Texas San Antonio Roadrunners win the 4x100m in 44.81, with Shahira Ehiemua, Chiugo Okonkwo and Krystal Wynn. On a windy Saturday, Jhorden led the opening rounds of the 100m by running 11.47 seconds, with a tailwind of 3.6 metres per second. On Sunday, with wind at 0.5 m/s, she led a UTSA 1-2, stopping the clock at 11.66, ahead of Ehiemua, running 11.71 for second. Jhorden ran 24.24 for ninth in the 200.
Also at the Southland meet, Karique Stephen copped third place in the men’s Triple Jump. A junior at Sam Houston State, Karique hopped, stepped and umped his way to a new personal record of 15.37m with a trailing wind of 2.1 metres per second, grabbing a bronze for the Bearkats. Meanwhile, at the Mountain West Conference, hosted by Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Jeremiah James also got third in Triple Jump, the University of Wyoming Cowboy senior finishing with a best mark of 15.63m. In Long Jump, Wyoming junior Lenyn Leonce cleared 7.17m for fifth, and Jeremiah 7.14m for sixth.
Two more Saint Lucians competed at the Southeastern Conference Championships at the Bernie Moore Track Stadium on the campus of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Jeannelle Scheper etched a new outdoor school record for High Jump into the University of South Carolina books, with a fifth-place finish at 1.83m, matching her career-best mark set indoors earlier this year. An 18-year-old sophomore, and a multiple CARIFTA medalist, Jeannelle was fifth in the tiebreaker due to misses during the competition.
University of Arkansas junior Makeba Alcide was 11th in the High Jump at the SEC meet, clearing 1.72m, virtually the same as she had done earlier in the weekend in Heptathlon competition. She ended 19th in Long Jump, with a mark of 5.71m, which she could certainly have used in the Heptathlon. Leading the seven-part event after the opening day, Makeba – the defending champion – opened day two with subpar efforts in Long Jump (5.37m) and Javelin Throw (30.86m) before ending with a relatively strong 2:17.73 in the 800m run for a total of 5,466 points to finish fifth overall.