Navasky Anderson breaks 800m record at NCAA champs
Navasky Anderson

A few Jamaicans shone brightly at the NCAA Men’s Track & Field National Championships in Eugene this week.

On the track, Navasky Anderson broke the 45-year-old Jamaica 800-meter national record on Friday with 1:45.02 to earn silver for Mississippi State. The former St. Jago standout broke Seymour Newman’s 1:45.30 timing recorded in 1977.

In May, Anderson tasted championship success during the SEC tournament, where he set his previous personal best of 1:45.80 for the Bulldogs.

Anderson trailed Brandon Miller and Moad Zahafi for a majority of the race. He would eventually kick at around 600 meters to pull even with and eventually outlean Miller at the finish line, but would fail to catch Texas Tech’s Moroccan star Zahafi, who fulfilled his promise as the collegiate leader in the 800 (1:43.69) to become national champion, albeit in a slower 1:44.49.

Miller of Texas A&M, who spent the first 500 meters in front, had to settle for third in 1:45.09.

In the NCAA Championships field, Wayne Pinnock duplicated his indoor success outside on Wednesday by winning his signature long jump event. The former Kingston College man jumped 8.00 meters (26 feet, 3 inches) to win gold for the University of Tennessee on his final attempt, barely denying the previous leader Jeremiah Davis of Florida State.

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