Julien Alfred....The sophomore sprinter has the NCAA-leading mark at 60m and the No. 4 time at 200m this season. NCAA final
Alfred, a native of Castries, St. Lucia, currently holds the NCAA’s leading mark in the women’s 60-meter dash, clocking a school-record 7.10 at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Collegiate Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M., back on Jan. 25

Julien Alfred and Kemba Nelson were first and second in the Women’s 100 meters final on Saturday at the NCAA Track and Field Championships in Eugene.

Alfred, the collegiate leader at 10.81 seconds coming into Saturday, finished the race in 11.01, becoming the first woman from St. Lucia to win the NCAA Women’s 100 meters. She is also the first Texas Longhorn to win this event since Alexandria Anderson did in 2009.

“I did it from the start to be honest,” said Alfred to ESPN U in her post-race interview as she described the confidence in her game plan and execution of it.

“I knew once I got a good start and once I got my momentum going, nobody could catch me at the end.”

Alfred got an ideal start, but didn’t get her usual separation early as adjacent Nelson in lane 4 kept pace with her for 40 meters. The separation was gradual, but sufficient, as Alfred outmuscled her Jamaican competitor and ultimately outleaned Nelson at the line for the NCAA crown.

Nelson improved upon her fourth-place finish in 2021 to take silver for an 11.02 finish. She used some of the supportive energy from the home crowd to keep pace and push Alfred all the way to the tape, as American Abby Steiner of Kentucky began to tap into her top-end speed as she encroached upon Nelson’s position.

Steiner was third in 11.07.

Alfred’s Jamaican teammate, Edwin Allen High alum Kevona Davis, finished seventh in 11.21 seconds while Jamaican Joelle Lloyd finished eighth in 11.28 for the University of Tennessee.

“I think it’s a great field,” said Alfred of the NCAA 100m final.

“On Thursday like six of us ran sub-11, so I knew I had to get out.”

It was a field that included competition including the likes of Nelson, who won the PAC-12 and has several sub-11 performances to her name, including a windy 10.97 to qualify for this final; Melissa Jefferson of Coastal Carolina who owns the 60-meter record and the second-fastest legal time this year of 10.88; 10.93 SEC champion Favour Ofili of Nigeria; Davis who ran a 10.95 at the Big 12 Champs in May and Steiner, who ran a 10.95 to win her heat on Thursday and became the eventual 200-meter outdoor champion and record holder in 21.80 seconds.

Despite all that formidability, Alfred listened to her coach who told her, “I’ll see you on the other side of the track, and that’s what I did.”

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Anthony Foster
Anthony Foster is a renowned Jamaican sports journalist, honored twice as the Jamaica sports journalist of the year (in 2004 and 2005). His journalistic achievements are globally recognized. Notably, he authored an award-winning article on Usain Bolt, the iconic 6-time Olympic champion, 11-time World champion, and record holder for the sprint double. This significant piece was published in the Jamaica Gleaner in 2004. Anthony's extensive coverage includes prestigious events such as the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio 2016. He has also provided coverage for seven (7) World Athletics Championships held between 2007 and 2022, alongside various other international sporting events. Noteworthy mentions comprise his coverage of the 2007 World Cup of cricket and his cherished experience reporting on the 2004 clash between his favorite football team, Argentina, and the USA.


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