FREEPORT, Grand Bahamas – World champions Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Shericka Jackson won their respective events on Saturday’s (20 Aug) second day of the NACAC Open Championships 2022 at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex in Freeport.
Miller-Uibo, the hometown favorite, blazed the backstretch and powered home to take victory in the women’s 400 meters. She punched the air to cross the line in front of a cheering crowd in 49.40 seconds.
Miller-Uibo said it was her last race of the season. “I had to come back home and did this one in front of the Bahamian crowd. To finish off with a victory, I give God all the thanks and praise for it,” she said. Sada Williams, Barbados’ world championship bronze medallist, with 49.86 and Jamaica’s Stephenie-Ann McPherson, 50.36, picked up silver and bronze, respectively.
Jackson posted 10.83 seconds (-0.1 m/s) to smash the women’s 100-meter championship record. The world silver medalist, who said after the race that her plan for the rest of the season is to continue running “fast 100-meter” races, was never tested on the night.
After getting off to a quick start, the Jamaican, who ran 10.98 secs in her semi-final heat, broke away from the pack early and pulled away. She shattered the previous championship record of 10.96 secs, set in 2018 by the USA’s Jenna Prandini.
Jackson said, going into the race, “was to have some fun and execute a good race. I am working on the first part of my race, and I think I did pretty good tonight,” she said.
Also, she added: “I broke the championship record, and I am so grateful.”
American Celera Barnes clocked 11.10 seconds to take the silver medal, with the bronze medal going to Natasha Morrison of Jamaica, who ran 11.11.
Jamaica also landed gold in the men’s race after Ackeem Blake stopped the clock at 9.98 secs (-0.4 m/s) to finish ahead of a pair of Americans. Blake’s time also bettered the previous championships record of 10.03, set by fellow countryman Tyquendo Tracey in Toronto in 2018.
The silver medal went to Kyree King of the USA, who ran 10.08, while his teammate Brandon Carnes ran 10.12 to round out the podium places – finishing just ahead of Cejhae Greene of Antigua and Barbuda, who ran 10.17.
Jamaica’s Christopher Taylor ran the fastest race of his life to win the men’s 400 meters final in 44.63, a new championship record.
Fellow Jamaican Nathon Allen, with a very strong final 100-metre, finished second in 45.04. American Bryce Deadmon finished third in 45.06.
Taylor, after the race, made it clear he was “super proud” of himself. He said it was special because after all the ups and downs with injuries, he finally “got my first individual professional medal.”
The men’s 110- meter hurdles went to Freddie Crittenden of the USA in 13.00 ahead of his teammate Jamal Britt, 13.08, and Jamaica’s Orlando Bennett, 13.18.
Alaysha Johnson of the USA topped the women’s 100-meter hurdles in 12.62 seconds ahead of Megan Tapper, 12.68 and Devynne Charlton, 12.71.
“It was a hard race from start to finish,” Johnson said.”I knew my competitors were amazing starters, so I was just trying to be composed, knowing I probably wouldn’t be the first person to the first hurdle. I knew out here was going to be super windy, so it wasn’t going to be about the time. When you got on the USA uniform, it’s about the place. I was just trying to put me and USA in front of everybody else.”
American Jonah Koech ran 1:45.87 to win the men’s 800 meters ahead of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Handle Roban 1:47.03 and Brannon Kidder, also of the USA, 1:47.63.
USA’s Ajee Wilson won the women’s 800 meters in 1:58.47 ahead of her teammate Allie Wilson, 1:58.48 and Jamaican Adelle Tracey, 1:59.54.
Rudy Winkler threw the hammer a record 78.29 meters to beat his teammate Daniel Haugh, 76.38m.
Curtis Thompson of the USA took the javelin throw with a record mark of 84.23 meters ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s former Olympic Games champion, Keshorn Walcott’s 83.94.
Alina McDonald cleared 4.50m to beat her American teammate Emily Grove, 4.40 meters and Canadian Rachel Hyink, 4.20 for the women’s pole vault gold medal.
Hernandez Luis Enrique Zayas of Cuba and Django Lovett of Canada shared the men’s high jump title after both cleared 2.25 meters. Bahamian former world champion Donald Thomas, who also cleared 2.25, got third on countbacks.
American Quanesha Burks took gold for the USA in the women’s long jump with a leap of 6.75 meters. She beat Canadian Christabel Nettey, 6.46 meters and Jamaican Chanice Porter, 6.43.
The USA closed out the night with victory in the mixed 4×400-meter relay, crossing the line in 3:12.05 ahead of Jamaica, 3:14.08 and Cuba at 3:20.34.