Natoya Goule and Kemoy Campbell are two among many elite athletes hailing from the Caribbean competing in the 2nd Annual Dr Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge, scheduled for January 24-26 at The Armory’s New Balance Track and Field Center.
“We welcome such a large influx of Caribbean athletes to New York City,” said Bassett Thompson, The Armory Foundation’s Director of Track & Field. “I am sure there will be many track fans on hand to watch these athletes heat up the track at the Dr Sander Invitational.”
Jamaica’s Goule emerged as one of the best 800m runners in the world in 2018, winning the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games, before running a blazing personal best of 1:56.15 at the Monaco Diamond League meet. Only two athletes ran faster, and Goule will look to start off 2019 cementing her place among the world’s elite. She will compete in the 1,000m at Dr Sander Invitational, facing off against a quality field that includes America’s Laura Roesler.
Campbell, who also hails from Jamaica, will toe the line in the 3,000m against Sam Parsons and NCAA champion Ben Flanagan. Campbell, a product of the University of Arkansas, holds Jamaican records in the 3,000m, 5,000m and 10,000m, and placed tenth in the 5,000m at the 2017 World Championships in London.
The men’s 4x200m relay will be another signature race, with talented squads from Jamaica, Guyana and the United States. With the elite talent on all three teams and national pride on the line, this sprint relay could produce fireworks on the track, considering the American women set a national record in this race at last January’s Dr Sander Invitational.
The former Armory Track Invitational meet was renamed in honour of longtime Armory President and founder Dr Norbert Sander, who passed away in 2017.
College track & field programs will bring to The Armory their share of talent from the Caribbean, most notably the Florida State Seminoles. Keep an eye on Florida State’s Christoff Bryan, a senior transfer from Kansas State who is the 2017 outdoor high jump NCAA champion, and a four-time All-American. Eight other Jamaicans representing FSU are slated to compete, including Peta Gaye-Williams, the junior national record holder in the 100m hurdles, and Shanice Love, a three-time CARIFTA Games champion in the discus throw.
Twenty four Caribbean-born collegiate athletes in total are scheduled for this meet. Jordan Scott of Virginia is the 2018 Jamaican champion in the triple jump, and his teammate Owayne Owens is the U20 national champion in the same event. On the distance side, Oklahoma’s Ackeen Colley was the 2017 Jamaican high school champion in the 1500m.
The 2019 Dr Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge will feature many of the best athletes in the world, including World Championships 800m bronze medalist Ajeé Wilson an elite miler Craig Engels.