Okolo & Jefferson Lead Collegians at NACAC Championships
NEW ORLEANS – Led by dual gold-medal sprinters Courtney Okolo of Texas (USA) and Kyra Jefferson of Florida (USA), collegians from the 2015 track & field season combined for 11 gold medals and 24 total medals at the North American, Central American & Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) Championships this past weekend in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Okolo claimed NACAC wins in the individual women’s 400 meters and as the anchor of the 4×400 relay, while Jefferson took the win at 200 meters and anchored the 4×100 relay.
For Okolo, the gold medals mark a successful return from an injury that forced her – the 2014 NCAA 400m champion, collegiate record holder and 2014 Bowerman Finalist – to miss the 2015 NCAA Championships. She won the final in Costa Rica in 51.57, beating by three-quarters of a second the woman who won the NCAA title in her absence, Kala Funderburk of Florida State (USA). In the prelims, she ran a season-best and NACAC Championships record 50.82.
Jefferson’s win at 200 meters was significantly closer, as the NCAA Indoor Champion ran 22.50 for a NACAC Championships record to edge Semoy Hackett (Trinidad & Tobago) by .01 of a second and outdoor NCAA Champion Dezerea Bryant of Kentucky (USA) by .08.
Funderburk and Bryant also claimed multiple medals, joining forces with Okolo and Jefferson, respectively on the relays.
Meanwhile, 2015 NCAA women’s long jump champion Quanesha Burks of Alabama (USA) turned in the top collegiate performance in the field events with a victory in her signature event. She leapt a career-best 22-9 (6.93m) in the third round for a huge NACAC Championships record of 60 centimeters and a share of the 10th-farthest wind-legal jump in collegiate history. Not to mention a 24-centimeter win over Chantel Malone (British Virgin Islands).
Each of the remaining three gold medalists also broke meet records en route to their wins: NCAA indoor and outdoor men’s high jump champ JaCorian Duffield of Texas Tech (USA) in his primary event at 2.25m (7-4½), NCAA outdoor men’s shot put champ Jonathan Jones of Buffalo (USA) in his signature event at 20.54m (67-4¾), and Houston’s Cameron Burrell (USA) in the men’s long jump (8.06m/26-5½).
The full list of collegiate medalists can be found below.
|Women’s Long Jump||Quanesha Burks, Alabama||1|
|Men’s Shot Put||Jon Jones, Buffalo||1|
|Women’s 4×100 Relay||Kyra Jefferson, Florida||1|
|Women’s 200 Meters||Kyra Jefferson, Florida||1|
|Women’s 4×400 Relay||Kala Funderburk, Florida State||1|
|Men’s Long Jump||Cameron Burrell, Houston||1|
|Women’s 4×100 Relay||Dezerea Bryant, Kentucky||1|
|Men’s 4×400 Relay||Marcus Chambers, Oregon||1|
|Women’s 400 Meters||Courtney Okolo, Texas||1|
|Women’s 4×400 Relay||Courtney Okolo, Texas||1|
|Men’s High Jump||Jacorian Duffield, Texas Tech||1|
|Men’s 800 Meters||Clayton Murphy, Akron||2|
|Women’s 1500 Meters||Shelby Houlihan, Arizona State||2|
|Women’s 400 Hurdles||Sparkle McKnight, Arkansas||2|
|Men’s Steeplechase||Stanley Kebenei, Arkansas||2|
|Women’s 400 Meters||Kala Funderburk, Florida State||2|
|Men’s 1500 Meters||Daniel Winn, Oregon||2|
|Men’s Shot Put||Darrell Hill, Penn State||2|
|Men’s 4×100 Relay||Beejay Lee, Southern California||2|
|Women’s Hammer Throw||DeAnna Price, Southern Illinois||2|
|Women’s High Jump||Deandra Daniel, Coppin State||3|
|Men’s Long Jump||Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye , Kansas State||3|
|Women’s 200 Meters||Dezerea Bryant, Kentucky||3|
|Women’s Javelin Throw||Hannah Carson, Texas Tech||3|