Dwight St Hillaire produced a sizzling run in his first outdoor 400 metres race this year. The University of Kentucky athlete stopped the clock at 44.74 seconds to grab gold in the Pepsi Florida Relays men’s one-lap, in the United States, on Saturday.
St Hillaire’s scorcher earned him second spot on the 2021 world outdoor performance list, behind American Bryce Deadmon, the global leader at 44.62 seconds. St Hillaire also features on the 2021 200m top list. The Trinidad and Tobago athlete is currently in fifth spot with the 20.25 personal best he produced on March 27.
St Hillaire’s 44.74 was the second fastest 400m clocking of his career, bettered only by a 44.55 run in 2018.
Another T&T quarter-miler, Joshua Jacob St Clair finished 14th overall in the Florida Relays men’s 400m in 47.35 seconds. The University of Alabama student was 13th fastest in the 200 in 21.25.
Cherisse Murray threw 16.41 metres for victory in the women’s shot put. The Alabama field athlete opened the competition at 15.10m, and improved to 15.35 in the second round. Murray produced the 16.41 throw in round three, fouled her next effort, threw 16.04 in the fifth round, and then closed at 16.16.
Tyriq Horsford picked up bronze in the men’s javelin. The Mississippi State University sophomore landed the spear 72.43m.
Rae-Anne Serville finished fifth in section two and 12th overall in the women’s 400m. The University of Southern California (USC) freshman completed her lap of the track in 53.67 seconds. In her two previous outdoor 400-metre runs this year, Serville clocked 53.45 and 53.22.
At the Texas vs Texas A&M dual meet, Tyra Gittens won the women’s high jump with an outdoor best 1.90m clearance. Gittens’ fine effort is a new national outdoor record, surpassing Natasha Alleyne-Gibson’s 1.89m standard, established way back in 1997. Gittens and Alleyne-Gibson share the overall T&T women’s high jump record, both athletes having cleared 1.93m indoors.
Gittens was fifth in the shot put with a 12.07m throw. And in the 100m hurdles, the Texas A&M University student finished first in her section and sixth overall in 13.63 seconds.
In Florida, Jereem “The Dream” Richards secured bronze in the Pure Athletics Spring Invitational men’s 200m in a wind-assisted 20.37 seconds. Machel Cedenio was sixth overall in a personal best 20.84, while Kyle Greaux clocked 20.90 for eighth spot. Richards was third fastest in the 100m preliminaries in a windy 10.27 seconds, but opted out of the finals.
Khalifa St Fort finished second in her section and seventh overall in the women’s 100m in 11.76 seconds. Competing for the first time since parting ways with coach Ato Boldon, in 2019, St Fort was 11th fastest in the preliminary round in 11.90. Kai Selvon was eighth in 11.77, but skipped the finals.
St Fort is now part of the Florida-based Pure Athletics camp, training alongside fellow T&T athletes Kelly-Ann Baptiste, Keston Bledman, Richards, Cedenio and Greaux.
At the Sprint Summit meet, in Texas, Sparkle McKnight finished fourth in the women’s 400m hurdles in 57.40 seconds. Asa Guevara was eighth overall in the men’s 400m in 47.27.
University of Minnesota sprinter Kion Benjamin clocked a personal best 21.10 seconds for seventh spot overall in the Big North Florida Invitational men’s 200m invite. University of Illinois sophomore Kashief King was 14th in the men’s 400m invite in 49.44.
Benjamin and his Minnesota teammate Jaydon Antoine were 10th and 13th, respectively, in the men’s 100m, clocking wind-aided times of 10.65 and 10.74. In the men’s 200m, Antoine was 18th in a personal best 21.86.
University of Iowa field athlete Ianna Roach threw 13.77m to finish ninth in the women’s shot put. In the hammer throw, Roach was 10th at 47 metres flat. Purdue University’s Naomi Campbell was 18th fastest in the women’s 100m and 200m events. She clocked a windy 11.94 seconds in the 100 and 24.81 in the 200.
At the Hilltopper Relays, in Kentucky, Anya Akili finished 10th in the women’s javelin with a 24.66m throw. The Tennessee Tech University student was 12th in the long jump at 4.82m. Akili was 14th fastest in the 200m in a windy 25.74 seconds and 17th in the high jump with a 1.40m clearance.