Tyra Gittens notched the best score of her career for a runaway victory in the women’s heptathlon at the Texas A&M Team Invitational, in the United States, on Saturday.
Gittens accumulated 6,274 points-- 200 points more than the 6,074 national record she established in 2018. Three of the seven disciplines, however, were wind-assisted, and the score will not be recognised as a new Trinidad and Tobago standard.
On Friday, Gittens topped the 100 metres hurdles field in a windy 13.14 seconds. She was also first in the high jump, clearing the bar at 1.82 metres. The Texas A&M University student was the best on show in the shot put, throwing the iron ball 12.85m. And in the 200m, she was the fastest with a wind-aided 23.33 run.
On Saturday, Gittens picked up from where she left off, disturbing the sand at a windy 6.67m for top spot in the long jump. She followed up with the best throw in the javelin, 38.13m. Gittens then closed off the hep with second spot in the 800m in two minutes, 28.52 seconds.
Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry showered praises on Gittens.
“Tyra is the finest athlete that has been on this campus ever. She jumps 22-feet in the long jump, she high jumps 6-feet 4-inches and runs 13.14 in the hurdles, she is just an all-around great athlete. She set a new school record, leads the NCAA. It’s early in the year but she looks great.”
At the Miramar Invitational in Florida, on Saturday, Ruebin Walters bagged bronze in the men’s 110m hurdles in a wind-assisted 13.37 seconds. The T&T sprint hurdler finished behind Americans Grant Holloway (13.04) and Daniel Roberts (13.30).
In the qualifying round, Walters finished second in heat two in a windy 13.42. Holloway, the reigning world champion, topped the second heat in 13.14, while Roberts was first to the line in heat one in a windy 13.29.
Portious Warren opened her 2021 outdoor campaign with a 17.74m throw in the women’s shot put. The effort earned the T&T field athlete eighth spot in the event.
Competing for the first time since September 2019, when he finished 17th at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar, Andwuelle Wright produced a wind-aided 7.59m leap for ninth spot in the Miramar Invitational men’s long jump event. He also produced a legal jump of 7.21m.
Trapped in T&T by the Covid-19 pandemic for all of 2020, Wright recently moved his training base to Florida.