Wasome wins big at NCAA Indoors
O'Brien Wasome, the former Jamaica College team captain, made his mark on the US collegiate indoor circuit with a big win at the NCAA Division 1 Championships on Saturday. Wasome cranked out a personal best late in the men's triple jump to give the University of Texas some glory as the indoor season came to a climax at College Station, home of Texas A&M University. The highlight of the meet was the men's 400m, which featured a world record.
Wasome trailed the consistent KeAndre Bates of the University of Florida before unleashing a winning jump of 16.82m in the fifth round to win. His old Jamaica College teammate, Clayton Brown, who attends the University of Florida, was fourth.
Jamaica's Akeem Bloomfield lowered his recent national record from 45.02 to 44.86 seconds in the 400m final, but the former Kingston College captain lost to 2016 World Under-20 200m champion Michael Norman, who clocked the world-record time of 44.52 seconds to take the gold medal for the University of Southern California. Bloomfield's Jamaican Auburn University teammate Nathon Allen ended his first indoor season in fifth with a personal best of 45.27 seconds.
That time makes Allen, a World Championship finalist last year in London, the second fastest Jamaican of all time indoors.
There were more medals for Auburn's fast crew of Jamaicans. Raheem Chambers produced his best in the 60m, with a runner-up performance timed at 6.53 seconds, 0.01 behind Elijah Hall of Houston. Natalliah Whyte who, like Chambers, is a former Youth Olympic sprint champion from St Jago High School, also set a personal best - 7.15 seconds - to place third in the women's equivalent.
She was one place ahead of Jamaican teammate Jonelle Smith, the former CARIFTA 100m champion from Wolmer's Girls' School. Smith was one of several Jamaicans to end close to the podium in their respective events. Former Kingston College hurdler Jovaine Atkinson was fourth in the 60m barrier final, with Jazmin Fray and Sabina Allen taking fifth place in the 800m and triple jump, respectively.