Report11 Jun 2023

Alfred completes NCAA sprint triple in Austin


Julien Alfred at the NCAA Championships in Austin (© Kirby Lee)

St Lucia’s Julien Alfred added three more collegiate titles to her name when winning the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas, on Saturday (10), the day of her 22nd birthday.

And to top off the birthday celebrations, her victories played a big part in the University of Texas winning the overall team title.

The track action on the final day of the championships began with Alfred leading her team to glory in the 4x100m, stopping the clock at 41.60 – just a fraction outside the collegiate record of 41.55 they had set in the semifinals two days prior.

Less than an hour later, Alfred was in the blocks for the 100m. The Commonwealth silver medallist powered away from the field to win in a marginally wind-assisted 10.72 (2.3m/s) with Kennedy Blackmon taking second place (10.87) and Jacious Sears placing third (10.94).

Just 45 minutes later, Alfred took on the 200m and won by the exact same margin, powering to victory in a wind-assisted 21.73 (2.5m/s) from Mackenzie Long (21.88). Alfred’s teammate Kevona Davis, who had been part of Texas’s triumphant 4x100m team, placed third in 22.02.

Ireland’s Rhasidat Adeleke completed a sprint sweep for Texas and caused one of the biggest upsets of the championships as she defeated one-lap star Britton Wilson in the 400m. Wilson had the slight edge as the duo entered the home straight, but Adeleke pulled ahead in the final 50 metres to win in a national and championship record of 49.20 – the fastest time by a European athlete for 11 years.

Wilson’s ambitious one-lap double proved too big a task for the 22-year-old. Just 25 minutes after the 400m flat final, she returned to the track for the 400m hurdles – the event in which she was the defending champion and collegiate leader with 53.23. But she ultimately faded to seventh place in a race won by Michigan’s Savannah Sutherland in 54.45.

In the 100m hurdles, NCAA indoor champion Ackera Nugent powered to victory in a wind-assisted 12.25 (3.8m/s) to win from Masai Russell (12.32), who also finished runner-up in the 400m hurdles (54.66).

Double NCAA indoor jumps champion Jasmine Moore won the triple jump in a collegiate record and outdoor PB of 14.78m. Jamaica’s Ackelia Smith, who had won the long jump two days prior, finished second in the triple jump with a PB of 14.54m.

Elsewhere, Jorinde van Klinken took the discus title with a meeting record of 65.55m, winning by more than four metres.