TAKEAWAY NACAC Championships 2018

Shanieka Ricketts wins NACAC triple jump gold

The North American, Central American, and Caribbean Championships held in Toronto August 10 – 12, 2018 were from my observation, too small an International group of Athletes to engender significant predictions for Olympics 2020. Regardless, Team Jamaica performance is worthy of Post event commentary.

It did not appear that all Member Countries participated. There were some good performances but overall un-impressive. Top tier athletes were absent. Elaine Thompson and Omar McLeod were not present or at least I saw or heard nothing to the contrary. According to an unofficial count, 369 athletes from 31 countries participated. See the list below, which should encourage a Geography lesson.

Team Jamaica exhibited significant improvement in Field events. I am impressed with the wealth of Talent. The Team came away with 21 medals, seven gold, nine silver, and five bronze.

Shanieka Ricketts, Fedrick Dacres, Traves Smikle, Hansle Parchment, Danielle Williams, Natoya Goule, Tyquendo Tracey, Janieve Russell, Annsert Whyte, Demish Gaye, and Shericka Jackson were definite standouts.

Shanieka Ricketts has stepped up her Game. She won gold in the Triple Jump. That will encourage Male athletes to step up. Tisanna Hickling won bronze in Long Jump. Fedrick Dacres and Traves Smikle  continue to perform at a high level in Discus. O’Dayne Richards won bronze in the Shot Put. Tajay Gayle won silver in Long Jump. Ramone Bailey won bronze in Long Jump.

The Hurdles event has caught on. Performance has improved exponentially. It can only get better and competition is about to get fierce for both Men and Women. Hansle Parchment won gold in the 110M hurdles. Danielle Williams won silver in the Women’s 100 meters hurdles. Janieve Russell won silver in the 400M hurdles. Annsert Whyte won silver in the 400 M Hurdles.

Natoya Goule won silver in the Women’s 800 meters. It is refreshing to see an athlete step away and try to establish a new frontier. Natoya Goule is someone to keep an eye on moving forward. Shericka Jackson continues to shine and won gold in the 200M. She ran well as the anchor for Women’s 4 × 100 meters relay quartet. I applaud her stellar performance.

Tyquendo Tracey won gold in the 100M. Nigel Ellis won bronze in the 200 M. Jonielle Smith won silver in the 100M. Demish Gaye won gold in the 400M. Fitzroy Dunkley won bronze in the 400M. Stephenie Ann McPherson won gold in the 400M. Women’s 4 × 100 meters relay quartet (Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Jura Levy, Jonielle Smith, and Shericka Jackson) won silver. Women’s 4 × 400 meters relay quartet (Stephenie Ann McPherson, Tiffany James, Anastasia Le-Roy, and Christine Day) won silver.

There is much to take away from the performances at NACAC Championships 2018. The coach or coaches responsible for training the Women’s 4 × 400 meters relay team is doing a great job. Over the years that quartet, mix or match, has been competitive or dominant. Perhaps, they should be responsible for recruiting Male athletes to run the 400M exclusively.

Until there is discovery, nurturing, and development of at least three (3) consistent 400M sprinters, running less than 45.0, lack of significant performance in the Men’s 400M race will be obvious. Excellent performance in the 400M event will require men who can consistently run less than 45.0 and women who can consistently run less than 50.0 seconds for the event.

This is a challenge. The 400M race is the most exhausting of the sprints. Demish Gaye won gold in the 400M with a time of 45.47 and Fitzroy Dunkley won bronze in the 400M with a time of 45.76. Both times are respectable but not Olympics 2020 material.  In Olympics 2020, the 400 M races to date will be a battle between Africans, Americans, and Bahamians. There is still time to upset that plan.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is back. I was certain she would retire but I was incorrect. Obviously, she missed the stage. Her early performances look good but that amounts to burning off energy. History proves that this welcome back period is short lived. Perhaps she will make it to Olympics 2020. I can argue that she might not make Team Jamaica for Olympics 2020. Team Jamaica Track and Field landscape is poised for a changing of the Guard, if not before Olympics 2020, certainly immediately after.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has fans but I think the results of Olympics 2016 say a lot. We all hoped that she had won the Olympics 100M a third consecutive time but that did not happen. She cannot overcome that demon. Hypothetically, if she wins Olympics 100M in 2020 it will not have the same luster.

In addition, Briana Williams, Brianna Lyston, Elaine Thompson, Jonielle Smith, and others will have much to say about her success. Most athletes wait too late to retire. Most recent the Legend Usain Bolt. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce because of her competitive spirit will do the same. Until then we will support her 100 Percent.

Team Jamaica takeaways and grade by Event based on expectations Olympics 2020:

Men:

Event     Analysis                     Grade

100 M – Need Improvement – C

200 M – Need Improvement – C

400 M – Need Improvement – C

800 M – Need much Improvement – D

1500 M– Need much Improvement – D

Long Jump – Need Improvement – B

Triple Jump – Need much Improvement – D

High Jump – Need much Improvement – F

Hurdles 110 M – Excellent – A+

Hurdles 400 M – Excellent – A

Discus – Excellent – A+

Shot Put – Good – B

Javelin – Need much Improvement – F

4 × 100 meters relay – Need Improvement – C

4 × 400 meters relay – Need Improvement – C

Team Jamaica takeaways and grade by Event based on expectations Olympics 2020:

Women:

Event     Analysis                     Grade

100 M – Need Improvement – C

200 M – Need Improvement – C

400 M – Need Improvement – B

800 M – Excellent – A

1500 M – Need much Improvement – D

Long Jump – Need Improvement – B

Triple Jump – Excellent – A+

High Jump – Need much Improvement – F

Hurdles 100 M – Excellent – A+

Hurdles 400 M – Excellent – A

Discus – Need much Improvement – D

Shot Put – Need much Improvement – D

Javelin – Need much Improvement – F

4 × 100 meters relay – Excellent – A+

4 × 400 meters relay – Excellent – A+

Team Jamaica is looking good leading up to Olympics 2020. Women are doing better than Men. Field events now have new Life.

LFT

SHERICKA JACKSON-NACAC

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