The University of The Bahamas Mingoes won six events at the 17th Star Performers Track and Field Classic over the weekend to open local competition.
Ken Mullings won the Open Men’s High Jump and 110m hurdles, Brandon Hanna took the Open Men’s 400m hurdles, Romica Josey won the Open Women’s 400m, Destiny Pratt won the Open Women’s 200m, and Tyler Gardiner took the top spot in Open Men’s 1500m.
National decathlon and heptathlon record holder Ken Mullings won the Open Men’s high jump clearing 2.05m (6ft 8¾in) for The Mingoes.
Mullings cleared 2.06m (6ft 9in) at The Purdue University Gene Edmonds Memorial Invitational January 11, 2020. Mullings said he felt good about his consistency.
“It feels pretty good to clear 2.05 because it shows me that I’m consistent at the 2.05 which gives like 850 points in the decathlon so I’m pretty happy with that. I could have worked on my timing over the bar which could’ve been a little better. I feel like if I improve more on the timing I should higher results.”
Kendrick Thompson tied for second spot with Stoney Duncanson (Leap of Faith) as both cleared 1.90m (6ft 2¾in) with identical knockdowns.
Mulling and Thompson also dominated the 110m hurdles competition. Mullings won the event in 14.51 seconds and Thompson took second in 15.18 seconds.
Tyler Gardiner got stuck in the pack in the first lap of the Open Men’s 1500m but pushed out front in the back half of the race to pull off the win in 4:23.94.
“The first quarter I was supposed to get out easy and coach wanted the race to start from the second quarter,” he said, “so I started to pick it up gradually and I made it into the third quarter smoothly. There was a lot of head wind on the front stretch so I started to run out of gas with like 250 meters to go but it still was a good race for me.”
Romica Josey and Gabrielle Shannon dominated the Open Women’s 400m. Josey won the event in 1:00.55 and Shannon took second in 1:01.03.
“It was pretty good,” Josey said. “It was better than what I did at Purdue but I appreciate it. I see some more things I need to work on and when I go to practice I know that’s what my coach is going to be drilling to me and hopefully next time I’ll do better.”
She added she needs to focus on her finish if she wants to be competitive. “I have a good start and I have a good mid-distance race,” she said. “But when it comes down to finishing I’m a little weak so I’m ready to try and push more to fix that to be excellent in my event.”
Brandon Hanna had a suburb second 200 meters in the Open Men’s 400m hurdles to come back for the win in 54.13 seconds. Edward Gayle took the third spot for UB in 58.53.
Destiny Pratt and Sierra Sears took the top spots in the Open Women’s 200m. Pratt finished in 26.50 seconds and Sears stopped the clock at 27.86.
Elana Mackey took the second spot in the Under-20 girls 1500m with a 5:26.64 run. Llanzita Chea from Fast Forward Athletics won the event in 5:21.06.
Mia Mitchell finished second in the Under-20 girls 400m hurdles in 1:09.17 for The Mingoes. Craiesha Johnson won the event in 1:05.27.
In the Under-20 Men’s high jump, Edvaughn Carey took the 4th spot clearing 1.75m (5ft 9in). Carey also took the second spot in the 100m competition in 11.85 seconds.
Keianno Rolle jumped 13.69m (44ft 11in) in the Under-20 triple jump competition for second spot behind Chima Johnson (PVS Sports) who jumped 13.85m (45ft 5¼in).
Elijah Swain took the third spot in the Open Men’s 800m in 2:06.42 seconds.
In the Open Men’s 400m, Donya Roberts finished 6th in 49.89 seconds in a stacked field that saw Maverick Bowleg (Road Runners) win the event in 48.54 seconds.
Miah Bethell finished in 7th spot in the Open Women’s 200m dash in 26.91 seconds.
Head coach Ednal Rolle said he felt good about his team’s first major local performance this season. “Our athletes had some great performances today considering we are just getting into the full swing of the season,” Rolle said.
“Ken and Kendrick dominated their events and that’s going to set them up for multi-event competition later on in the season. And on the track we had some good times from our athletes. All in all this was a great meet for us.”
The Mingoes are expected to participate in the University of Tampa’s Invitational February 20, 2020 in Tampa, Florida.