Andrew Hudson and Brittany Brown were crowned 200-meter champions on Sunday’s (21 Aug) final day, which saw the USA’s continued dominance of the NACAC Open Championships.
The Americans left a mark on the Grand Bahamas Sports Complex in Freeport, winning 10 events but taking medals in every single one.
In the men’s final, Hudson ran a massive personal best of 19.87 to win his first title in Jamaican colors. The American-born sprinter stormed off the curve and powered down the home stretch to beat Americans Kyree King, 20.00, and Josephus Lyles, the brother of Noah Lyles, 20.18.
Hudson said, “it means a lot to come out here and win the gold, my first medal for Jamaica.”
Brittany Brown held off a strong challenge from hometown girl Tynia Gaither to win, 22.35 to 22.41 seconds. American A’Keyla Michelle took bronze in 22.53.
The USA won all the relays on the day to add to their mixed 4×400-meter gold won on Friday’s opening day. They won the men’s 4×100 relay in 38.29 ahead of Trinidad and Tobago, 38.94 and Jamaica, 38.94; they also took the women’s title in 42.35, this time ahead of Bahamas, 43.34 and Jamaica, 43.39.
The USA won the men’s 4×400 relay in 3:01.79 ahead of Jamaica, 3:05.47 and Bahamas, 3:06.21. USA’s women’s team crossed the finish line first in 3:23.54 ahead of Jamaica, 3:26.32.
Thea Laford won Dominica’s first NACAC title with a creditable 14.49-meter hop-skip-jump. She beat American Keturah Orji, who leapt 14.32. Laford, who secured victory on her last jump, said: “I feel so happy to do it here in the Caribbean. Only two of us are here, so to secure a medal is huge, and for it to be gold is even bigger,” she said.
Americans won both 1500-meter titles, thanks to the efforts of Eric Holt, 3:37.62 over his teammate Josh Thompson, 3:37.88 and Heather Maclean, 4:04.53 over Jamaican Adelle Tracey, 4:08.42.
The USA’s Kara Winger threw 64.68 meters to take victory in the women’s javelin, beating her teammate Ariana Ince, 59.69 and Bahamian Rhema Otabor, 57.91.
Sarah Mitton won Canada’s only title on the day, the women’s shot put, with a record throw of 20.15 meters. She beat the USA’s pair of Jessica Woodard, 18.82, and Jessica Ramsey, 18.74.
Kyron McMaster of the British Virgin Islands not only defended his men’s 400-meter hurdles title but did so by lowering his 2018 record to 47.34. “It feels good. You always want to defend your title, and to come out and compete well,” said McMaster.
Americans Khallifah Rosser, 47.59 and CJ Allen, 48.23, were second and third, respectively.
Cuba’s Banderas Eduardo Napoles won the men’s pole vault with a clearance of 5.25 meters, and American William Williams the men’s long jump with 7.89 meters. Jamaicans Tajay Gayle, the Doha 2019 world champion, got second with 7.81 and Shawn-D Thompson, 7.75m, for third place in the men’s long jump.
Jamaicans Traves Smikle, 62.89 meters and Fedrick Dacres, 62.79, were first and second in the men’s discus throw.
The USA topped the medal table with 29 gold ahead of Jamaica with six, Canada, Cuba and Guatemala, two each.
Article and photo: Anthony Foster