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‘Q’ runs 11.07 seconds in Auburn!

Stunning time by Ferguson is the fastest in the world this year as Kemp ties national record in women’s 100m hurdles and Newbold runs personal best time in men’s 400m
  • Bahamian Sheniqua Ferguson ran a personal best time and world leading 11.07 seconds this past weekend in Auburn, Alabama.

  • Bahamian Ivanique Kemp tied her national record in the women’s 100m hurdles this past weekend. FILE PHOTOS

Guardian Sports Editor

Published: Apr 23, 2012

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Sheniqua ‘Q’ Ferguson not only ran her fastest time ever this past weekend, but it was also the fastest time in the world this year.

The Auburn graduate, still in Auburn training with coach Henry Rolle, ran a blistering 11.07 seconds to win the women’s 100 meters (m) at the War Eagle Invitational on Saturday. She initially ran a personal best time of 11.10 seconds in the heats, matching the world lead, and then came back in the final to crack the 11.0s for the first time in her career. Bahamian Nivea Smith, representing the Auburn Tigers, was seventh in that same race, in 11.78 seconds, and Tia Rolle, of Alabama State, was eighth, in 11.81 seconds. Smith ran 11.71 seconds in the heats. Just last week, Ferguson ran a personal best time of 22.64 seconds in the women’s 200m, and now she has run a personal best time in the 100m.

“I feel awesome,” said Ferguson from Auburn, Alabama yesterday. “I’m very happy with the time. I know I was about to run a fast time, and for it to be the fastest time in the world this year, I’m very happy. I just thank God that I was able to run so fast. I knew that anything was possible. Coming in, my goal was just to run faster than my PR (previous personal best time - 11.17 seconds). I just wanted to run fast and I felt like it was going to happen. To come out early in the season and run that time is a good feeling. Right now, my goal is to go under 11 seconds. I definitely feel like I could do it, but I’m just going to take it one meet at a time. There is a whole lot more running to go.”

Bahamian coach Rolle, an assistant at Auburn University, also believes that 22-year-old Ferguson will eventually crack 11 seconds. For The Bahamas, just the ‘Original Golden Girls’ have accomplished that feat.

“Her training has been going really well,” said Rolle yesterday. “She is really focussed. Her training indicated to me that she was ready to run very fast. That’s how I knew Anthonique was ready to run very fast as well. These girls have shown tremendous improvement and the sky is the limit for them,” he added.

Ferguson trains with fellow Bahamian Anthonique Strachan under the watchful eyes of Rolle down there in Auburn. Strachan ran her personal best time of 11.22 seconds at the Colina CARIFTA Trials last month, and matched that performance at the CARIFTA Track and Field Championships. Also in that camp in Auburn is Beijing Olympic Games silver medalist Kerron Stewart, from Jamaica. The three ladies teamed up with American Joanna Atkins to win the women’s 4x100m at the War Eagle Invitational this past weekend, in 42.81 seconds. Ferguson ran the third leg in that relay. Smith ran as a part of the Auburn Tigers team which finished second, in 44.14 seconds. Rolle ran for the Alabama State team and they finished fifth, in 45.97 seconds. Smith also ran on the Auburn 4x400m team and they were third, in 3:42.99.

This upcoming weekend at the prestigious Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Ferguson is scheduled to team up with Strachan, Smith and Chandra Sturrup, as the quartet hope to post a fast time on their trek to qualify a Bahamian women’s sprint relay team for the London Olympics. The top 16 aggregate times in the world will qualify for the Olympics.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Ferguson yesterday. “I feel like we just have to develop that chemistry. It’s all about getting the girls together in one place. I’m a lil disappointed Debbie won’t be there but she has her obligations so we just have to go out there and post a fast time without her. We were looking forward to running with Debbie but there will be more times. Right now, we have other people who could fill in. We will miss her but we have to do what we have to do. The exchange with Anthonique this past weekend went smoothly so hopefully, we could build off that and get faster,” she added.

Also on that team, as an alternate, is University of Georgia freshman Tynia Gaither. Ferguson is optimistic that the girls can break 43 seconds in the relay.

Also competing at that meet in Auburn was national record holder in the men’s triple jump, ‘Superman’ Leevan Sands. He opened up his outdoor season and popped a respectable 16.90m (55’ 5-1/2”) leap to win that event.

“I just want The Bahamas to know that Superman is back,” said Sands from Auburn yesterday. “I’m here in full effect. Coach actually had in on the board for me to go out there and do 16.9 as an opening jump, and I was right at that. That’s right where I wanted to be. I’m working on my hop and step and it’s just a matter of time before I put a big jump together... 16.9 is a good opener for me. I was around that mark back in 2008 as well and I ended up with a great season. I’m looking for another great season this year.”

That year, Sands culminated his season with the bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics – setting the national record at 17.59m (57’ 8-1/2”). He suffered a slight knee injury at last year’s International Association of Athletic Federations’ (IAAF) World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, but the Bahamian Superman said that he is fully recovered and ready to have a great year for The Bahamas.

“I’m trying a new approach this year,” said Sands. “I’m moving back to 18 steps to hopefully get more speed to the board. Health wise I feel good. I’m a veteran now, so I’m focussed on what I need to do to show up at the big meets. It’s all about winning another medal at the Olympics. I’m just going to take it one meet at a time and look to pop a big one when it counts – put it all in God’s hands. My goal is to get into the Olympics healthy and have a strong performance for The Bahamas.”

Also picking up a win on Saturday was former World Champion Donald Thomas in the men’s high jump. The Bahamian high jumper leapt 2.26m (7’ 5”) for the win. Ryan Ingraham had a best jump of 2.17m (7’ 1-1/4”), for third. Bahamian national record holder in the women’s long jump, Bianca Stuart, also competed at the War Eagle Invitational in Auburn. Stuart shook off an injury suffered at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Instanbul, Turkey, this year, to jump 6.51m (21’ 4-1/4”), for second on Saturday. V’Alonee Robinson finished 13th in that competition, with a best jump of 5.44m (17’ 10-1/4”).

A number of other Bahamians competed at that meet in Auburn on Saturday, especially in the men’s 100m. Jamal Rolle was fifth in 10.40 seconds; Aaron Cleare was 19th overall in 10.84 seconds; Shamar Sands was 21st overall in 10.86 seconds; Shawn Lockhart, representing Alabama State, was 22nd overall in 10.88 seconds, and Niles Stuart was 31st overall in 11.12 seconds. Rolle came back and was third in the 200m, in 20.84 seconds, and Lockhart was 32nd overall, in 22.15 seconds.

Nivea Smith also ran the 200m and finished second, in 23.32 seconds. Tia Rolle was seventh, in 23.88 seconds, and Robinson was ninth in 23.93 seconds. Krystal Bodie finished sixth in the women’s 100m hurdles, in 13.45 seconds.

Also on Saturday, Andre Williams was third in the men’s 400m, in 47.24 seconds, and Nathan Arnett was 13th overall in 48.81 seconds. Arnett was third in the men’s 110m hurdles, in 14.14 seconds.

Niles Stuart had a best jump of 7.31m (23’ 11-3/4”) in the men’s long jump to finish fourth, and Douglas Palacious finished seventh with a best of 7.06m (23’ 2”). Palacious was fifth in the triple jump, with a best jump of 14.71m (48’ 3”).

Also this past weekend at the LSU Invitational, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Demetrius Pinder ran 20.46 seconds in the 200m, and at the Tom Jones Memorial, in Gainesville, Florida, Rodney Greene ran 10.63 seconds in the 100m. At the Mt. SAC Relays, Cache Armbrister ran 55.26 seconds in the 400m.

At the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, in Charlottesville, Virginia, Warren Fraser ran 10.34 seconds in the 100m and 21.10 seconds in the 200m. Also at those championships, Stephen Newbold ran a personal best time of 46.97 seconds in the 400m.

At the John McDonnell Invitational, in Arkansas, Ivanique Kemp tied her national record in the 100m hurdles, running 13.20 seconds; Tia Thompson ran 13.82 seconds in that same event; Jeffrey Gibson ran 50.69 seconds in the 400m hurdles; Andretti Bain ran 47.03 seconds in the 400m, and a pair of Bahamian long jumpers had outstanding performances in the men’s long jump. Raymond Higgs leapt 8.07m (26’ 5-3/4”), and Rudon Bastian leapt 7.93m (26’ 0-1/4”).

Next weekend Bahamian athletes will participate at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia and the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.

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