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Miller pulls out of 400m final; Kemp fifth in hurdles

Gaither ran personal best time in 200m final
  • Shaunae Miller.

Guardian Sports Editor

Published: May 13, 2013

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It looks like Bahamian phenom Shaunae Miller might have to wait until the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Outdoor Championships to renew her rivalry with Arkansas senior Regina George.

The University of Georgia freshman was able to get the better of George at the NCAA Indoors, but had to bow out of the final of the women’s 400 meters (m) at the South Eastern Conference (SEC) Outdoor Track and Field Championships, at the University of Missouri’s campus in Columbia, Missouri, yesterday, due to a slight injury she suffered during the final of the women’s 4x100m.

Miller ran the third leg for Georgia in the relay, and according to Bahamian assistant coach at the school, George Cleare, she jammed her foot as she came into the exchange, and experienced a lil soreness. Taking full precautionary measures, they decided to sit her out of the women’s 400m final in which she came in as the third fastest qualifier, posting a time of 53.04 seconds in the heats. Regina George went on to win the final, in 51.74 seconds.

“What happened is, it was a lil painful for Shaunae, but we’re optimistic that it was just one of those rare things that happen,” said Cleare from Missouri yesterday. “She wasn’t 100 percent and we didn’t want to take any chances. For all intents and purposes, she will be ready for regionals and the nationals. She isn’t in any major pain and that’s a good thing.”

Freeport native Rashan Brown also ran in the women’s 400m, but failed to get out of the opening heats. Brown, also a freshman at Georgia, was fourth in her heat and 17th overall, in 56.42 seconds. Bahamian Tynia Gaither, another freshman at Georgia, advanced to the final of the women’s 200m, and finished sixth in the final, in a personal best time of 23.29 seconds. She ran 23.48 seconds in the heats.

“She’s looking good heading into the regionals and we’re looking for her (Gaither) to advance to the NCAAs,” said Cleare yesterday. “Rashan had a lil difficulty. Her fitness level isn’t really there as yet. She came in a lil out of shape due to her injury but she has been running good times in the 4x1. She’s not quite there yet in the individual events, but we’re trying to race her into shape and keep her healthy. Overall, I think that we did extremely well. The future is looking good for Georgia. We feel that we could maximize our potential in the near future.”

The NCAA Outdoor Championships are set for June 5-8, in Eugene, Oregon.

As for the SEC Championships this past weekend, The Bahamas also got a pair of personal best performances in the women’s long jump. Andros native Tamara Myers finished ninth overall, with a jump of 6.08 meters (m) – 19’ 11-1/2” . That performance was wind-aided, but her third leap of 5.96m (19’ 6-3/4”) was legal, and served as a personal best jump for her. The talented Arkansas sophomore also took part in the women’s triple jump, and finished fourth with a best jump of 12.99m (42’ 7-1/2”). Auburn junior V’Alonee Robinson was 12th overall in the long jump, with a personal best jump of 5.97m (19’ 7”). Robinson also took part in the short hurdles, but was disqualified.

Arkansas junior Ivanique Kemp had one of the most impressive performances of the four-day meet for Bahamian athletes, as she advanced to the final of the women’s 100m hurdles, and finished fifth, in 13.25 seconds. She ran a blazing 13.10 seconds in the heats to qualify as the second fastest for the final, but that time was backed by a whirling 3.8 meters per second (mps) tailwind.

The other Bahamian athlete at Arkansas, Raymond Higgs, struggled in the men’s long jump. Higgs, who represented The Bahamas at last year’s Olympic Games in London, England, could only muster a best jump of 7.55m (24’ 9-1/4”) this past weekend, for seventh. He leapt 8.15m (26’ 9”) to qualify for last year’s Olympic Games.

In the women’s 4x100m relay, Miller, Brown and Gaither teamed up with freshman Myasia Jacobs, and the quartet finished third overall, in 45.16 seconds. Robinson ran the relay for Auburn, and along with freshmen Deon Phillips and Siobhan Ford-Holland, and senior Kai Selvon, they finished ninth, in 46.14 seconds.

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