Freeport native Rashan Brown will line-up in the 400 meters (m) event at the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Championships, as confirmed by University of Georgia Assistant Coach George Cleare yesterday.
Freshmen Brown and Shaunae Miller are among the female representatives for the Georgia Bulldogs in the one-lap event. This will mark the first time, this outdoor season, that both Bahamian runners will settle into the blocks in the women’s 400m. The SEC championships will get underway today at the Audrey J. Walton Stadium, in Columbia, Missouri.
“This is going to be the first test for Rashan so she can see where she’s at, especially after the injury last year,” said Cleare. “She will be running the 400m, Tynia Gaither will be in the 200m, and Shaunae in the 400m. All three will be a part of the 4x100m team, and possibly the 4x400m team as well.
“Anytime you go to a championship meet, you just want to go through the rounds and come out healthy, looking to get some personal best times. That would be a really good thing for Rashan, to see if we can get her back to where she used to be. Both Rashan and Shaunae need to run times so they can get into the regionals. Hopefully, we can get one or two personal best times out of the competition.”
Cleare said both Brown and Miller would need to post a fast enough time that would rank them among the top 50 of their event. He believes both can qualify, despite it being their first race in the event.
As for Gaither, a sophomore at the university, her times in the 100m and 200m have booked her a spot at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) East Regionals. Freeport native Gaither is ranked at number 12 in the SEC in the 100m, with a time of 11.51 seconds ran at the Georgia Spec Towns National Team Invitational on April 4. At the same meet, V’Alonee Robinson clocked 11.61 seconds for the Auburn Tigers. That time is the 17th fastest heading into the preliminary rounds of the SEC on Saturday. Miller leads the way in the women’s 200m, an event she has opted not to run. She has a wind-aided time of 22.41 seconds this year, while Gaither is ninth with a wind-aided time of 23.21 seconds. The preliminary rounds in that event will be ran on Friday, starting at 7:05 p.m.
Olympians Ivanique Kemp and Raymond Higgs, and Tamara Myers are representing the Arkansas Razorbacks. Kemp, a junior, sits in the number six spot in the 100m hurdles, with a time of 13.27 seconds. The leading mark this year, is 12.88 seconds, ran by Jasmin Stowers of Louisiana State University (LSU). Fellow Bahamian V’Alonee Robinson is at number 13 in the event with a best time of 13.74 seconds. Myers is eighth in the long jump event with a leap of 6.13m (20’ 1-1/2”) while Robinson shares the number 13 spot with Sojourner Ewing of Mississippi State. Both athletes have a best of 6.08m (19’ 11-1/2”). In the women’s triple jump, Myers is fourth with a best of 12.91m (42’ 4-1/4”) and Higgs is at number 14 in the triple jump for men with a best of 14.83m (48’ 8”).
Guardian Sports Reporter