Jamaican 400m runner Chrisann Gordon (Getty Images) © Copyright
Report San Salvador, El Salvador

USA dominates but Gordon and Camacho-Quinn shine at NACAC Under-23 Championships

USA won more than half of the gold medals on offer at the NACAC Under-23 Championships in San Salvador, which concluded on Sunday (17).

In total, 12 championship records were established across the three days of competition in the capital city of El Salvador.

Jamaica’s Chrisann Gordon was one of the most dominant winners. Having finished fifth at the NCAA Championships and sixth at the Jamaican Championships in recent weeks, the 21-year-old was highly motivated going into the 400m final in San Salvador. She blazed around one lap of the track in a lifetime best and championship record of 51.02 to win by almost one-and-a-half seconds.

Both of the other women’s sprint events were won by Jamaicans. Kali Davis-White took the 200m title in a wind-assisted 22.66 (2.6m/s) while Sashalee Forbes won the 100m in 11.51.

Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn was one of the other stand-out performers of the championships. Running into a -1.5m/s headwind, the NCAA champion won the 100m hurdles in a championship record of 12.78. Pedrya Seymour of The Bahamas set a national record of 12.83 in second place.

William Barnes made it a Puerto Rican sprint hurdles double, winning the men’s event in 13.53.

All-round talent Akela Jones earned two medals for Barbados. She sailed over 1.91m to win the high jump and took silver in the long jump, just missing gold on countback. She and USA’s Quanesha Burks both jumped 6.74m, but Burks backed hers up with 6.69m, while Jones’ second-best effort was 6.56m.

A moment of glory for hosts El Salvador came in the women’s 10,000m race walk, won by Yesenia Miranda in a championship record of 49:24.70.

Cuba’s Reynier Mena won the 200m in 20.41. His teammates Lisneydis Veitia and Yulenmis Aguilar set championship records of 2:02.02 and 57.09m when winning the 800m and javelin respectively.

The sole championship record in the men's events came in the hammer. Mexico's Diego del Real took the lead with a second-round effort of 74.55m and was never challenged thereafter.

Little more than a week after narrowly missing the final of the US Olympic Trials, Khalifah Rosser rebounded by taking gold in the 400m hurdles in San Salvador, crossing the line in 49.25, the second-best time of his career.

USA took gold in all but two of the men’s flat track events. World U20 champion Kendal Williams sped to 100m gold in 10.23, while Isaiah Harris won the 800m in 1:47.52. They duly dominated all of the relays too, winning the men’s and women’s 4x100m and 4x400m finals by comfortable margins.

Elsewhere, Rio-bound Raven Saunders won the women's shot with 18.49m, while fellow NCAA champion Curtis Thompson took the men's javelin title with 79.28m.