By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica—During Sunday’s last day of competition, Long Jumper Chantel Malone won a silver medal in the 2nd North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Track and Field Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica, while sprinter Tahesia Harrigan-Scott came up .06 seconds short of a medal.
Malone cut the sand with a personal best leap of 6.69m on her opening jump to secure the silver medal behind the USA’s Quansheka Burks, who opened with the same 6.69 mark as Malone, then leapt 6.93m, the ninth best jump in the world this year to secure the gold medal. Malone’s mark was .01cm off qualifying for the IAAF World Championships and improved her 6.65 National Record.
“It’s always good to accomplish something you have been dreaming about,” Malone said. “I wanted the gold and I definitely wanted a qualifier, but, I’m very pleased with my performance today.”
Malone, who hadn’t been jumping well until the Pan Am Games, said the mindset she had when she won the CAC Games gold in November, returned. “I’m happy that it did,” she stated. “For example, in the Pan Am Games, I had two fouls going in to the last jump before the final and normally, I would have freaked out. But, in my mind, I said it only takes one jump to get into the final. I kept positive and that’s what I did today too.”
She said she didn’t know the jump was that far, even though she wanted to put down a mark on the first jump. “Normally, I build my way through the series,” she explained. “For this one, I started off the strongest and I think that third jump which was a foul, was actually a very good jump. Everything happened for a reason and I was happy with my performance today.”
Veteran sprinter Harrigan-Scott just missed the 100m podium by .06 seconds when she placed fourth in 11.28 seconds. She ran 11.21 for second in the prelims to automatically advance.
“I felt really good and I think I ran a really good race unfortunately, I didn’t end up on the medal podium, but that’s life, so now my focus turns to Worlds,” Harrigan-Scott said. “I loved my start and I loved my transition, my ending, I felt it was still good in my opinion. There are some things I need to work on in the last 10 meters, but I’ll fix it.”
Eldred Henry was fifth in the Shot Put with a heave of 18.49m on Sunday and finished sixth in the Discus Throw on Friday, with a best effort of 52.82m, which came on his second attempt. Teammate Khari Herbert ran 46.31 seconds for a non-advancing fourth place finish in his 400m heat.
Ashley Kelly was fourth in her 200m prelims in 23.82 seconds while Karene King ran 24.09 for sixth in her section. Neither advanced.