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PRESS RELEASE – Last year, Michael James was one of six athletes representing Saint Lucia at the North and Central American and Caribbean Athletics Confederation (NACAC) Championships in Costa Rica. The 23-year-old ran the men’s 800m in 1:53.29, fourth in his semifinal, and 11th overall.
But Michael, a product of Leon Hess Comprehensive, has started 2016 on a fabulous high. Running for the Coppin State University men’s track and field team, the 5’10” junior has reset two of the island’s National Indoor Records, and one of them twice, in recent weeks.
Despite the much tighter curves and the banked track, Michael has three times run faster than his best 800m time outdoors. He capped that this weekend at the IC4A/ECAC Indoor Track and Field Championships held in the Boston University Track and Tennis Center, ending in 1:49.39, good for second place.
That time surpassed the 1:49.70 that Michael had run the weekend prior at the Boston University Last Chance Meet. Both times were better than the 1:50.01 mark set by Miguel Lambert in March 2000, running for Georgetown University, also competing at Boston University.
Also at this weekend’s IC4A/ECAC Championships, Michael led Coppin State’s 4x800m team – including individual bronze medallist Mark London (Trinidad and Tobago), Ronaldo Ball, and Alaric Coker – to gold in a season best time of 7:29.82.
Meanwhile, it turns out that Michael had also broken a little-contested record, running 2:32.12 in the men’s 1000m at the Villanova Open, where he finished third. That run broke Dominic Johnson’s January 1999 record of 2:42.22, which he set in Manhattan.
Michael is now the third-fastest 800m runner ever in the history of Coppin State.