ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Makeba Alcide topped the women’s Pentathlon at Friday’s New Mexico Collegiate Classic. Hosted by the University of New Mexico at the Albuquerque Convention Center, the event brought together 11 athletes, split between collegians and non-collegians, like University of Arkansas alumna, Alcide.
Turning 26 later this month, the St Joseph’s convent graduate opened with a strong effort in 60m Hurdles, her 8.42 (1035 points) placing her second. For the third time this year, she was within shouting distance of her Saint Lucia and Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States record of 8.35 seconds.
Next up was her pet event, the High Jump. But this is another one in which the young Saint Lucian has been making technical changes, and her new approach carried her to just 1.77m (5’9.75″ for 941 points). It was good enough to take the lead, but well below Makeba’s and her coaches’ expectations.
Historically, the former NCAA record holder has struggled with throws. But her 13.20m Friday (43’3.75″ for 741) was her best indoors effort for Shot Put by nearly half a metre. And it was three quarters of a metre better than the next athlete. Here, at least, the technical tweaks were showing in results.
In the penultimate event, Long Jump, Makeba had another impressive outing. Her 5.96m (19’6.75″) earned her 837 points and consolidated her lead. The mark was also within 10 centimetres of her best performance ever in the event, indicating that she is benefitting from her work at ALTIS.
With a record bid nigh unto impossible thanks to the High Jump, Makeba still had to complete the win. Despite getting boxed in during her 800m run, she duly did so, running a modest 2:19.78 to pick up 826 points, her fourth individual event victory out of five, and the overall win with 4380 points.
The mark places her sixth in the world, but with Rio on her mind, she knows there is more to be done.
“God is good,” said Makeba. “I came out with the win, and a huge PR in the Shot Put. I could have done better in High Jump. It’s my fault; I just need to trust this new approach. All in all it was good to get back into multi-mode and most of all I’m healthy. I had fun competing next to my teammates as well.”
It’s back to the drawing board for the Olympic hopeful and former Saint Lucia Sportswoman of the Year, as she aims to contest another Pentathlon this month. If she gets into the world’s top five, she earns an invitation to the IAAF World Indoor Championships, which will be held next month in Portland, USA.