Saint Lucia’s Levern Spencer has added another title to her collection, winning the women’s high jump at the North and Central America and the Caribbean Athletics Confederation (NACAC) Senior Athletics Championships on Sunday in San Jose, Costa Rica.
The 31-year-old has been on a tear of late. She qualified for this month’s World Championships in Athletics with a clearance of 1.94m in Madrid last month, then repeated that performance to take gold at the Pan American Championships in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The record holder for the English-speaking Caribbean, Levern had won this event when the NACAC Championships were first held in 2007. On that occasion, in San Salvador, El Salvador, Erma Gene Evans won bronze in women’s javelin throw.
Sunday in San Jose, Levern opened at 1.79m, which she cleared on her first try. Fellow Saint Makeba Alcide was one of two athletes out at that height, finishing seventh. Levern then passed at 1.82m, which height claimed Haiti’s Vanessa Jules.
With four women still in it, including Pan Am silver medallist Priscilla Frederick of Antigua and Barbuda, Levern cleared 1.85 and 1.88 on the first try. 1.85 knocked American Elizabeth Patterson out, and 1.88m did for Trinidad and Tobago’s Deandra Daniel.
Frederick had had a clear scoresheet up to that point, but at 1.91, she knocked the bar down thrice. Levern went over again at the first time of asking to repeat as NACAC champion, setting a new meet record, before trying and failing to clear 1.96.
Saint Lucia got a second medal though Albert Reynolds, who had probably his biggest extension ever of the national record for men’s javelin throw. Having reset the national mark to 72.99m earlier this year, Albert had an interesting competition, to say the least.
On Saturday, javelin throw got underway as scheduled. Midway through the third round, Albert had a throw of 70.24m and a foul to his credit. Then the rains came down, with the 27-year-old from Babonneau sitting in fifth place, and the event postponed to Sunday.
Come Sunday, Albert launched his third-round trial 77.71m, adding close to five metres to his previous best. That was his best performance, and he ended up third, taking bronze behind Riley Dolezal (79.30m) of the USA and Cuba’s Guillermo Martinez (78.15m).
Albert’s new personal-best mark also moved him into the all-time lead for the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, past the 74.20m posted by Grenada’s Anderson Peters in June of this year. It’s the first time a Saint Lucian has held that distinction.
Albert also moved into the world’s top 100 javelin throwers for the year (top 90 to be specific). It’s also the first time he has accomplished that landmark.