The leading women’s combined events athlete in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is set to make a major move in the coming weeks, as she opens her bid to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Saint Lucia’s Makeba Alcide, 25 years old, holds the OECS records for the 100m Hurdles, indoor Pentathlon and outdoor Heptathlon.
Having represented Saint Lucia at the 2013 World Championships in Athletics, the former NCAA record holder at the University of Arkansas is moving to a new training base as she attempts to make her second global championship.
Makeba has been accepted at Altis, formerly known as the World Athletics Center, in Phoenix, Arizona. Described as “the world’s leading elite environment for track and field,” Altis has been operating since 2008 under founder and three-time world champion for men’s Shot Put, John Godina. The coaching staff is led by the renowned Dan Pfaff.
Starting in October, Makeba will begin training in Arizona. The recipient of a partial scholarship from Altis, she is also being supported in part by the Saint Lucia Olympic Committee. The former Southeastern Conference champion will be one of several combined events athletes at Altis, where she will also join runners, jumpers and throwers from around the world.
“I am excited to be given this opportunity,” said Makeba. “To be part of the Altis family, a world-class training program where I can better develop my skills as an elite athlete, I am just thrilled. I am looking forward to getting my athletics career back on track and of course I am really looking forward to qualifying for Rio 2016, joining my teammates Levern and Jeannelle.
“I will be working with a team of talented and seasoned coaches as well as competitive athletes as I continue to pursue the Olympic qualification standard. It will be fun and exciting to connect with old friends and make new connections. Altis has had great success helping college athletes transition into professional life, and I was truly humbled to be invited to join them.
“Based on the conversations I have had with the team at Altis, and what I know of them, with the direction they want to take me, as well as my own drive and determination to succeed, to become one of the best heptathletes in the world, I am certain that great things will come out of this, for me, for my family, and for my country, Saint Lucia.”
Since graduating from Arkansas, Makeba has struggled with finances and injury. After competing for Saint Lucia at Moscow 2013, she found transition to the professional ranks tough. A difficult 2014 season ended with injury at the Commonwealth Games. In 2015, Makeba has worn Saint Lucia colours at the Pan Am Combined Events Championships and the North and Central American and Caribbean Championships.