Michael James notched the second fastest Mid-Eastern Athletics Conference (MEAC) time in the men’s 800m event at the 2016 Pepsi Florida Relays in Gainesville, hosted by the University of Florida at Percy Beard Track.
Coppin State had three solid performances in the men’s 800. Junior Michael James, from Gros Islet, Saint Lucia, led the way finishing 16th overall with a time of 1:49.21, barely beating sophomore Mark London’s 17th place finish at 1:49.30. The pair are currently ranked second and third in the MEAC while junior Ronaldo Ball joins the rankings listed sixth. Ball was 44th in the event crossing the finish line with a time of 1:52.88.
Michael’s run, sixth-fastest in heat 2, was within a split-second of the Saint Lucia record for the event, 1:48.9 by Miguel Lambert back in 1999. Michael has already reset indoor National Records for the 800m and 1000m this season, and this run was his fastest ever over that distance. Michael has represented Saint Lucia at the World Junior Championships, and the North and Central American and Caribbean Championships.
With the Olympic standard at 1:45.80, Michael is still some distance away. But given his remarkable improvement this season, it’s a question of wait and see as to what he will be able to produce in coming weeks.
The Eagles 4×400 team of Michael James, Fabian Hayles, Shane Green, and Mark London finished 16th in their event at 3:12.41. CSU’s relay team ranks fourth in the MEAC with their run.
Also competing in Gainesville was the University of Connecticut women’s 4x100m team, including Saint Lucia’s Nyanka Joseph. They ran 45.82 seconds, taking 27th overall.