AUBURN, USA – Jamaican junior Jonielle Smith will attend Auburn University starting this academic year, the school announced late this week.

According to the school’s track and field head coach Ralph Spry, Auburn added depth to its women's team by signing jumper Jakayla Hand (Opelika, Ala.), sprinters Jonielle Smith (Kingston, Jamaica) and Dominique Bullock (Miami, Fla.) as well as thrower Makenzie Holmes-Digiovine (Phoenix, Ari.).

Smith, who was the captain of Jamaica’s team to the World Junior Championships, will provide an immediate impact for the women's sprints, joining an already talented group that features rising senior Samantha Scarlett (Jamaica) and sophomores Ebony Morrison and SheKara Martin.

Smith, the Carifta Games Under-20 champion, holds the world's eighth fastest time by a junior in the 100m at 11.32 and her 200m time of 23.36 is the 18th fastest by a junior globally.

"The incoming freshmen we have and the transfers we have is one of the best we have had since I have been here,” said Spry.

“When you talk about the potential of this class, we have a couple who are in the top-10 in the world as juniors. You are talking about the best recruits on the planet. They are going to come in and have a direct impact right away. This is one of the best classes we have had and that is directly attributed to our coaching staff. We put some energy in different groups and we are ready to get back in business."

Smith, who won the Class 1 girls 200m title for Wolmer’s at Chmaps, will leave the island shortly to take up her scholarship.


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