SAN SALVADOR – The USA fielded the largest delegation and dominated the 9th North Central and Caribbean (NACAC) Under 23 Championships in San Salvador, where 12 records fell during the three days of competition at the Jorge “El Magico” Gonzalez stadium.
Kiah Seymour and Khalifah Rosser picked up two gold medals on Sunday to lead the USA squad to a 10-gold medal haul on the last day of the competition. Seymour and Rosser dominated the 400m hurdles with respective times of 56.19 and 49.25 and were also part of the winning squad in the 4x400m relay.
The USA collected 62 medals (25 gold, 26 silver and 11 bronze), followed by Jamaica (4-4-1=9), Canada (4-2-9=15), Cuba (3-3-1=7) and Puerto Rico (2-2-0=4). Fifteen countries won at least one medal.
Yesenia Miranda won a historic gold for El Salvador in the 10000m race walk in a championships record of 49:24.70 minutes, the first title for the host country at the regional event in 10 years. Miranda will contest the 20km walk at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Cuba has a successful day as Yulenmis Aguilar, Lisneydis Veitia and Reynier Mena and prevailed in the women’s javelin, 800m and 200m. Aguilar (57.09m) and Veitia (2:02.02) both set new meet records. Mena crossed the finish line in 20.41 seconds. They will all compete at the Olympic Games in Rio.
Veitia ran in the front from start to finish and left Canada’s 1500m winner Jenna Westaway (2:03.90) and her countrywoman Sahily Diago (2:04.20).
Quanesha Burks and Akela Jones relived a re-match of the 2014 World Junior Championships final in the long jump. Barbados’ Jones was looking for a second gold after setting a meet record in the high jump on Friday. Both jumped 6.74m in the last round, but the young American secured gold thanks to her second best effort. 100 hurdles bronze medallist Alexis Perry finished third with 6.66m as all medallist erased the previous record.
Kali Davis-White gave Jamaica its only gold on Sunday with a fast 22.66 win in 200m. Her time was not recognized as a meet record due a 2.6 m/s tail wind.
Canada collected two titles with Rostam Turner in the decathlon (7609 points) and Antoine Thibeault in 3000m steeplechase (8:55.96). Jose Barrondo gave the gold to Guatemala in the 200000m race walk.
The NACAC Under 23 Championships, the first international athletics event held in El Salvador televised live on local TV, drew more than 300 athletes from 28 countries, including 28 athletes who will represent their respective countries at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The 26th NACAC Coaches Conference was held in conjunction with the championships.