Sakari Famous and Caitlyn Bobb qualify for NCAA Championships
Sakari Famous and Caitlyn Bobb punched their tickets to the NCAA Championships in record-breaking fashion at the weekend.
The Bermudian pair qualified competing for their respective colleges at the NCAA Track and Field East Preliminary Round at the University of Indiana in fine style, having set school and national records along the way.
McNeese State University junior Famous broke her own school and national outdoor record and achieved a personal best after clearing the bar at 1.84 metres in the high jump to finish eleventh among the 12 qualifiers to advance to the NCAA Championships at the University of Oregon from June 8 to 11.
“I am over the moon with excitement knowing that I’m going to the NCAA Championships,” Famous told The Royal Gazette. “It’s been a long time coming after a rough two years, but I am finally getting back into my rhythm.
“Going into this competition I went in with the mindset of ‘I am going to nationals’, so I had to get rid of all the doubt before competing. Weeks before competing I would get told by my mother ‘if you really want something, you have to already believe you achieved it’. I took that advice and went with it.“
Famous, who also holds the Bermuda indoor record of 1.77, described the competition at the meet as “no joke”.
She added: “Having to jump 1.84 to get into nationals was not something we all expected, but I knew I was going to jump whatever it took to go to nationals.
“There were definitely some nerves that I felt throughout my jumps, especially after my 1.76 jump just because I made it on my second attempt. It’s always helpful to have a clean sheet with the least amount of misses in this competition because you want to make sure you are in that top 12 to go to nationals.
“But I made it in out of 48 ladies and I am nothing but grateful. I have finally reached the 6ft milestone, having jumped that personal best of 1.84 metres, which is 6ft ½in.
“It’s been an amazing year so far and I can’t wait for the rest of the season.”
Meanwhile, also securing their spot at the NCAA Championships was University of Maryland, Baltimore County freshman Bobb competing in the 400 metres.
The sprinter was fourth in her quarter-final heat in 52.40sec to finish twelfth overall and clinch the last semi-final spot up for grabs by a mere three hundredths of second.
Bobb also broke her own school and national outdoor record on the way to advancing to the quarter-final, having stopped the clock at 52.33.
“BNAA proudly celebrates our two national qualifiers for the NCAA Division 1 Championships, high jumper Sakari Famous and sprinter Caitlyn Bobb,” Freddie Evans, the Bermuda National Athletics Association president, said.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment for these two young athletes who both set senior national records in their disciplines.
“This result is a testament to Sakari’s perseverance, determination, belief and family support. Sakari has overcome injuries and setbacks, and it is amazing to see her back in the elitist levels of competition.”
Famous and Bobb are members of the team that will represent Bermuda at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, from July 28 to August 8.