KINGSTON, Jamaica – Florida State graduate student Kellion Knibb earned more than a measure of revenge Friday in the discus at the Jamaica National Senior Championships.
With her second-round throw of 62.73 meters (205-9), Knibb not only secured the second Jamaican national title of her career, but reclaimed the national record she relinquished in May after a three-year reign.
It was sweet redemption for the three-time All-American for the Seminoles, who appeared on her way to the first NCAA title of her career two weeks ago but was passed on the final two throws. Fellow Jamaican Shadae Lawrence of Kansas State, who broke Knibb’s Jamaican national record on May 14 with a throw of 62.59m at the Big 12 Championships, won the NCAA title on her final attempt.
Knibb seized control of Friday’s competition at National Stadium with her second-attempt bomb, eclipsing her previous best of 62.07m, which she posted en route to a third Penn Relays title in April. She was nearly a full four meters clear of runner-up Isheka Binns (58.84).
“It was a typical Knibb reaction,” said FSU throws coach Dorian Scott, who was on hand for the competition. “We’re happy we’re back on track but she knows she has 64 or 65 meters in her. She was happy she got over the hump but hungry for more.”
The victory also secured Knibb a spot at the IAAF World Championships in London, August 4-13; a spot that wasn’t guaranteed until she turned back the entire field, including Lawrence and Tarasue Barnett, both of whom have season-best marks in excess of 61 meters this season.
“It was good to have her bask in the glow and walk around, do media; everything was really nice,” Scott said, noting that Knibb’s record – and her Florida State affiliation – were repeated multiple times over the public address at the jam-packed stadium.
“We took this meet extremely serious coming off nationals, where she had a bad day,” Scott said. “Within 24 hours [of the NCAA Championships], we were talking about Jamaican Nationals and treating it like it’s the biggest meet ever. We didn’t sleep on this track meet.
“I’m happy we were able to show our fitness and our class, but there’s so much more to go.”
Knibb was one of three Seminoles to make the discus finals. FSU freshman Shanice Love finished seventh, while Gleneve Grange – who will also compete in the shot put Saturday – placed ninth.
USATF Junior and Outdoor Championships
FSU freshman Cortney Jones, who qualified second-fastest for Friday’s 100-meter hurdle finals in (13.16), hobbled home in fourth place after suffering a leg injury while approaching the penultimate hurdle at Hornet Stadium in Sacramento, Calif.
Jones was in the thick of the USATF Junior Championship title contention when she was forced to back off, finishing in 13.35 as she closed out her banner first season. The January enrollee was third at both the ACC Indoor and Outdoor Championships and became the first Seminole true freshman to qualify for the NCAA Championships in the 100-meter hurdles. Her season-best time of 13.06 ranks No. 5 in school history.
Also competing in Sacramento, sophomore Armani Wallace placed 12th in the triple jump. Wallace’s best attempt of 15.74 meters (51-7) came in his first appearance at the USATF Championships.
Also on Friday, freshman Kyle Fearrington earned a walk-over into Saturday’s Junior Men’s 400-meter finals.
FSU freshman Steven Cross is the No. 1 seed heading into Saturday’s Junior Men’s 10,000-meter final in Sacramento, which is scheduled for 11:45 a.m. (ET).
At the Bahamas Senior Open Championships in Freeport, sophomore Shaquania Dorsett also advanced automatically to Saturday’s 400-meter dash final by virtue of a walk-over.