Jul. 19, 2014 @ 09:10 PM

In one amazing, spring-loaded leap that had shaped up as an improbable success, Sakari Famous of the tiny island of Bermuda achieved a very large milestone Saturday, jumping higher than the U.S. Track Association national record for her age group.

The 14-year-old high jumper from the Bermuda Pacers team cleared the bar at 1.75 meters (5 feet, 8-¾ inches) at the Russell E. Blunt East Coast Invitational track meet. Although it was better than the U.S. national record of 1.74 meters in the 13-14 age group, Famous won’t be credited in the record books because she is not a U.S. competitor.

Still, the gold medal performance was a personal best, and smashed the 1.74-meter meet record set in 2003 by Durham Striders alumnus Patience Coleman, who went on to be an All-American and ACC champion high jumper for UNC Chapel Hill.

The Bull City Express 4x100 relay team of Alexandria Council, Ama-Selina Tchume, Carolyn Brown, and Sydnei Murphy smashed the girls 17-18 age group meet record with a time of 45.10. The old record of 46.16 was set in 2006 by the Carolina Mustangs.

After Saturday’s second day of competition at Durham County Memorial Stadium, the host Durham Striders were in first place in both the male and female overall team race. Action resumes this morning.

After the 5-foot-7 Famous broke her record, she jumped off the crash mat, and ran off wildly clapping her hands in jubilation.

“It’s great. There’s nothing to compare it to because it’s like the best thing ever to me,” Famous said.

She was disappointed her parents were unable to attend the meet and see her set the record, but she was able to reach her mother by phone to share her most excellent news.

“She screamed, and then my Nana got a pan and started banging it in the background” in celebration, Famous said.

But her soaring bound over the high bar was a classic case of mind over matter.

“I had difficulties before coming. I was absolutely not jumping or making my heights, but my coach told me, ‘Oh, I see you’re getting all of your bad jumps out so you can jump better at Blunt.’ ”

The unseasonably mild weather was a negative factor.

“I was getting a little scared because when I came the weather was cold, and sometimes I don’t really jump good in cold weather,” Famous said. And then she failed to clear the record height in her first two attempts, experiencing some difficulty in her drive and holding her arch.

“It was like, ‘Oh my gosh, can I make it?’ ” Famous said. “I know that everybody believes in me. My mom would be proud if I make it. My coach would be proud if I make it. I said, ‘I need to calm myself.’”

“She is a very gifted young lady” who also runs on the Bermuda national team, said Pacers head coach Calvin Simons. “She listens. She’s a coach’s dream because she’s very receptive taking in information, and she’s a bright girl. She can visualize it, she can actualize it, and 90 percent of the time makes the jump.”

Although she’s just 14, Famous won a silver medal the past two years in the 18 and under division at the CARIFTA Games, a high-level event among countries in the 26-member Caribbean Free Trade Association. And she took 4th place this year in the 18 and under group at the Central American and Caribbean Championships sanctioned by the 34-member Central American and Caribbean Athletic Confederation.

Famous said her next goal is to hit 1.7 meters, and to train in hopes of making the 2016 Olympics.

Messiah Greaves of the Bermuda Flyers, one of three teams from Bermuda competing this weekend, also is setting her sights on the 2016 Olympics. She won the 3,000-meter and 1,500-meter races in the girls 13-14 age group on Saturday, and will attempt a hat trick in the 800 meters today.

“I just go out there thinking I’m going to win every race. That’s why I came, to win,” Greaves said.

“For the 1,500 and the 3,000 I just want to stay there, and then in the end I have a nice kick. I break at the end,” she said. “I sprint the last 200, but my last lap I just pick up my pace.”

Rodericka Freeman, her mother and coach, said Messiah’s dream is to attend Duke University.

“We have all of her Duke shirts, and my husband says she’s going to be a Dukie even though he went to North Carolina State,” Freeman said.

The Blunt Invitational is important for the Bermuda athletes, Freeman said.

“We only have a population of like 75,000 people, so they’re always racing one another. To come overseas to race in this race is phenomenal for them, and a great, great experience,” Freeman said.

NOTES — The three-day meet concludes today with events starting at 9 a.m. and continuing through the late afternoon.



at Durham County Memorial Stadium

Day 2, Top 3 Finals Results



at Durham County Memorial Stadium

Day 2, Top 3 Finals Results


8&Under javelin — 1 Terrya Montgomery (Island Gliders) 29-11; 2 Morgan Fulton (Durham Striders) 17-07; 3 Zoey Lawrence (Camden Clock) 14-02. 9-10 javelin — 1 Rhian Lawrence (Tri-City Relays) 65-02; 2 Tabitha Harris (Island Gliders) 46-10; 3 Kenya Hall (Gastonia Eagles) 38-08. 11-12 javelin — 1 Mariah Frazier (Durham Striders) 80-07; 2 Alyssa Sohn (Carolina Elite) 80-05; 3 Destiny Fletcher (Island Gliders) 62-11.


13-14 long jump — 1 Kelsia Moore (Durham Striders) 16-10.00; 2 Zekiah Lewis (Bermuda Pacers) 16-07.00; 3 Bailey Mccray (Durham Striders) 15-08.25. 13-14 discus — 1 Veronica Fraley (Junior Striders T&F) 101-04; 2 Ulani Robinson (Triangle Champions) 81-10; 3 Autumn Russell (Triangle Champions) 74-04. 15-16 long jump — 1 Kayla Moore (Durham Striders) 17-09.75; 2 Kenyae Majors (Durham Striders) 17-06.75; 3 Jaelan Leonard (Western Branch) 17-04.00.


13-14 high jump — 1 Sakari Famous (Bermuda Pacers) 5-08.75; 2 Alani Rouse (Durham Striders) 4-09.00; 3 Ja’Elle Ross-Brown (GJTC) 4-07.00. 13-14 shot put — 1 Veronica Fraley (Junior Striders T&F) 41-07.75; 2 Mellany Scott (Lights Out) 33-01.00; 3 Jasmine Rogers (Durham Striders) 30-03.75. 15-16 discus — 1 Avianna Hopkins (Unattached) 114-07; 2 Tameia Morrison (Island Gliders) 107-05; 3 Alexandra Jones (Durham Striders) 98-11.


17-18 long jump — 1 Milan Parks (Western Branch) 19-04.00; 2 Kacia Vines (Durham Striders) 19-02.00; 3 Jewel Smith (Western Branch) 18-11.25. 15-16 shot put — 1 Avianna Hopkins (Unattached) 36-01.25; 2 Morgan Hill (Stallion) 34-01.50; 3 Tiara DeRosa (Unattached) 33-10.25. 9-10 1500 meters — 1 Jade Johnston (Bermuda Pacers) 5:29.45; 2 Lauren Tolbert (Gastonia Eagles) 5:38.26; 3 Elizabeth Meade (Tri-State) 5:44.20.


11-12 1500 meters — 1 Selah Tuzo (Bermuda Pacers) 5:28.12; 2 Laynie Milum (Tri-State) 5:33.46; 3 Leah Cressler (Hurley YMCA) 5:36.38. 13-14 1500 meters — 1 Messiah Greaves (The Flyers) 5:21.74; 2 Hailey Rizza (Greensboro Pacesetters)) 5:52.79 ; 3 Halie Ward (JH Rose) 5:58.12. 15-16 1500 meters — 1 Tori Martin (Greensboro Pacesetters) 5:11.73; 2 Quinnae Outerbridge (The Flyers) 5:25.78; 3 Alycia Higgins (Unattached) 5:44.00. 17-18 1500 meters — 1 Sara Komes (Hurdles First) 5:21.18; 2 Rachael Wilson (Greensboro Gladiators) 6:17.68.


8&Under 4x100 relay — 1 Carolina Elite Track and Field ‘A’ (Avery Wright, Jada Tucker, Sydnee Crayton, Taryn Allen) 1:10.53; 2 Island Gliders Track Club ‘A’ 1:12.35. 9-10 4x100 relay — 1 Next Level Track Club (NC) ‘A’ (Amaya Coleman, La’Niya Simes, Madison Minga-Perry, Nia Belcher) 59.03 2 East End Lightning Youth Development ‘A’ 1:04.69; 3 Island Gliders Track Club ‘A’ 1:04.92. 11-12 4x100 relay — 1 Island Gliders Track Club ‘A’ (Destiny Fletcher, Madison Moore, Nyasia Francis, Tenia Quarles) 1:01.51.


13-14 4x100 relay — 1 High Point Heat TC ‘A’ (Candace Greene, Kennedi Gilliam, Monzerad Creary, Ticoiya Gidderon) 50.56; 2 Greensboro Cheetahs ‘A’ 53.13. 15-16 4x100 relay — 1 Lights Out ‘A’ (Jahnae Bowman, Llyric Mack, Shanone Cannon, Kimani Davis) 51.03; 2 Havelock Heat ‘A’ 51.15; 3 A.J.’s Elite TC ‘A’ 55.10. 17-18 4x100 relay — 1 Bull City Express ‘A’ (Alexandria Council, Ama-Selina Tchume, Carolyn Brown, Sydnei Murphy) 45.10; 2 Revelation Peak Performance TC ‘A’ 49.27.



8&Under javelin — 1 Brian Harris (Next Level, Va.) 50-08; 2 Le’Ezra Brown (Greensboro Cheetahs.) 46-09; 3 Xavier Horton (Durham Striders.) 45-10. 9-10 javelin — 1 Nate Shaffer (Hurley YMCA) 65-10; 2 Landen Lawrence (Carolina Roadrunners) 61-02; 3 Daron Wilson (RV Tigers) 55-06. 11-12 javelin — 1 Bryce Felder (Charlotte Panthers) 91-10; 2 Chrystian Smith (Durham Striders) 89-09; 3 Larry Peebles Jr. (Tri County) 39-09.


13-14 long jump — 1 D’Andre Hayes (Carolina Flash) 15-09.75; 2 Chris McKay (Sandhills) 15-07.75; 3 Donovan Herndon (Durham Striders) 15-06.75. 13-14 discus — 1 Terrance Pinnix (Durham Striders)129-09; 2 Shamus Grantz (Unattached)115-06; 3 La’mar Hughes (Greater Norristown PAL)110-03. 15-16 long jump — 1 Roman Barnette (Assistance Coach Panthers) 20-08.50; 2 Akinshe Hill (Western Branch) 20-03.75; 3 Elisha Darrell (Bermuda Pacers) 19-07.00.


13-14 shot put — 1 Shamus Grantz (Unattached) 38-02.00; 2 Terrance Pinnix (Durham Striders) 35-08.00; 3 La’mar Hughes (Greater Norristown PAL) 34-05.00. 13-14 high jump — 1 Brenton Thomas (Sandhills) 5-03.00. 15-16 discus — 1 Magnus Herweyer (Durham Striders) 138-11; 2 Arik Smith (Unattached) 130-02; 3 Jamar Plunkett (Panthers Elite) 120-00.


17-18 long jump — 1 Steven Dunbar (Lion’s Den) 23-11.00; 2 Isaiah Moore (Durham Striders) 23-07.50; 3 Marcus Krah (Durham Striders) 22-04.25. 15-16 shot put — 1 Jamar Plunkett (Panthers Elite) 47-09.00; 2 Magnus Herweyer (Durham Striders) 45-03.00; 3 Arik Smith (Unattached) 44-08.25. 8&Under 1500 meters — 1 Ladanian McGrath (Camden Clock) 5:52.39. 9-10 1500 meters — 1 Kahzi Sealey (Bermuda Pacers) 5:19.08; 2 Eli Julian (Hurley YMCA) 5:22.30; 3 Adian Crayton (Carolina Elite) 5:26.22.


11-12 1500 meters — 1 Wesley Haws (Carolina Allstars) 4:53.17; 2 Ryan Outerbridge (Bermuda Pacers) 4:54.56; 3 Niklas Isenberg (Carolina Elite) 5:06.36. 13-14 1500 meters — 1 Aaron Jacobs (Bermuda Pacers) 4:34.22; 2 Camden Carmichael (Carolina Allstars) 4:39.99; 3 Andrew Burgess (Hurley YMCA) 4:41.80. 15-16 1500 meters — 1 David Darrell (Bermuda Pacers) 4:21.32; 2 Madison Daniel (Unattached) 4:24.13; 3 Joseph Hewitt (Central VA) 4:24.18. 17-18 1500 meters — 1 Vincent Crisp (Charlotte Heat) 4:04.59; 2 Nick Walker (Unattached) 4:09.55; 3 Ryan Rucker (A.J.’s Elite TC) 4:25.46.


8&Under 4x100 relay — 1 Next Level Track Club (NC) ‘A’ (Alphonso Abbott, Jamon Simes, Lewis Green, Marcus Aikens) 1:04.75. 11-12 4x100 relay — 1 WS Roadrunners ‘A’ (Brandon Johnson, Cameron Attucks, Isaac Sutton Jamison Warren) 50.78. 17-18 4x100 relay — 1 D.A.S.H. Track Club ‘A’ (Antonio Bailey, Kidane Callender, Kionje Somner, Tzadik Donville) 43.58; 2 DC Warriors ‘A’ 45.12.


Note: Some events featured fewer than 3 top finishers. Some events were not contested. Visit us online at for link to complete live and overall scoring.

Note: Some events featured fewer than 3 top finishers. Some events were not contested.