Rocky Mountain Conference Championships
East New Britain athletes Sharon Toako and Annie Topal were in great form last weekend helping their New Mexico Highlands University Team win the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Track and Field Championships in the city of Golden, Colorado. The Conference Championships are the highlight of the track season for most NCAA College athletes with only those who hit the qualifying marks going on to represent their schools at the National Championships. The RMAC Championships brought together athletes from 14 Universities from around Colorado, New Mexico, South Dakota, Nebraska and Utah for a weekend of competition in the full range of track and field events.
Toako continued her recent great run of form with a Championships record throw of 48.36m to win the Javelin, giving a whopping margin of 9 metres over the second placed athlete. This mark is a Conference record, being the best women’s Javelin throw ever at the Championships, eclipsing the previous mark of 47.10 which was set in 1999. Toako is ranked second in the country in NCAA Division two as she now turns her attention to the Nationals which will be in Charlotte North Carolina later this month. Annie Topal was also in great form setting personal best performances in the long jump, triple jump and 400m hurdles. The 21-year-old, competing in only her first season in the USA placed third in the long jump with 5.99m which was a significant improvement on her previous best of 5.52m and as expected Topal went on to win the triple jump. Her triple jump mark of 12.82 also ranks her second in the country in NCAA D2 competition. After clocking a personal best 62.23 seconds in the heats of the 400m hurdles Topal was expected to challenge for first place in the final but had to settle for fourth in 63.42 after hitting the sixth hurdle quite hard.
Meanwhile, another athlete hoping to make it to the Nationals is Poro Gahekave who will compete in the Lone Star Conference Championships this weekend representing Lubbock Christian University. Gahekave has been in fine form recently clocking personal best times in the 800m (2:15.13); 1500m (4:45.0); and 3000m steeplechase (11min18.82). Sprinter Afure Adah who recently attended the Commonwealth Games is already assured of her place at Nationals as her Minnesota State team are currently ranked Number 1 in Division Two in the 4*100m relay.