Jamaican Lamara Distin Sets New National Record in Women’s High Jump at SEC Indoor Championships

Last month, during the last day of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Indoor Championships at Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Jamaica’s Lamara Distin set a new national record in the women’s high jump. Distin, a senior at Texas A&M University, cleared a jump of 2.00 meters, passing the previous national record she set of 1.97 meters in 2023. With the jump, Distin secured her third consecutive SEC title. The 2024 SEC men’s and women’s indoor track and field championships took place in Fayetteville, Arkansas, at the Randal Tyson Track Center from Friday, February 23, to Saturday, February 24.

Outstanding performance

Distin, a former student at Rusea High School, Vere Technical High School, and Hydel High School, where she was a star athlete, cleared the opening six heights on the first attempt, which won her the third-straight SEC indoor high jump title. Knowing she was on the brink of making history, she successfully raised the bar, clearing the record-breaking mark on her third and final jump. Distin was the title by defeating Arkansas’s Rachel Glenn, who jumped 1.94 meters, and Elena Kulichenko of the University of Georgia, who cleared 1.91 meters.

In good company

With the new record, Distin became only the second women’s athlete in SEC history to win the indoor high jump title three times in a row. Distin also surpassed the all-time indoor record of 1.98 meters shared by Akela Jones of Kansas State and Texas competitor Destinee Hooker and the 1.99-meter all-time outdoor collegiate record held by Arizona’s Brigetta Barrett in 2013.

Jamaican athletes make their mark

Several other Jamaicans gave impressive performances at the SEC meet. Romaine Beckford, who was competing at his first SEC tournament following a transfer from South Florida, brought Arkansas win its first men’s high jump title since 2016 with a jump of 2.25 meters on his first attempt. Jamaica’s Brianna Lyston of Louisiana State University tied the SEC meet record when she won the women’s 60-meter event in 7.08 seconds, outperforming the 2023 champion, Jacious Sears of Tennessee, who clocked 7.12. And on February 23, 2024, Jamaican Wayne Pinnock, a junior at Arkansas, took the long jump title in the third round with a jump of 8.28 meters to become the first male athlete to win the indoor title for the Arkansas Razorbacks since 2016.

Photo – Lamara Distin