Two Jamaicans recruited to join the Louisiana State University Lady Tigers program helped their South Plains College women’s team to their fourth-straight national championship in last Thursday’s finale at the 2012 National Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA) Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the Texans Track & Field Complex.
Decorated middle distance star Natoya Goule swept both the 800m and 1500m races, and Shana-Gaye Tracey claimed silver in the 400m hurdles. Their performances pushed the Lady Texans to take home the 23-point victory over Iowa Central Community College with 184.5 points in three-day competition from Tuesday to Thursday.
Goule defended her NJCAA 800m title by nearly two seconds with 2 minutes, 9.54 seconds and won her first career NJCAA Outdoor gold medal for the 1500m in 4:41.69. Goule claimed a pair of NJCAA Outdoor national titles during her freshman season in 2011 with wins in the 400m (52.45) and 800m (2:08.10). In addition, she led South Plains College to a pair of NJCAA Outdoor relay championships after taking the title in both the 4x400 relay (3:37.45) and 4x800 relay (9:06.00) during the meet.
Goule, a Manchester High School (Jamaica) graduate, is arguably the top middle distance runner who will join the NCAA Division I ranks in 2013. She has set personal records of 51.52 in the 400m dash and 2:01.45 in the 800m run during her impressive two-year career as a 10-time NJCAA event champion at South Plains College.
Tracey also took home NJCAA All-America honors with her runner-up finish in the 400m hurdles, clocking a 2012 season best of 58.62 in Thursday’s final. She was a member of the winning 4x800m relay team for South Plains as she also teamed with Goule to run 9:06.00 in the finals, nearly 10 seconds ahead of Iowa Central (9:15.17).
Tracey, also a Manchester graduate, won the NJCAA Outdoor title in the 400m hurdles as a freshman in 2011 in 58.96. Her personal-best time in the event is 57.74, which she set for fourth place in the finals at the 2007 World Youth Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic. She also helped Jamaica win the silver medal in the medley relay at that meet.