Saturday 19 September, 2020

KC star athlete Wayne Pinnock signs with University of Tennessee

University of Tennessee welcomes Wayne Pinnock.

University of Tennessee welcomes Wayne Pinnock.

Kingston College's (KC) outstanding long jumper and hurdler Wayne Pinnock is heading to the University of Tennessee.

The 19-year-old Pinnock,  who won long jump bronze for Jamaica at the Tampere 2018 World Under-20 Championships, accepted the track and field scholarship earlier this week.

“Welcome to #RockyTop, Wayne Pinnock,” the official Twitter account of the University of Tennessee track and field/cross country teams posted on Thursday.

Following an excellent 2019 track and field season, all eyes were on Pinnock for 2020 but the season has been ruined by the coronavirus (COVID-19) virus, which now has a worldwide confirmed infection above 3.46 million, with more than 244,000 deaths and approximately 1.1 million recoveries.

Pinnock this year had his sights set on becoming the first local high school athlete to qualify for the Olympics since Bobbi-Gaye Wilkins competed in the heats of women's 4x400m in 2008 in Beijing. However, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed and rearranged for 2021 because of the virus.

The Olympic qualifying distance for the long jump is 8.22m and Pinnock was expected to achieve that mark based on his 2019 season.

In 2919, Pinnock broke Vere Technical's Leon Gordon's 26-year-old Class One long jump record at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships with an effort of 8.05m. Pinnock broke the record twice in the final with successive jumps. It was the first time an athlete had broken the eight-metre mark in the long jump at Champs.

In his secondary event, the 110m hurdles, Pinnock is the defending Class One champion, having lowered Dejour Russell’s 2018 record from 13.10 to a stunning 13.06 seconds in the final.

Three other Jamaican top high school athletes have also recently accepted scholarships for the 2020-2021 school year.

Top Division One school, the University of Texas confirmed that outstanding junior sprinter Kevona Davis from Edwin Allen High will join the Longhorns, while Excelsior High School star hurdler Ackera Nugent and Holmwood Technical High sprinter Kavia Francis have accepted scholarships to attend the Baylor University in Waco, Texas.


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