February 8, 2023

Melaine Walker enters National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame

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Melaine-WalkerFrom Jamaica Observer

NEW YORK, United States (CMC) – Caribbean Olympians Alleyne Francique and Melaine Walker are among five new members inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Track and Field Hall of Fame.

The decision was taken at the United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Convention in Orlando, Florida last month.

Francique, a former two-time World Indoor 400 metres champion of Grenada, was the NJCAA national champion in the 400m, 600m and 4x400m relay for Essex County College in 2000. He then held the NCAA Indoor 400m record for two years while attending Louisiana State University (LSU).

He also won the NCAA Outdoor 400m in 2002 before going on to win world indoor titles in 2004 and 2006 in Budapest, Hungary and Moscow, Russia respectively.

The Grenadian also competed in two Olympic Games, finishing fourth in Athens in 2004 and won a silver medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia.

Francique, who is an assistant coach at Texas A&M University, has won seven national titles since he began coaching in 2008, including three straight double NCAA Track & Field Titles.

Walker, who earned NJCAA All-American honours 10 times, was the Olympic 400m hurdles record holder in Beijing in 2008. She also won gold at the 2009 World Championships.

Walker was also a six-time Big 12 Conference Champion while helping the University of Texas win the 2005 outdoor and 2006 indoor NCAA team championships. She was recently inducted into the University of Texas Women’s Athletics Hall of Honour.

Also inducted into the Hall of Fame were Kenyan middle and long-distance runner Sally Kipyego and coaches Clint Ramsey and Ralph Neighbours.

“Our Coaches Association is proud to honour the men and women, who by their deeds as coaches and student-athletes have made our sport so great,” said Michael Smart, NJCAA Track & Field Coaches Association President.

“The accomplishments of these five men and women have shown how vital NJCAA track & field is to the track & field collegiate and international community.”

The members will be inducted at a ceremony in New York in March.

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