Florida State University junior Gleneve Grange will represent Jamaica in the women shot put at the IAAF World Championships to be held in London from August 4 – 13 after being invited by track & field’s governing body.
Though Grange fell short of attaining the Federation’s qualifying standard (17.75 metres) for this year’s world champs, she was invited by the IAAF after being ranked in the top 32 in the world in the event.
The 21-year-old has the third best throw of those who missed meeting the qualifying standard.
Perhaps, not even Grange herself believed that she would end up in London competing for Jamaica at the World Championships at the start of this season.
Well, not in the shot put.
Grange, a discus specialist who once held the Jamaican national junior discus record, has improved leaps and bounds in the shot put since transferring to Florida State this season.
Under the tutelage of FSU throws coach Dorian Scott, she threw almost 3 full metres further than she has ever thrown. She improved upon her previous personal best of 14.51m set back in 2014 while at New Mexico Junior College with a very impressive 17.29 metres.
Scott, the first Jamaican thrower to reach an Olympic finals, has established the Seminoles as a force in the throws in the NCAAs in just four seasons.
The two-time Olympian and former All-American at FSU guided the former discus national record holder Kellion Knibb to four ACC titles, the first four-time women’s discus champion in the conference’s history.
Now he has transformed the 2013 CARIFTA U20 discus champion into a force in the shot put, an event she did not fancy prior to linking up with Scott. She credits his influence for her massive improvement so far.
The 21-year-old, who has a personal best of 58.04m in the discus, has been consistent in the shot put all season throwing over 15 metres in all nine meets she competed in on the NCAA circuit this outdoor season.
The 17.29m came in May in her silver medal winning performance at the ACC Outdoor Championships in May. It was an improvement of 1.50m on her previous outdoor best performance of 15.88m at the FSU Relays in March and earned her ACC Field MVP honours.
The former Holmwood Technical captain also had a very good indoor season winning bronze at the ACC Indoor Championships and throwing over 15.50m at all four meets she competed in.
She broke the FSU record indoors at the Tyson Invitational in February (16.32m) and then significantly improved on it two weeks later with her current best 16.54m to win bronze at the ACC Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Dorian Scott poses with Jamaican throwers Grange (left), Shanice Love and Kellion Knibb (far right) who he coaches/coached at Florida State University (PHOTO: Bob Thomas FSU Athletics)
Grange says she is happy with her improvements but believes she still has a long way to go.
“I’m comfortable with where I am in the event now but I’m still working on some areas of my technique. I’m getting stronger and my technique is getting better,” she added.
Despite the drastic improvements in the shot put, Grange also showed significant improvements in her pet event.
Her discus best at New Mexico was 52.35m in her two seasons there. She improved upon that by almost 5m with her seasons best 57.02m set in her silver medal performance at the ACC Championships in May.
She also qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships where she was a finalist, finishing in 8th and finished the season ranked 6th in the NCAA.
So with such significant improvements in the shot put is it Grange’s new favourite?
“Well it’s 50/50 right now, neither is my favourite at the moment.”
Grange did not advance to the final in the shot put in her appearance at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene, USA. Three years later she will be representing team Jamaica again at a World Championships, this time in London as a senior.