Grand Bahama’s Brianne Bethel has certainly hit another gear in her development and it was evident this past weekend.
The University of Houston sophomore put on a dominant showing for the Cougars at the American Athletic Conference (AAC) Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Gettler Stadium in Cincinnati. It was one of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) outdoor track and field conference championships to take place over the weekend.
Not only did the Sunland Baptist Academy product turn in a personal best time of 11.20 seconds in the Women’s 100m finals, her final time set a new AAC championship record. Latessa Johnson of Southern Methodist University (SMU) finished with the silver in a time of 11.36 seconds.
Johnson’s teammate, Chelsea Francis, settled for the bronze with a time of 11.47 seconds. Francis was also the previous 100m record holder.
Bethel’s dominance did not stop there. Not only did she win gold and set a new record in the women’s “straight on” sprint, she repeated that effort in the Women’s 200m Dash. Bethel held on tightly down the stretch to secure her second gold medal of the meet. Her time of 22.74 seconds was also a new championship record.
Johnson, once again, finished second behind Bethel and took silver in 22.77 seconds. Francis landed the bronze and clocked a time of 23.38 seconds.
Bethel won her third gold medal of the meet by committee. She and the team of Justice Henderson, Samiyah Samuels and Essance Sample ran away with the gold medal in the 4x100m final. The quartet got the baton around the track and collectively clocked a time of 44.46 seconds.
The University of Cincinnati took silver in the time of 44.66 seconds, while the University of Central Florida (UCF) hauled away the bronze with a time of 45.34 seconds.
With two individual gold medals and a gold in the relays, Bethel was named the Most Valuable Performer for the Cougars. The Cougars’ men and women’s track and field teams swept through the championships to be known as conference champions.
It is the first time since 2005 that the university accomplished such a feat.