July 9, 2012
• NACAC Under-23 Championships Results
MADISON, Wis. -- Two years isn’t technically a silver anniversary, but the weekend provided an occasion to celebrate for the Wisconsin women’s track and field team.
Jessica Flax scored 5,544 points to claim a silver medal and help the United States sweep the top spots in the heptathlon at the 2012 North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Under-23 Championships.
The podium at Paralympic Track Stadium in Irapuato, Mexico, was full of familiar faces for Flax.
The Wisconsin senior finished runner-up to fellow American Kiana Profit, a senior from Maryland who tallied a score of 5,633 points to win the gold. Arkansas junior Makeba Alicde secured the bronze for her native St. Lucia with a score of 5,522 points.
Flax’s effort marked the second-consecutive silver medal secured by a UW athlete in the heptathlon at the biennial NACAC meet. Her teammate, senior Dorcas Akinniyi, finished second for Team USA at the 2010 NACAC Under-23 Championships.
Flax got off to a running start Friday in the 100-meter hurdles, posting the fastest time in the field by nearly a half-second. Her effort of 13.38 seconds -- which came with an aiding wind of 3.2 meters per second -- is the fastest all-conditions time in UW history. The wind reading prevents it from surpassing the UW school record of 13.45 seconds set by Egle Staisiuanite in 2011.
Alcide was second-fastest at 13.87, beginning a run of three consecutive events in which she and Flax swapped the top two spots.
A clearance at 5 feet, 4 1/2 inches for Flax was the second-best of any competitor in the high jump, trailing Alcide’s mark of 5-9 1/4.
Flax fired back with a throw of 40-11 3/4 to claim the top mark in the shot put, with Alcide just behind at 40-7 3/4.
Alcide nipped Flax in the 200 meters to close out the first day of competition, running a time of 24.87 to Flax’s 24.88 -- just off her lifetime-best in the event. Profit won the race in 24.08.
Through four events, Alcide held a 68-point edge on Flax, who owned a 114-point cushion on Profit for second.
An outstanding second day of competition allowed Profit to shoot past both challengers and claim gold, as she posted the second-best mark in the long jump and javelin before winning the 800 meters in a strong time of 2:16.26.
Flax concluded her outdoor career for the Badgers last month with a fourth-place finish -- and All-America honors for the second-consecutive year -- at the NCAA outdoor championships and a 12th-place showing at the USA Olympic Trials.
The Pearland, Texas, native has one season of indoor eligibility remaining.