Gumbs twin brothers grab conference titles, Croal, Hill shine

Twin brothers Djimon, left and Diamante Gumbs, have won eight Southland Conference Championships titles.

By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway.

Shot Putter Djimon Gumbs 3-peated as Southland Conference Outdoor Championships champion and twin brother Diamante repeated as Discus Throw champ, while Jaleel Croal ran personal bests for second and third respectively in the American Athletics Conference sprints and Josh Hill was second in the Conference USA quarter mile.

Northwestern State’s strongman Djimon heaved the 16lbs cannonball 18.94m (62’2”), for BVI’s 41st Collegiate title since 1979. Twin brother Diamante was 4th with 17.17m (56’4”).

“This was an amazing competition among a great group of guys, you really had to come in on you’re a game,” Djimon said. “Those guys did not disappoint, I always love competing with them. They just pushed me to get better.”

In the Discus Throw, Diamante’s opening heave of 56.26m (184’7”) stood up and he defended his Southland Conference Championships title. Djimon’s 5th round 54.51m (178’10) effort, vaulted him from 4th to 2nd, as they ended their title chase 1-2.

“To come out with a bang is what I wanted to do because I felt good in the warmups,” Diamante said. “The fact that I threw so far in the first round, I was very happy and excited about that. I also wanted to extend the mark, but I had some technical inconsistencies but overall, it was a good day.”

In his Javelin Throw season debut, Djimon climbed from 9th place to 4th, with a sixth round effort of 53.79m (176’6”). Djimon and Diamante have combined to win eight Southland Conference Indoor and Outdoor Championships since 2022. Djimon won the Shot Put outdoors in 2022, 2023 and 2024 and Indoors in 2024. He won the outdoor Discus Throw in 2022.

Diamante won the Weight Throw Indoors in 2022 and the Discus Throw outdoors in 2023 and 2024.

After a stellar 2nd leg carry that helped the South Florida Bulls 4x100m Relay to an American Athletics Conference Championships 38.44 seconds meet record and No 2 NCAA time, Jaleel Croal ran a 100m personal best of 10.13 seconds (+0.8) and finished 2nd. He won his heat in 10.36 seconds, (-0.5).

On Sunday, he dropped a 200m personal best of 20.47 seconds (-0.20) and placed third, helping the Bulls to a complete sweep of the event, enroute to winning the conference championships.

By finishing second in the Conference USA 400m, Josh Hill completed UTEP’s 1-2 finish, with his second best time of the season of 47.03 seconds. He advanced after running 48.53.

Grayson High School Sr. Kijana Callwood, won the Georgia State High School Girls 7A State Championships Discus Throw, when she flung the platter, 42.49m (139’5”).

Pro scene

Kyron McMaster made his 400m Hurdles season debut, with a second place finish in the Jamaica Athletics Invitational. He had a time of 49.00 seconds.

A leap of 6.53m (21’5¼”) with a legal +1.7 wind, has put Chantel Malone in the chase for one of the 32 spots in the Paris Olympic Games. It’s the second meet of her comeback after a 2-year recovery from injury and rehabilitation.

“I’m so grateful to even be back. For the last two years, I’ve had that start stop, start stop dealing with my knee and then ultimately having that surgery,” Malone told Island Sun Sports. “It was a lot to deal with mentally, so to be able to come back and produce even that (6.53m) with errors, that’s just a blessing and I really thank Jehovah God for keeping me in the game, because a lot of people would have tapped out.”

She said the 6.53m improvement on her 6.26m (20’6½”) opener is a testament to where she is because of the errors she made. “In my opinion, this meet should have been a 6.7+ at least, if I’d done what I did correctly,” she noted. “It’s a step in the right direction and I’m happy to be back and to be able to compete at that level.”