The Virgin Islands Track and Field Federation (VITFF) has announced that Yashira Rhymer-Stuart had an historic performance Saturday, March 9, in the NCAA Division II National Indoor Track and Field Championships in Pittsburg, Kansas. She won first place in the high jump and became the first Bellarmine University athlete to win an NCAA national USA title in track and field and the first Virgin Islands national track and field team member to win an NCAA national title in the high jump.
According to a release from Bellarmine University, “The Knights senior will forever be known as the program’s first national champion after she captured the high jump title at the Robert W. Plaster Center. In the process, she secured her fifth All-America accolade in the event.
Rhymer-Stuart dominated the high jump in route to a national championship. The Cincinnati-native lived most of her childhood in the Virgin Islands.
She cleared all four of her jumps on the first try, the final one being a 1.77-meter leap that her five remaining competitors could not overcome.
Rhymer-Stuart’s path to the national title included clearing 1.68, 1.71 and 1.74 before the clinching leap. There were 16 competitors in the event. Including Rhymer-Stuart, there were nine who advanced to the 1.74 mark. The Bellarmine standout was one of six left when the bar was raised to 1.77.
She was the only one left standing at that height, her national championship secured.
At the same time, Rhymer-Stuart pocketed her fifth All-America award. She has now earned three indoor recognitions, placing seventh last season and 12th in 2017 at nationals. Her previous top finish at the NCAA Championships came last year after placing third at the outdoor meet. She tied for ninth at the outdoor event in 2017.”
The VITFF recently announced that Rhymer-Stuart was a finalist in the CAC Games high jump event; she has achieved the Pan Am Games minimum qualifying mark of 1.80 which is the V.I. national record for the high jump, on more than one occasion; she is currently ranked number 8 among Pan American Countries; she is currently ranked number 3 among Central American and Caribbean Countries; she is currently ranked number 3 among Caribbean Countries and going in to Saturday’s competition, she achieved number 1 ranking in NCAA Division II in the event.
Her goal is to compete in the upcoming Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, and the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year.