High jump ace Chadenga captures gold at NJCAA Championships

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Kudakwashe Chadenga

High jump star Kudakwashe Chadenga continues to enjoy a phenomenal rise in the US after clinching a goal medal for South Plains College on day two of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Outdoor Track and Field National Championships in Hutchinson, Kansas on Friday.

Chadenga won the high jump competition at 2.22m tying his personal best mark, which is also the national high jump record which he set early this year.

The former Prince Edward student’s winning mark puts him at number nine all-time in NJCAA history.

Chadenga also completed a clean sweep of both the NJCAA indoor and outdoor titles in the high jump, which is sure to catch the attention of some of the leading universities in the US.

The gifted Zimbabwean’s winning performance earned him praises from the South Plains College head coach Erik Vance, who is still in awe of the tremendous strides he had made in such a short space of time since moving to the US.

“Kudakwashe is a kid that came to us in January, and you never know what you’re going to get when you pick someone up at midterm,” Vance said.

“He is an outstanding individual and has a real natural talent in the high jump. On top of all that, he’s a great competitor and a joy to coach.”

Chadenga’s South Plains College claimed the team honours at NJCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships this year for their 13th title since 2007. The Texans scored 104 points in topping its nearest pursuer, a spirited Iowa Western Community College squad with 85 points.

The Texans had the meet’s most winners in the men’s competition with five. In addition to Chadenga, they claimed another gold medal through Thomas Nieto in the pole vault at 5.30m and Caio Almeida in the 400 hurdles, whose 52.00 led a 1-4 Texan finish with NJCAA record holder Chris Robinson.

The Texans also won two relays, the 4×800 on Thursday (7:39.00) and the concluding 4×400 (3:11.05).

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