GOAT: Nat’l DII Record Holder Denisha Cartwright Joins Bahama Olympic Team in 100m Hurdles

Concludes Maverick Career as DII Nat’l Track Athlete of the Year

By JADELYN JACKSON, CSU Communications Intern
From MSU Athletics and News Reports

Closeup of Denisha Cartwright clearing a hurdle
One of the greatest student-athletes in Maverick history, Denisha Cartwright is a 2024 Summer Olympics qualifier for her native Bahamas after setting a national DII record in the 100-meter hurdles this spring. She finishes her collegian career as both 2024 Indoor and Outdoor National Women’s Track Athlete of the Year.

Track sensation Denisha Cartwright concluded her MSU Maverick career as the 2024 NCAA Division II Women’s Outdoor Track & Field National Track Athlete of the Year. Among the most successful athletes in NCAA Division II history, Cartwright now sets her sights on the 2024 Summer Olympics where she will be among three 100-meter hurdlers representing her native Bahamas.

In late June, Cartwright officially qualified for the Summer Olympics–a first for Maverick women’s track and field–after finishing third in the 100m hurdles at the Bahamas Olympic Trials with a time of 13.01.

BAAAs president Drumeco Archer said sending three women hurdlers to the Paris games is a testament to the excellence of the Bahamian program.

“For the first time in our history, we will be marching three exciting hurdlers to Paris and I think that more will be to come,” Archer said, according to The Tribune.

Among those three is world indoor record holder Devynne Charlton. Joining Cartwright to round out the trio of hurdling speedsters is Charisma Taylor.

Denisha Cartwright running hurdles race.
Denisha Cartwright flies over the 100-meter hurdles en route to her third national title at the 2024 NCAA DII Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

One of the greatest student-athletes in Maverick history, Cartwright was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Central Region Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year. Cartwright adds the outdoor title to her 2024 NCAA Division II Women’s Indoor Track & Field National Track Athlete of the Year honors. She finished her indoor season with the NCAA Championship in the 60m hurdles. She also claimed All-American honors in the 60m, 200m and 4×400 relay events.

Cartwright seemed destined for the Olympics as the Mavericks hosted the NSIC Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Her winning time of 12.60 seconds in her signature 100m hurdles reached the Olympic A Standard, broke the NSIC record, the field record and the Maverick record…oh, and by the way, set the NCAA Division II All-Time Record.

Cartwright’s 100m hurdles time was the second fastest in all divisions of women’s collegiate outdoor track this season. She now ranks 15th quickest in collegiate history.

“For her to go out and run the 15th fastest time in the world, hit the Olympic A Standard and now she’ll be in the Olympic games, breaking the Division II record by a 10th, just what a stellar performance,” said Mavericks Coach Mike Turgeon.

Denisha Cartwright lifting national NCAA DII individual trophy

Hailing from Nassau, Bahamas, Cartwright continued to impress at the 2024 NCAA DII Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Emporia, Kans. Cartwright sprinted to her third straight 100m hurdles national title with a winning time of 12.37–nearly a full second ahead of her competition. Wind aided all student-athletes in the race (+4.2 m/s) as Cartwright clocked the second quickest time in all NCAA levels behind Masai Russell, Kentucky, 12.36. Her time now ranks among the top five all-conditions performances in collegiate history.

She finished her outdoor season with a second national title in the 200m with her personal best time of 22.91. She also placed second in the 100m, and eighth in the 4×4100 relay events at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Concluding her collegiate career in record-setting fashion, Cartwright punched her ticket to represent the Bahamas in the 100m hurdles at the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris.

“As a senior, it’s a great feeling to qualify for the Olympics,” Cartwright told The Tribune, a Nassau, Bahamas, publication that has closely followed Cartwright’s season of accolades. “I’m just blessed and I am looking forward to being able to compete at my best the rest of the season.”

Cartwright’s Maverick career includes 16 outdoor and 14 indoor All-America trophies. She closes her collegiate career with eight Division II event titles, 16 top-3 National Event finishes, and the Division II All-Time record for 60-meter hurdles. 

Topping the stack of college honors, Cartwright was selected the DII Honda Athlete of the Year for track and field presented by Collegiate Women’s Sports Award (CWSA). Recipients of the prestigious 2024 Honda Athlete of the Year in their respective divisions, were named in a live telecast on CBS Sports Network on Monday, June 24, 2024, at 6 p.m. CT.

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