Danniel Thomas-Dodd upped her national shot put record for the second time in 2017 with a runner-up finish at the US NCAA Indoor Championships. Competing on the College Station campus of Texas A&M University, Dodd pushed the shot put to 18.40m. That added 8cm to a mark she set last month. Dodd broke the Jamaican record of 18.20m last month with a mark of 18.32. In College Station, she peppered the 18m line with a six throw series of 18.00, 17.90, 17.99, 18.26, 18.40 and a final-round foul. Willingness to work Marlon Gayle, who coached the Westmoreland native for two seasons at Edwin Allen Comprehensive High School, attributes her improvement to her willingness to work with a goal in mind. Speaking on March 12, he said, “If she wants something, she’s going to work towards it, and I told her regardless of which college you go to, university you go, you’re going to do well.” She left Edwin Allen with the 2012 Boys and Girls’ Championships shot put record – 14.47m – and set sail for Kent State University in Ohio. She has blossomed there. A member of Jamaica’s teams to the 2014 Commonwealth Games where she was a finalist in the discus, the 2015 Pan-American Games where she punched the shot 17.76m to place 5th, she has also competed against the best on the planet at the 2015 World Championships and the 2016 Olympics. According to Gayle, the 24- year-old Thomas-Dodd is a coach’s dream. “What makes coaching exciting and achieving objectives a good thing, is to have an athlete who really knows what he or she is about”, he said. “That motivates any coach to really do their very best and be their very best for those individuals,” Gayle smiled.