The former Garvey Maceo High and Kingston College jumper walked away from the recent NCAA Indoor Championships with bronze medals in both the long and triple jumps. Now he heads into the outdoor season with new personal best marks of 8.26 and 17.17 metres respectively.
The Jamaican's improvement on his 2020 bests of 8.19 and 16.68 metres has Ricketts applauding the jumps programme at the University of Tennessee. "You could see progress when he actually moved to Tennessee, you could see the progress. Last year, you could see that something big was coming and he's in a good camp", Ricketts praised on March 5.
McLeod's coaches include 1995 World Championship bronze medal winner Jerome Romain of Dominica and his training partners include Wayne Pinnock who broke the Boys and Girls Championship Class 1 Long Jump record in 2019 with the first eight metres mark in Champs history, 8.05. In addition, Olympian Clive Pullen, another former Kingston College star, is there as a volunteer coaching assistant.
"It's very good and I know that camp has another young KC guy who just graduated, Wayne Pinnock, so I know that camp is actually going to help Jamaica look good on the international scene where horizontal jumps is concerned", predicted Ricketts.
Pullen, McLeod and Pinnock were all coached by Jeremey Delisser at KC.
Ricketts thinks his advance in both horizontal jumps make McLeod even more promising. "It's good to see another young person actually coming out and going over 17 metres indoors. Also he jumped 8.25, PB as well in the long jump. So he can actually go either way", Ricketts highlighted.
Now within touching distance of his 23rd birthday on April 14, McLeod has come a long way since a 15th place finish in the triple jump for Garvey Maceo at Boys and Girls Championships in 2015. He did a Champs double for KC in 2017, with a notable long jump result. Despite a 1.4 metres per second head wind, McLeod's best leap was a sizeable 7.72 metres. He then headed to Tennessee by way of Emporia State University.