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Another year, another record falls at AP Invitational

first_imgGeorge achieves meet’s first men’s 200m-400m doubleGUYANA’s Winston George was a man on a mission as he charged through to what was a new meet record, and new national record for Guyana, when he took a massive win in the Quality Plus men’s 400m at the second edition of the Aliann Pompey Invitational yesterday at Guyana’s National Track and Field Centre at Leonora.At night fall he closed off a sprint double by taking the men’s 200m victory with just as commanding a win in the meet’s final track event of the day; now qualifying to compete in this event at the World Championships next month.The Olympian had already qualified to compete in the men’s 400m.Aside from George, British Virgin Islands’(BVI) Ashley Kelly (women’s 400m), Trinidad’s Semoy Hackett (women’s 100m/200m), and Barbados’ Kion Joseph (men’s 400m hurdles), also made World Championships qualifying times at the AP Invitational.Guyana’s Winston George cruises to the men’s 200m winHowever, highly touted world champion Kim Collins did not qualify. Collins had to settle for second place in the Banks DIH men’s 100m, after Barbados Levi Codogon grabbed the top podium position with a time of 10.24 seconds in a blanket finish.A dip at the line gave Collins the edge over Antigua’s Tahir Walsh.However, his 10.28 seconds finish was still not enough to see the realization of his dream to qualify for the World Championships, where the qualifying time is 10.12 seconds.Walsh had a time of 10.29 seconds, sharing the same time as fourth place finisher, Emmanuel Callender.The only Guyanese athlete to make it to the 100m finals was Emmanuel Archibald who finished sixth with a time of 10.49 seconds.On a day when just about a handful of Guyanese picked up first place wins, George gave perhaps the best performance for the locals for the day, save for a spirited win by Joanna Archer in the women’s 800m, and Leslain Baird’s 70.41m winning throw in the men’s javelin.Competing in a field that included two Jamaicans, the 30-year-old proved that he is not letting up anytime soon.Coming off the top bend, George just kept shooting pass the entire field, lengthening his gap with each stride on the home straight, ending with a striking lead as he drove home to a 45.16 seconds finish in the quarter mile. That erased the 45.25 seconds he set back in 2015 at the World Championships.Overseas-based Guyanese Stephan James, in his first outing at the AP Invitational, was second with a time of 46.73 seconds, and Jamaica’s Jonia McDonald was third in 47.02 seconds.As the meet neared its end for the day, no one doubted George’s ability to defend his title in the men’s 200m.He went one step up and not only took the win, but also set another meet record, clocking 20.41 seconds, in total control of the race throughout his run. Getting the modest crowd animated as they cheered on their countryman.Trinidad’s Emmanuel Callender took second place with a time of 20.77 seconds, while Bardados Nicholas Deshong just pipped James to take third at 21.23 seconds. James had a 21.29 seconds finish.After Guyana’s Jenea McCammon finished fourth in the Fly-Jamaica 400m hurdles with a time 59.92 seconds, at the opening of the day, it just continued to look bleak for the Guyanese athletes.In the GOA women’s 100m finals, Guyana’s national record holder and defending champion, Brenessa Thompson finished last with a time of 11.87 seconds.Thompson would later opt out of the Douglas and Associates women’s 200m suffering a hamstring injury.CARIFTA gold medalist Kadecia Baird was in the 200m, however, she finished eighth overall with a time of 23.72 seconds. On the advice of her coach, Baird had elected not to defend her Star Party Rental women’s 400m title, as she was focusing on the 200m, which she has qualified for at the World Championships next month.In the men’s 100m heats, golden boy Compton Caesar had cracked under the pressure of competing in the same heat as world champion Kim Collins, finishing at the extreme end of the heat with a pedestrian time of 11.30 seconds, the first time he touched 11 seconds all season.However, there was a high note in the Ministry of Education men’s 3000m.In an all-Guyanese clash, Winston Missigher overpowered Cleveland Thomas for the Ministry of Education men’s 3000m win. After running a tactical race, Missigher sprinted home the final lap of the race; clocking a time of nine minutes 12.67 seconds as he petitioned to be the next best thing in distance running in Guyana. Thomas ended on nine minutes 14. 59 seconds and Calvin Thomas had 10 minutes 46.07 seconds.Junior athlete Joanna Archer was a force to be reckoned with in the National Sports Commission women’s 800m and with a time of 2:17.03s, she took a gold on her first outing at the meet, beating out Bahamas’ Katrina Seymour (2:20.38s) and US Virgin Island’s Mikaela Smith (2:37.24s). However, the race was missing Guyanese top performers like Andrea Foster, who has already closed off her season, and national champion Claudrice McKoy, who will be competing at the Commonwealth Youth Games later this month.last_img read more

USC men’s basketball: In surprise move, Shaqquan Aaron declares for NBA Draft

first_imgMarch could not end without one more splash of madness for USC men’s basketball, as redshirt sophomore guard Shaqquan Aaron declared for the NBA Draft on Friday.The 6-foot-7, 190-pound forward averaged 7.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 20.8 minutes per game this season. Aaron has not signed an agent, leaving him eligible to revoke his draft status up to 10 days after the NBA Combine in May.For weeks, USC fans have dreaded head coach Andy Enfield’s talented young roster disintegrating one-by-one as players declare for the draft, but no one expected Aaron to make the first move.His decision to declare for the draft might come as a surprise given the arc of his season, and, more broadly, his career at-large. He began the year in USC’s starting rotation but failed to win back his role despite sophomore forward Bennie Boatwright’s injury. In late January, Aaron exploded off the bench for 23 points versus UCLA at the Galen Center to lead the Trojans’ to their regular season marquee victory. He earned Pac-12 Player of the Week for his performance. However, he couldn’t replicate that performance down the stretch. In three NCAA Tournament games, Aaron averaged 7.7 minutes a game, but he failed to score.Aaron sat out the 2015-16 season after transferring from Louisville. In March of 2016, he had surgery to repair an old pinky fracture suffered at Louisville. While with Rick Pitino’s Cardinals, Aaron appeared in 23 games and made two starts. He averaged 1.3 points and 0.7 rebounds per game.At Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, Washington, Aaron led his squad to consecutive Class 3A titles. In 2013-14, he won Washington Player of the Year Honors and was ranked No. 26 nationally by 247Sports.com and No. 33 in the ESPN 100.last_img read more