By Anthony Foster in Leonora, West Coast of Demerara, Guyana

Guyanese rising stars, Brenessa Thompson and Kadecia Baird, were the standouts of Saturday’s inaugural Aliann Pompey Invitational.

Thompson, who is just a month shy of her 20th birthday, ran 11.14 seconds, a new Guyana national record, to take the top 100m spot. 

She got a very good start and held off a fairly good field, which included USA’s Tawanna Meadows and US Virgin Islands’ Lavern Jones-Ferette.

“My main goal was to push from the start and make sure that my first half of the race is good, because that part of the race is normally my weakest part and today I got it (right),” said the Texas A&M student.

Thompson: “It felt good to compete in front of my home crowd to get the love from very body."

The sprinter, who now holds both 100m and 200m (22.99) national records, spoke of the feeling for the new mark.

“I feel really great, you know I am looking forward to lowering it again,” she added.

“It felt good to compete in front of my home crowd to get the love from everybody,” said Thompson, who was watched by her mother and other family members.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Reyare Thomas finished second in 11.22 while Meadows, who said she didn’t execute a good race, ended third in 11.37.

Jones-Ferette finished fourth in 11.40 secs.

Thompson returned to top the 200m in 23.08 ahead of Baird, 23.38. American Meadows, again missed out on a top place finish with 23.45 for third, but this time expressed delight. “After a very bad technical race in the 100m, I decided to go ahead to run the 200m to work on my finish for the 100m, so I was very pleased with the 200m outcome based on the strong finish,” she explained. Meadows was a member of USA’s inaugural World Relays 4x200m team.

Phil DeRosier of United States won the men’s 100m final in 10.25 ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s Kyle Greaux and Bermudian Tre Houston, both posting10.28.

Baird, after Saturday's Aliann Pompey Invitational said: "I am more confident now after this race that I can get the Olympic qualifying mark.”

Meanwhile, Baird, who had an almost perfect one lap race, just missed the Rio qualifying mark by six hundredths of a second.

The national junior record holder at 51.04 was timed in 52.26 to finish ahead of Ashley Kelly of British Virgin Islands, 53.24 and fellow Guyanese Aliyah Abrams, 53.53.

Baird said the time gave her confidence that the Rio 2016 qualifying mark is nearer.

“Yes, sure it is…I am more confident now after this race,” she explained. My next meet is going to be June 25th when I get back to New York and hoping to qualify there,” added the 2014 Carifta Games and CAC Junior 400m champion.

USA’s Brycen Spratlin, left, wins the men's 400m ahead of Guyanese Winston George 

Guyanese, Winston George brought the over 2,000 spectators to their feet in celebration, but that was short-lived, as his time, 45.85 seconds, was announced to be just behind USA’s Brycen Spratlin, 45.84. Both returned for the 200m, the final event of the night, and this time George turned the tables in 20.76 to 20.88.

Donald Scott of USA won the men’s triple jump on his final attempt, 17.02m to beat early leader, Damon McLean of Jamaica, 16.42m.

USVI’s Eddie Lovett ran 13.39 to beat American Josh Thompson, 13.58 in the men’s 110m hurdles.

Locals came out on top in the two lap events, Andrea Foster, 2:16.74 in the women’s final and Devaughn Barrington, 1:52.48 ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s Sterlen Paul, 1:53.30, in the men’s race.

Janeil Bellille of Trinidad and Tobago won the women’s 400m hurdles event in 58.02 ahead of Guyanese, Jenea Cammon, 58.59 while Haitian Jojo Petit-Homme took the men’s event in 51.04.


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