Despite being one of just three middle- and over-distance events on the local calendar for the past 14 years, Desmond Shakespeare, committee chairman for the Wesley Powell Heart Institute of the Caribbean Track and Field Meet, is hoping for continued improvements to their Excelsior High School-hosted event.The meet, which began in 1998 to honour late founder Dr Aston Wesley Powell, will take place on Saturday, December 10, beginning at 8:30 a.m.It was launched inside Excelsior’s auditorium yesterday.Veteran track and field coach Maurice Wilson, who was a guest speaker at the event, lauded event organisers for sticking to the over-distance format, which in his view helps with development.While over 1,700 athletes have represented around 53 teams in the last two years, the meet chairman told The Gleaner that they are aiming to have more athletes and more spectators.”It’s been growing, and the participation has been excellent from the other schools. If we get 2,000 athletes this year, it would be good because we have the facilities to house them, our warm-up field is different from where the track is and the whole Excelsior has at least three fields which we utilise,” he outlined.The meet will feature 40 track events and 36 field events for males and females in classes one to four. The events include; the 150m, 300m, 600m, 1000m, 3000m, 500m and 4x300m open, respectively.There will also be long jump, high jump; discus and javelin open competition in the same classes.Clubs, colleges and institutions can also compete.MEASURING STICKMeet director, Olympian Grace Jackson, calls it an important measuring stick for coaches ahead of the new track and field season.Meanwhile, the call for athlete screening prior to participation in competitive sports is high on the agenda of title sponsors Heart Institute of the Caribbean.They will be hosting an important athlete workshop on Healthy Hearts and How to Know Your Heart Is Healthy on the preceding Friday at 11:00 a.m. at the school.Gates will be open to all student-athletes across the island, who will get a chance to interact with cardiologists from the Heart Institute of the Caribbean during the session.There will be three honourees at the meet this year – Allison Peart, from the Excelsior community; sprint coach Glen Mills; and administrator Ian Forbes.
With the season on the brink, the Spartans called on their one-man calvary – Adam Malik. Malik electrified the crowd by scoring 25 of his career-high 43 points in the second half to lead the Spartans to a 65-58 win in the Southern California Division III semifinals at La Canada. The win sent La Canada (30-3) into next Saturday’s Southern California championship game at Pauley Pavilion against Artesia, an 84-44 winner over Twentynine Palms. La Canada’s 6-foot-7 senior phenom hit three 3-pointers to spark a string of 13 unanswered points that gave the Spartans a 50-45 lead early in the fourth quarter. “Adam’s an amazing player and he lives for these moments,” said Spartans guard Darren Ho, who had a critical 3-pointer in the fourth quarter. “He’s a leader and he stepped up when we needed him and buried 3 after 3 after 3.” La Canada coach Tom Hofman was ejected midway through the second quarter after receiving his second technical foul. If that wasn’t enough, the Spartans trailed 40-29 at halftime, much to the dismay of a disgruntled, overflow crowd. James Hancock scored seven consecutive points to give the Buccaneers a 54-53 lead with 4:22 to play in regulation. But Malik scored the game’s next nine points and his team’s final 13 to put the game away. “My confidence just goes so high because I don’t want to lose, and I’m going to do everything it takes not to lose,” Malik said. Back-to-back baskets by Hancock, followed by Hofman’s first technical foul that resulted in a four-point play, gave Mission Bay (24-6), the San Diego Section Division III champion, a 12-3 lead midway through the first quarter. The Spartans fought back and tied the game 23-23 on Jackson Ridd’s 3-pointer with 7:18 to go in the second quarter. The Spartans temporarily unraveled from there. Hoffman was ejected with his second technical foul with 4:04 remaining before halftime with his team trailing, 30-27. “Getting kicked out of the game for saying `boo’ … crazy,” Hofman said. Mission Bay outscored La Canada 10-2 the remainder of the first half to take a 40-29 halftime advantage. “Once our coach got kicked out, we were just hoping the half would end right away so we could get back to the locker room and talk things over,” Malik said. “We didn’t want to lose on our home court.” La Canada scored the first eight points of the second half behind back-to-back 3-pointers by Christian Nitu to cut Mission Bay’s lead to 40-37. Nitu finished with 10 points. “The thing that’s amazing about this team is their perseverance,” Hofman said. Hancock led Mission Bay with 22 points, and Isaac Parham scored 20. email@example.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 4456 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! • Photo Gallery: 3/10: La Canada vs. San Diego Mission Bay LA CANADA – To say La Canada High School’s boys basketball team had to fight adversity in its CIF-State basketball game against visiting San Diego Mission Bay on Saturday would be an understatement.