The tradition of former Barton Community College Track and Field competing at a world championship level continued this week in Beijing, China at the 2015 IAAF World Championships. In total, eight former Cougars earned the right qualifying in various events through their home countries.
Representing the red, white, and blue, former World Champion sprint star Tyson Gay was joined by the young and upcoming Aleec Harris. Gay, who captured the world title in 2007 and placed second in 2009, was one of the first to step into the week’s spotlight competing in the 100m. Clocking a semifinal third best time of 9.96 Gay slipped to sixth in the finals crossing the line at 10.00. Gay returned to the track one week later with the USA 4X100 meter relay team that finished second time-wise but was disqualified following the event for an exchange zone infraction.
Harris, who continued to elevate his performances at the University of Southern California after setting the NJCAA Indoor 55m Hurdle record in while at Barton in 2011, advanced out of the 110m Hurdle preliminary round with a 13.41 but a 13.29 semifinal time came up .04 seconds and one spot short in qualifying for the finals in his World Championship debut.
Veronica Campbell-Brown continues to show the world she is amongst the elite picking up two medals. The 2005 Barton Sports Hall of Fame inductee began her championship week with a 100m fourth place finish in 10.91. A few days later Campbell-Brown found herself on the 200m medal podium finishing third with a season best 21.97. Capping off her week Campbell-Brown ran the lead leg helping to propel team Jamaica to a 41.07 first place finish time earning her 19th World Championship medal.
Another Barton Hall of Famer Leevan Sands showed his determination and passion for the sport as the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist reached the championships battling back from a catastrophic injury occurred during the 2012 Olympic games. Advancing to the finals being a sense of victory to the man dubbed “Superman”, his final’s leap of 16.68m (54-08.75) finished tenth overall in his continued improvement and goal for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Alonso Edward perhaps felt the most heartache after being on the short end of a photo finish 200m placing. Having the fourth best semifinal time, Edward tied for third with a 19.87 clocking but after a photo finish review was awarded fourth place as South Africa’s Anaso Jobodwana needed a career best and national record to beat Edward. In a small solace, Edward’s time was just .06 seconds behind his career best 19.81 when he finished second to Usain Bolt in the 2009 World Championships.
Donning the Cougar blue during the 2011-12 season capturing the Region VI 400m Indoor title, Aliaksandr Linnik of Belarus competed in the 400m but did not make it out of the preliminary round crossing in 45.79.
Linnik’s teammate in Barton’s 2012 NJCAA National Champion 4X100m relay team, Akeem Haynes was in the Canadian relay team pool but did not get to participate.
Plagued by injuries the past two years, Laverne Jones-Ferrette couldn’t advance out of the 200m prelims with 23.83 as she continues getting healthy competing for her native U.S. Virgin Islands.