Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Grand Bahama Athlete Wins Gold And Sets Record In Texas

Former Tabernacle Baptist Academy Falcons quarter miler Demetrius Pinder captured a gold medal Saturday, the final day of the NCAA Division One Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas.

Pinder, the NACAC U23 bronze medalist, representing Texas A&M, won the men’s 400m in 45.33 seconds, which beat the old facility record of 45.69 set by Michael Bingham in 2009.

“I’m happy I got the win, because I worked so hard every day,” said Pinder in an interview on his schools’ website. “It finally paid off. To be a senior and set a record is a big achievement for me. I really didn’t have a race strategy, I just wanted to go out there and run and do what I have to do, stay strong mentally and it came through.”

Pinder also carried Texas A&M to victory in the men’s 4x400m relay.

Pinder shot into the lead on the second lap of his team’s relay, when A&M took charge on its way to a winning time of 3:04.24.

It was Pinder, who had excellent times and whose running style infused the crowd with a jolt of adrenaline.

He rocketed forward during the pivotal stretch of the final race, giving A&M a going away present for the second national indoor championships it has hosted.

“It was so crazy,” Pinder said of the noisy crowd of 4,487. “It made me happier and kept me going; it was an excellent day for me. I am just happy.”

In the 400 meter final, fast start and a strong finish pushed Pinder in the lead. An extra gear made sure he never lost it. A Georgia runner, who closed within a step of the Aggie leader, pressed Pinder for the lead on the backstretch of the second lap.

And then Pinder left.

He surged forward and raced the finish to win in setting a new record for the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium.

“The 400 set me up mentally for my 4×4,” said Pinder, whose 1,600 relay split was 44.94. “It got me strong, mentally. I had a bad season in the beginning but I finished strong and I’m very proud of that.”

The entire Island of Grand Bahama is also proud.

By BUSTER LAING

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