Despite boasting an ultra-competitive side, Jamaica’s long jumper Wayne Pinnock is seemingly biding his time where a decision on joining the professional ranks is concerned, as he believes things will fall in place at the appropriate time.

Pinnock’s comments came after he claimed gold for Arkansas Razorbacks with a world lead and national indoor record-equalling 8.40m on Friday’s second day of the NCAA Indoor Championships in Boston.

The 23-year-old, who claimed World Championship silver in Budapest last year, joined James Beckford (1996) and Carey McLeod (2023) at the top of the country’s jump list with the mark.

“I know a lot of people are wondering why I haven’t gone pro as yet, but there is a reason for that and I believe it is going to come at the right time,” Pinnock said shortly after the dazzling performance.

The former Kingston College stalwart, who won the title in 2022 and was fourth last year, surpassed his previous personal best of 8.34m twice after he jumped 8.36m in the second round and then went further in the fourth round, before fouling his final two attempts.

His other distances for rounds one and three were 8.23m and 8.29m, as he won ahead of Florida State’s Jeremiah Davis (8.20m) and Malcolm Clemons (8.11m).

Pinnock’s record jump also moved him joint fifth on the all-time collegiate list with McLeod, and joint second on the UA all-time list, trailing only the school record of (8.43) set by Erick Walder in 1994.

“I prayed about this moment actually, so I came out here with a calm mindset. I know that everyone in the field is competitive, so I just knew I had to execute well and that’s what I did. I equalled the national record and I’m forever grateful for this opportunity to showcase my talent,” Pinnock shared.

Though slightly disappointed with the two fouls, Pinnock took heart from the fact that they were possibly over the 8.40m mark, and that has left him highly motivated as he looks ahead to the remainder of the collegiate season and possibly the Paris Olympic Games.

“I fouled two other jumps that were over 8.40m, but it’s a competition and competitions are all about execution. But I know if those jumps were counted it would have been further, so yeah,” he ended.

Jamaican Romaine Beckford, a double 2023 NCAA champion in the high jump with South Florida, has signed with Arkansas and will be part of the Razorback squad for the 2023-24 season.

Beckford recently won the high jump title at the 2023 Jamaica Championships with a mark of 7-3.75 (2.23). He will represent Jamaica at the NACAC U23 Championships this week in Costa Rica and currently is in position to qualify for the 2023 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

A double 2023 NCAA champion in the high jump with marks of 7-5.25 (2.27) outdoors and 7-4.25 (2.24) indoors, Beckford set South Florida school records with his outdoor career best at the NCAA Championships as well as his indoor best of 7-5 (2.26) to win the 2023 American Athletic Conference meet.

In the 2023 American Athletic Conference outdoor meet, Beckford won the high jump (7-1.5 | 2.17) as well as the javelin with a career best throw of 194-10 (59.38). The 2023 outdoor season included a victory at Penn Relays (7-1.75 | 2.18) as well as finishing runner-up at Mt. SAC Relays (7-2.5 | 2.20) and winning the Florida Relays (7-4.25 | 2.24).

Beckford finished as runner-up in the 2022 Penn Relays high jump with a 7-3.75 (2.23) clearance prior to claiming the AAC Outdoor title (7-1.75 | 2.18). He won the 2022 AAC Indoor high jump with a 7-2.5 (2.20) clearance. Beckford represented Jamaica in the 2022 Commonwealth Games, placing eighth.

In junior college at South Plains, Beckford won the 2021 NJCAA Outdoor high jump while also competing in discus and javelin. At NJCAA Indoor, Beckford won the high jump and finished 10th in heptathlon (4,182 points). At the 2020 NJCAA Indoor, he finished second in the high jump.


Gonzaga Bulldogs center Drew Timme was a man amongst boys as he carried his side to a comeback 79-76 victory over the two-seed UCLA Bruins in Thursday's Sweet 16 action at the NCAA Tournament.

Timme, a senior, was named a consensus First-Team All-American this year after back-to-back Second-Team selections in his sophomore and junior seasons.

While his career at Gonzaga has been littered with individual honours, the six-foot-10 fringe NBA prospect looked destined to end his run as a Bulldog without capturing their elusive first National Championship as they trailed 46-33 at half-time.

But Timme would not let three-seed Gonzaga go down quietly, putting together a monstrous 36 points on 16-of-24 shooting while adding 13 rebounds, four assists and two blocks to turn their deficit into a 72-62 lead with 2:30 remaining.

UCLA's Jaime Jaquez Jr made things interesting with a quick eight-point burst on his way to a team-high 29 (12-of-25 shooting), 11 rebounds, three assists and three steals, setting up Amari Bailey for a three-pointer to put the Bruins back in front 76-75 with 13 seconds on the clock.

With the game on the line, Julian Strawther drained the clutch three to give Gonzaga the lead and the win, booking their fifth Elite 8 trip from the past eight editions of the tournament.

Gonzaga will face the four-seed Connecticut Huskies next after they wiped the floor with the eight-seed Arkansas Razorbacks 88-65.

It was another strong performance from UConn's top NBA prospect Jordan Hawkins, as the lanky six-foot-five wing dropped a game-high 24 points on six-of-13 shooting with three assists, marking the third tournament game in a row he has drained at least three three-pointers.

The nine-seed Florida Atlantic Owls are through to their first Elite 8 in school history after upsetting the four-seed Tennessee Volunteers 62-55.

The Owls came into the tournament at 31-3, and while there were questions about their strength of schedule, they have continued to prove they are one of college basketball's best teams this year, holding Tennessee to just 33 per cent shooting.

Florida Atlantic will play Kansas State in the next stage after the Wildcats survived a thrilling 98-93 overtime battle against Tom Izzo's Michigan State Spartans.

Five-foot-eight Wildcats point guard Markquis Nowell played the game of his life, ending up with 20 points (seven-of-18 shooting), 19 assists, five steals and just two turnovers in his 43 minutes. 

He joins Chris Paul and James Harden as the only players from either division one college basketball or the NBA in the past decade to put up a game of at least 20 points, 15 assists and five steals.

West Regional No.1 seed Kansas were eliminated from the NCAA tournament after a nail-biting 72-71 round-of-32 loss to Arkansas on Saturday.

The Jayhawks join Purdue as the second No.1 seed to be bundled out of the March Madness tournament in consecutive days, after the Boilermakers lost to No.16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson on Friday.

Multiple No.1 seeds missing the Sweet 16 had only occurred three times since the NCAA expanded in 1985 prior to this week.

Kansas led 35-27 at half-time but the Razorbacks produced a strong second-half rally, with guard Davonte Davis scoring 25 points with eight rebounds.

Razorbacks guard Ricky Council IV added 21 points with six rebounds and four assists, while Jalen Wilson top scored for Kansas with 20 points and four rebounds.

Arkansas' win is their third consecutive victory in the round of 32, setting up a Sweet 16 clash with either Saint Mary's or UConn. The Razorbacks toppled No.1 seed Gonzaga last year.

"I've been coaching a long time and that's as great of a win as I've ever been a part of because of the history of Kansas," Arkansas coach Eric Musselman said. "A lot of people didn't think we were going to win our first-round game."

Elsewhere, Midwest Regional No.1 seed Houston avoided Kansas' fate with an 81-64 win over Auburn led by Tramon Mark with 26 points and nine rebounds.

South Regional No.1 seed Alabama also eased into the Sweet 16 with a 73-51 triumph over Maryland with Jahvon Quinerly top scoring with 22 points for the Crimson Tide.

UCLA won 68-63 over Northwestern, Tennessee edge Duke 65-52, San Diego State beat Furman 75-52, Texas toppled Penn State 71-66 and No.15 seed Princeton beat Missouri 78-63.

The first massive upset of the NCAA Tournament arrived on Thursday as the 15-seed Princeton Tigers knocked out the two-seed Arizona Wildcats 59-55.

Incredibly, the undersized Tigers won despite shooting only four-of-25 (16 per cent) from three-point range, getting it done on the defensive end as they held Arizona to 24 points in the second half.

Despite the loss, it was still a strong showing from the game's top NBA prospect as Arizona's six-foot-11 Lithuanian junior Azuolas Tubelis posted 22 points (nine-of-20 shooting), five rebounds, four steals and a block.

In a full-circle moment, Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson was drenched during post-game celebrations. The victory came 27 years after he played in the Tigers' last great March Madness upset, knocking off four-seed UCLA in the 1996 tournament.

But Arizona were not the only big favourite to fall, as the four-seed Virginia Cavaliers were stunned late in a 68-67 defeat at the hands of the 13-seed Furman Paladins.

Virginia led by four with just 12 seconds remaining, but after two Furman free throws, fifth-year senior Kihei Clark inexplicably tried to launch a full-court pass while being trapped in the backcourt. The pass was intercepted, allowing Garrett Hein to set up J.P. Pegues for the game-winning three with two seconds on the clock.

Things were less dramatic for the one seeds in action, as freshman star and likely NBA lottery pick Gradey Dick led the Kansas Jayhawks to a 96-68 drubbing of the Howard Bison.

Dick, 19, had 19 points (seven-of-13 shooting) with 11 rebounds, five assists and three steals as Kansas kept their foot on the pedal right to the end, using the blowout as an opportunity for some live practice against competitive opposition.

It was a different strategy for the Alabama Crimson Tide, with none of their starters playing more than 21 minutes, including top-three NBA draft hopeful Brandon Miller as he finished scoreless on five shots.

The Houston Cougars completed the one seed clean sweep as they were made to work for a 63-52 win against the Northern Kentucky Norse, with top prospect Jarace Walker putting together 16 points (six-of-eight shooting), six rebounds and two blocks.

Ackera Nugent, in her first season with Arkansas after transferring from Baylor University, justified the move on Saturday when she ran the world-leading time in the 60m hurdles and then followed up by winning a national title as the NCAA Division 1 Indoor Championships in Alburquerque, New Mexico.

After storming to a new personal best of 7.72 to win her preliminary round heat, Nugent sped to victory in 7.73 over former world-leader Masai Russell, the pre-race favourite, who was a close second in a personal best 7.75.

“It wouldn’t be my first time in history but the first time in history at the collegiate level is a really great feeling to see that I was counted out this year and I came out and showed on the day that mattered most,” the World U20 record holder said in an interview afterwards.

Her performance helped Arkansas win the Ladies championship.

Arkansas freshman Jaydon Hibbert has been selected as the SEC Indoor Freshman Field Athlete of the Year.

Hibbert produced a winning leap of 17.10m to win the triple jump at the SEC Indoor Championships and was the only freshman to claim a field event victory. His winning mark leads the NCAA for the 2023 season and is the 14th-best mark in collegiate history.

The teenaged Jamaican becomes the third Razorback to receive the accolade indoors, joining Nkosinza Balumbu (2006) and Andrew Irwin (2012), since the award was first presented in 2004.

Arkansas has also had three individuals receive SEC Freshman Runner of the Year – Chris Bilbrew (2008), Patrick Rono (2012), and Omar McLeod (2014).

Hibbert, the 2022 World U20 champion, recently became the youngest athlete to surpass 17m indoors as an 18-year-old and moved to No. 3 on the World U20 all-time list while improving his Jamaican indoor national U20 record.

The fairytale ending for legendary Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski is still alive after a stylish 78-69 win against Arkansas in Saturday night's Elite Eight.

Krzyzewski – affectionately known as 'Coach K' – is in his 42nd and final season in Duke's top job, and is in search of his sixth National Championship.

While his strategy and coaching style has seen Coach K earn stints as the head coach of USA's national team, he is buoyed this season by the presence of three likely first round picks in this year's NBA Draft. All three came to play on the big stage against Arkansas.

Number one pick candidate Paolo Banchero was strong, finishing with 16 points (four-of-11 shooting, seven-of-eight free throws), seven rebounds and a team-high three assists, top-10 pick A.J. Griffin scored an efficient 18 points on seven-of-nine shooting (two-of-three from long range), and late-first round center Mark Williams was a perfect six-of-six from the field to finish with 12 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks.

Duke will play the winner of the clash between Saint Peter's and North Carolina, with the former trying to become the first 15 seed to ever make it to the Final Four.

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