Gophers struggle to fourth-place Big Ten finishA tough weekend resulted in Minnesota’s worst finish since 1989.Erin Westover Samuel GordonFebruary 27, 2011Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintFor the first time since 1989, the Minnesota menâÄôs swimming and diving team failed to finish in the top three at the Big Ten championships . The Gophers tallied 505.5 points and finished fourth behind Ohio State, Indiana and Michigan, which won its third championship in four years. Despite that fact, head coach Dennis Dale was pleased with the way his athletes performed. âÄúWe were very excited. We had a lot of lifetime bests,âÄù Dale said. âÄúAt a meet like this you hope for 100 percent lifetime bests, but you never get it. Every athlete on our team did at least one lifetime best performance.âÄù One of those athletes was senior Michael Richards, who became the first Big Ten swimmer since 1962-63 to repeat as champion in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles. Richards crushed the school, meet and conference records in the 50 freestyle prelims Thursday, clocking in at 19.10. He went on to win the event with a time of 19.19, bettering the second place finisher by more than half a second. âÄúIâÄôve had my sights set on that for the last two years,âÄù Richards said of the record. âÄúI was a bit peeved that I didnâÄôt get that last year, so this year I crushed it, and I was pretty happy with that.âÄù The All-American and Big Ten Swimmer of the Championships completed the freestyle sweep Saturday night with a win in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 43.20. âÄúIt shows you how tough it is to repeat in those two events,âÄù Dale said about RichardsâÄô performance. âÄúPeople have repeated in the 100, people have repeated in the 50, but nobody since 1963 has repeated in both of them, so that was special, and he also was a stalwart on our relays.âÄù Richards, along with senior Curt Carlson, junior Zach Bolin, and freshman Derek Toomey set a new Big Ten record in the 200-yard freestyle relay Friday, clocking in at 1:16.78, the first sub-1:17.00 in Big Ten history. Richards improved his 50-yard freestyle record to 19.05 with his split, giving the Gophers a nice-sized lead heading into the second leg. Carlson swam his split in 19.28, with Bolin following in 19.25. Toomey posted a 19.20 in the final leg to cement the victory and record . âÄúIt was incredible. I donâÄôt even know how to describe it. We have some of the best 50 freestylers on our team,âÄù Toomey said. âÄúIt was awesome just to be able to anchor that relay with four really strong guys. It meant the world to me. It was a really good bonding kind of experience.âÄù There were plenty of other bright spots for Minnesota aside from Richards and the relay team. Senior Ivan Gutesa swam his way to a school record and third-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:55.36. Junior Kris Jorgenson and senior Drew Brown finished second and third, respectively, in platform diving, finishing behind Diver of the Championships and Olympian David Boudia of Purdue. Toomey scored in all three of his events, recorded a personal best in the 100-yard freestyle and became the first Gophers freshman since 2004 to win a conference title with the victory in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Minnesota finished exactly where the rankings projected it would. The Gophers were the fourth of six Big Ten teams that were ranked nationally. The Big Ten champion Wolverines also finished accordingly, as they were the highest ranked Big Ten team. âÄúWe went into the meet knowing that there are three teams ranked ahead of us in the conference. We were hoping that we could knock one or two of them off, but that wasnâÄôt the case,âÄù Dale said. âÄúWe were excited by the outstanding performances that [our team] put up. Yet we know that if we want to compete for the Big Ten championship, weâÄôve got to do a better job recruiting outstanding athletes.âÄù
Dear Editor,Let me first indicate that I shall not attempt any of those reckless generalisations about the purpose and intent of the Contingency Fund which have now been popularised by a very misinformed Minister of Finance, Mr Winston Jordan. As he unshackles his comments from the more measured versions the nation was accustomed to under Mr Carl Greenidge (the last PNC Minister of Finance), Jordan continues to put the PNC’s chances of winning the 2020 elections at great risk. His open acts of incompetence continue to actively contribute to the mal-administration of the economy. But on top of such incompetence, we are now seeing public acts of intimidation against anyone who questions his strategically bankrupt public actions. The latest victim is the Office of the Auditor General.If we are to follow his logic, then the innocent taxpayers who are toiling to fill the treasury are at the mercy of the Minister who claims he has sole rights to do what he wants with the people’s money because of a clause in Section 41 of the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act, Act 20 of 2003 (FMA). But what the Minister is not telling the people is that those “sole rights” are not automatically bequeathed to him by some monarchical edicts, unless all of a sudden we have a King in Guyana since May 2015. Those rights have to be earned after following due process.The Office of the Auditor General quite correctly pointed out that the Minister has not followed due process on the expenditure totalling a hefty sum of $604 million and thus he violated the spirit and intent of the law. But only a financial dunce and an impetuous bully will not recognise such violations.That same FMA clearly establishes the criteria for tapping the Contingency Fund and it is as basic as this – the expenses charged to the Contingency Fund must be urgent, unavoidable and unforeseen and only if injury to the public interest is a direct consequence, can we proceed to make those expenses. But all four criteria must be met. On $604 million in expenses, the Minister has failed to meet all four criteria.The Minister has violated the spirit of the law and the Office of the Auditor General is correct to write him up. The Minister’s action in 2015 (which continues in 2016) is nothing but reckless financial abuse. Therefore, this act of bullying the Auditor General is uncalled for and by right, President Granger has to step in.At all times, the Government of Guyana must be seen to be giving all constitutional offices the necessary latitude to do their job. I am calling upon the British diplomats, who have a history of good governance, in particular to pay keen attention to what is going on in Guyana.Whatever was published in the 2015 Auditor General Report was put there after consulting the Accountant General and other technicians in the Finance Ministry. Therefore, this was a collaborative and collective effort, not personal attack on the Minister.Rather the Minister will do very well to focus on his job and save the Guyanese economy from “flat-lining”.We might not have to wait on 2020, since this tragic performance of Jordan has already started to infect the output from the Minister of the Presidency and the Office of President Granger directly. President Granger has to bite the bullet and do the right thing and appoint the best finance brain in his Cabinet to the post – Carl Barrington Greenidge.The resources in the Treasury do not belong to Mama Jordan or Papa Jordan, they belong to the people of Guyana and these acts of continued financial abuse and disrespect for the spirit and intent of the laws that govern financial accountability in the land are indefensible and must be rejected today, tomorrow and in 2020.Sincerely,Jai (Harry) Lal
Norwich defender Russell Martin has arrived in Glasgow to undergo a medical with Rangers.The Scotland international will go through medical tests before finalising a loan deal to join Graeme Murty’s side until the end of the season.Barring any last-minute hitch, Martin will become the fourth new face at Ibrox in the January window, following Sean Goss, Jamie Murphy and Jason Cummings in joining the Rangers squad.Martin is set to leave Norwich after eight years with the club with the defender having made over 300 appearances for the Canaries. The 32-year-old has fallen out of favour at Carrow Road, playing just five times this season despite having been a first team regular in previous years.Martin, who has 29 caps for his country, previously played for Wycombe Wanderers and Peterborough United.Rangers remain keen to add to their squad before the transfer deadline on January 31. The club have been unsuccessful with a bid for Kilmarnock’s Jordan Jones and have also held talks with Hamilton over midfielder Greg Docherty.