The Barton Community College men's track and field team finished third this past weekend at the Region VI/KJCCC Indoor Championships held at Pittsburg State University's Robert W. Plaster Center. Taking home two individual titles, the Cougars had twenty-seven top-ten finishes including five performances falling in the top ten best efforts in school history.
Barton wrapped up the two day event scoring 160 conference points, third behind Butler Community College's winning 215 score and nineteen behind Cloud County Community College. The two teams held the rank in the Region VI standings as well, with Butler sweeping the titles with 172 points, fourteen points better than the Thunderbirds, and distancing Barton's 129.
The Cougars will return to Pittsburg in two weeks to wrap up the indoor season at the NJCAA National Championships to be held March 3-4.
"The men put together a great team effort with multiple personal best performances," said Head Coach David Schenek. "Our sprints, hurdles, jumps, and throws were especially outstanding with essentially six top ten performances in our school's history."
Denroc Dixon was the first of two individual champions on the weekend as the sophomore from Jamaica took the long jump title at 7.34m with Bahamian sophomore Alfredo Smith coming in second with a personal best effort of 7.09m. Bradley Fleurinord gave the Cougars nineteen points in the event grabbing the eighth spot with a 6.81m leap.
With the Cougars having three in the top ten of five events, Jermaine Jones captured Barton's second individual title with a 7.94 60m hurdle time to win by .20 seconds. Kevin Turner and Louis Rivers placed fifth and sixth respectively, Turner clocking a personal best 8.20 in prelims following with an 8.23 finals time while Rivers was just .01 seconds behind with a season best 8.24.
Barton also had a 3-4-5, finish in the non-hurdle version of the short track as the trio of McKinely West, Chedlin Sagesse, and Terence Ware clocked 60m top ten program fast times in the preliminary round. West and Sagesse each crossed the line in 6.70 with Ware an eyelash behind at 6.71. The three would essentially break the line just as close in the finals with all three clocking a 6.74 with Ware getting third followed by West and Sagesse.
The Cougars also dipped into the school record book in the shot put, with the Region VI throwing contingent lining up the top six marks in the nation. Sanjae Lawrence led the way for the Cougars with a third place 17.33m throw while Ricky Nelson's 17.23m took fourth, and Stevon Crooks' 17.08m placed fifth. The throws ranked fourth, fifth, and seventh best all-time on the Barton chart while also placing amongst the top five best throws in the nation.
"The shot put was amazing," Schenek said. Our guys each threw a personal best, but it's such a tough region with seven of the top ten throwers. Finishing 3-4-5 was not disappointing considering the competition and all the guys threw personal bests and some of the best marks in school history."
The throwers would add three more in the scoring column in the weight throw led Nelson's third place 17.11m throw. A pair of freshman would also place with Enrique Martinez marking a 15.97m with Graham Sokol's personal best effort of 14.68m was one place behind in seventh.
Also sporting some of the best performances in the nation, the Region VI 4x400m relay teams have four top times including the Cougars' fourth best time. In the last event of the meet Barton witnessed the falling of a meet record as the Cougars' team of Adam Levarity, Samson Colebrooke, Kemarni Mighty, and Deandre Jobe finished second at 3:15.13 to Butler's 3:11.70 time.
A pair of personal bests earned runner-up finishes, the first coming in the 800m as Javon Patterson was less than a second behind the top spot with a 1:55.36. The following event on the schedule was the 200m with West's personal best 21.30 was just .09 off the top time, with Colebrooke giving Barton four more points with a 21.56 second fifth place finish.
Two more personal bests were clocked in the 400m led my Mighty's fourth place 47.96 followed by Levarity's 48.59 to slip into the eighth spot. In the 600m, Michale Reyes' 1:22.62 time edged out the 1:22.09 from Marquise Hill for fourth place.
Turning back to the jumps, Rogers preceded his best in the triple jump with posting his personal best effort in Friday's high jump, soaring to a 2.10m height to match the achievement of two other competitors but fell to third place on number of jumps. Alvin McCray earned the Cougars three additional points with a sixth place 1.94m height.
"Willie exceeded his PR by 10cm in the high jump which was great to see," Schenek said. "He's been working hard and I think he is really learning the technical aspects of the event, so it's very rewarding to his effort is paying off."