Coming off a third place national finish in the indoor season, the Barton Community College men's track and field team opened the outdoor season with a runner-up placing this past Friday at the ESU Spring Invitational hosted by Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas. The Cougars had ten NJCAA national qualifying performances on the Golden Oval of Witten Track inside Welsch Stadium, as Barton would have twenty performances in the Top-10 including four golds competing against sixteen other teams.
Barton dominated the 400m hurdles being led by freshmen, as Michale Reyes and Brandon Felix took the top two spots in 54.37 and 54.85 to rank second and fourth in the early national rankings, while Marquise Hill's 55.55 was good for fifth.
Freshman Christian Lyon earned the gold in the 100m, taking the early national lead with a 10.48. Also taking first was fellow freshman Bradley Fleurinord in the long jump, soaring for a nation's best 7.31m (23-11.75).
As expected, the Cougar relay teams got their outdoor season started on a good note with the 4x100m relay of McKinely West, Terence Ware, Samson Colebrooke, and Chedlin Sagesse taking the title with a nation's second best 40.72 time. Barton also had a second team entered in the race, with Denroc Dixon, Adam Levarity, Lyon, and Kemarni Mighty finishing third in 41.29. The 4x400m relay also had a strong debut with Hill, Levarity, Reyes, and Javon Patterson finishing third with the nation's early lead time of 3:15.07.
The Cougars were also strong in the throws with Barton getting two Top-10 placings in both the discus and hammer throw. Sanjae Lawrence led the discus duo with a 47.88m (157-01) second place while Stevon Crooks' 45.70m (149-11) was good for fifth. Both distances rank in the national placings at fifth and eighth respectively. In the hammer throw, Enrique Martinez grabbed the fourth spot at 54.37m (178-04) with Ricky Nelson taking eighth at 50.43m (165-05) as both throws currently sit atop the national leaderboard.
Barton's next action will come on Saturday as the Cougars travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas, for the Arkansas Spring Invitational.