The Barton Community College track and field teams concluded the season bringing home not one, but two national runner-up trophies from the 2017 NJCAA Division I Outdoor Championships held in Hutchinson, Kansas.
The Lady Cougars scored 83.5 points in the three-day championships at Gowans Stadium, finishing runner-up to former Cougar Keith Blackwill's New Mexico Junior College squad's 97 points and 12.5 points ahead of Iowa Central Community College's 71 points, where former Cougar Nigel Bigbee is one of the Triton assistant coaches.
On the men's side, the Cougars finished 28 points behind the national champion South Plains College's 126 points and twenty-five ahead of the third place Tritons.
The double runner-up finish was the second time in the last nine years for the Barton track and field program, with both placing second to conclude the 2009 season.
The Lady Cougars had thirteen performances scoring points with fifteen ranking in the top ten of the event, while capturing three titles led by the double gold medal winner Ayesha Champagnie. Reminiscent of the indoor national championships, Champagnie led off the meet with the multi-event national title with the Lady Cougars' 4x400m relay team concluding the weekend with a title as the Barton scored in ten different events.
Dominating the multis in her two years in the Barton uniform, Champagnie again repeated her outdoor heptathlon title by 449 points in scoring 5227 points. Ending Thursday's four event day with a season best 25.35 time in the 200m, Champagnie concluded her title with another season best 2:37.26 800m time in racking up a season best point total.
The Lady Cougars pulled out sixteen points in the meet opening event as Ed'Quisha Alvin also had a great multi-event including a personal best in the javelin and a dig deep personal best 800m race to finish third overall with 4496 points.
Fiona Barnes, the third Lady Cougar in the multi-event, finished the multi-event in thirteenth but set four personal best performances in the process. Beginning with a best 16.27m 100m hurdle time, Barnes threw a best 21.96m javelin before like Alvin, concluded the final seventh event with a new 800m best time of 3:01.73 in setting a new best accumulated score of 3869.
Champagnie would score twelve more points on Saturday for the Lady Cougars finishing seventh in the 100m hurdles and defending her javelin title uncorking a personal best 48.92m throw on her first attempt.
Adjusting its 4x400m relay lineup through the course of the outdoor season, Saturday's final tandem of Rian Robinson, Chenelle Ricketts, Asjah Wallace, and Keosha Sanders built a big lead and never looked back winning the title by two seconds in a time of 3:42.82. Ricketts, Wallace, and Sanders nearly grabbed another tandem title in the 4x100m relay to begin Saturday's track events being joined by Mahendra McWhite coming up just .01 seconds shy at the tape for the runner-up 46.02 clocking.
McWhite would add another silver medal to her outdoor season an hour later finishing second in the 100m hurdles with a 13.84 while Champagnie's 14.46 took the seventh spot. Fellow freshmen Sanders would earn the Lady Cougars' second third placing of the weekend in the ensuing 100m race, burning up the stretch in personal best 11.67 time.
Wallace added a fourth place finish a couple of hours prior to joining her relay mates, earning a fourth place in the 400m hurdles with a 1:03.22. Mirena Goncalves earned the first of the two fourth place finishes by the freshmen, running the 10,000m early Friday morning in a personal best and school fourth fastest time of 38:09.25.
Like their women counterparts, the Cougars scored in ten different events with nineteen performances scoring points amongst their twenty-one top-ten finishes. Barton had a balanced attack on the weekend with fifty-one of their points coming in the field events while forty-seven came on the track.
Barton captured two individual titles on the weekend, both coming in the throws from their school record holders Ricky Nelson, Jr., and Sanjae Lawrence. Nelson began his __ point weekend on Thursday leading a 4-5 Barton finish in the hammer throw with a 56.85m mark while freshman Enrique Martinez' 55.22m throw was solidly in the fifth spot. On Friday it was Lawrence's turn to make an appearance as the Jamaican freshman added to his indoor shot put title with the outdoor with a winning 17.94m throw. Sophomore Stevon Crooks grabbed fifth place at 16.59m with Nelson accounting for the sixteenth point in the event with a seventh place 16.13m mark.
Onto Saturday's final throwing event, the Nelson-Lawrence duo helped the Cougars rack up its second sixteen point event, finishing first and third. Placing third as a freshman, Nelson capped off his stellar Barton career capturing the title by over eight meters with a 57.03m while Lawrence's personal best 48.73m was in line for the silver until getting bested by Indian Hills' Nathan Winters final throw of 49.00m.
As the throws had two sixteen point events, the 100m crew didn't disappoint racking up seventeen points as Barton went 2-3-6 down the stretch. Sophomores Chedlin Sagesse and McKinely West led the way with Sagesse's 10.33 time edging out West by .02 seconds, meanwhile, freshman Christian Lyon was within an eyelash of the fifth spot crossing in 10.51. The duo were back at it later in the afternoon and again it was Sagesse coming out on top, this time by just .01 seconds crossing in third and West fourth. Freshman Samson Colebrooke just missed out on the point earners finishing in ninth at 21.43 seconds.
The four began Saturday's track action as one, joining forces grabbing a third place in the 4x100m relay in a photo finish 39.83 as .36 seconds separated the top three finishers. Sagesse and West concluded their final event in the Barton uniform in the last race of the day, teaming up with Colebrook and fellow freshman Kemarni Mighty for a third place 4x400m relay finish in 3:11.13.
Barton had two other events with multi placers, one on the track and one in the jump events. On the track, the short runway hurdle sophomore duo of Jermaine Jones, Jr., and Kevin Turner finished their Barton careers with a fourth and seventh placing with Jones crossing the line in a new personal best 14.02 with Turner clocking a 14.33. Leading a 4-6 placing for the Cougars in the long jump, sophomore Denroc Dixon hit the sand with a 7.33m leap while freshman Bradley Fleurinord's 7.26m was good for seventh.
Along with Lawrence's personal best in the disc, Alvin McCray also saved his best performance of the year rising to a new high jump mark, joining three others at the 2.08m height to finish seventh in the nation. Willie Rogers also tied three others at the 2.03m height slipping out of the scoring eight on jumps to finish in ninth place.
Complete information and results can be found at the official 2017 NJCAA Division I Outdoor Championships website.