The Barton Community College nationally ranked track and field program had two streaks come to an end Sunday as the nation's No. 2 ranked Cougars captured its 28th Region VI Indoor title while the No. 5 ranked women placed runner-up at Ahearn Fieldhouse in Manhattan, Kansas.
The Cougar men ended a two year champion drought by capturing seven event titles amongst its thirty performances scoring points as Barton rolled up 186.50 points to distance the 177 from Cloud County Community College. The two-time defending champion Lady Cougars won four events with scoring coming from nineteen performances for 120 points but had their streak snapped as Cowley College compiled 132 points for the title.
Barton also took home three distinguished special awards led by Head Coach David Schenek receiving the men's Coach of the Year honor as Cougar sophomore Sanjae Lawrence set a shot put meet record to be named the Men's Field Athlete of the Meet while Fiona Barnes' twenty-four point all-around meet performances earned the Women's Field Athlete of the Meet.
Barnes began her eight event Championships in Thursday's pentathlon held at Highland Community College. Earning the Lady Cougars five points, Barnes began Sunday's action in the long jump finishing runner-up to teammate Amanda Carty's personal best 5.83m (19-01.50) with a 5.59m (18-04.25) leap. Next on the docket was the high jump and another six points in rising to a personal best 1.62m (5-03.75) to finish with the second best event height but took third place on jumps. Barnes completed the day with the grueling triple jump springing to another third placing at 11.34m (37-02.50) while Carty's lone jump before retiring in the event was good for seventh at 10.39m (34-01.25).
Barton's other three titles came in the middle distances beginning with Latoya Stewart winning the 600m in 1:35.22 with freshman Cadeebra Calcote capturing the 800m by over two seconds with a time of 2:20.79. The duo returned later in teaming with Keosha Sanders and Nijah Roberson to wrap up the day with a 4x400m relay title in 3:53.75 in also moving the Lady Cougars into the team runner-up position.
Sophomore Alexis James punched her ticket to the national championships by uncorking a 16.13m (52-11.00) weight throw by surpassing her personal best my nearly six and half feet to finish third and jump on the national leaderboard with the sixth best throw this season.
Already the school record holder in the shot put, Lawrence added the meet record to his accomplishments with an 18.27m (59-11.25) throw to break the 18.18m Championship mark set in 2003. Kevin Nedrick placed third in the event as well with a 17.15m (56-03.25) giving the Cougars sixteen event points.
Three Cougars scored in the long jump with freshman Travis Hugg leading the way with a personal best winning mark of 7.27m (23-10.25) with Bradley Fleurinord taking fourth (7.21m, 23-08.00) and Alvin McCray placing eighth (6.97m (22-10-05).
Barton won two titles in the 60m short track with Charlie Forbes winning the hurdle variety in 7.97 while Christian Lyon led a 1-2-3 Cougar domination in the straight track tying his personal best with a 6.73 while Samson Colebrooke's 8.80 edged out Demetri Keaton's 6.82.
The Cougars were almost equally dominant in the 400m with Hilton McClain, Jr. taking the title in a personal best 49.03 with Hugg and Kyle Mason, Jr. battling it out for the third spot coming at 49.46 and 49.49 respectively.
The other two Cougar victories came in the relays as Barton entered teams in just two of the three events. Nathan Hood and Tallan James, who battled each other in both the 800m and 1000m later in the day coming out with second and third place finishes in each, teamed up with Kenroy Williams and Adriano Gumbs to begin the track portion of the day with the nation's second fastest time of 7:56.85 in their first attempt at the event. Williams would also later finish runner-up in the 600m by a mere .4 seconds in crossing in 1:21.71.
In always the most electrifying event of the meet, the 4x400m relay team of Kemarni Mighty, Brandon Felix, McClain, and Mason led from start to finish clocking a 3:17.11 to widen the winning team score.
In conference standings, the Region VI champion men placed second by eight points in finishing with 219 while the Lady Cougars also finished second in scoring 139.