The Barton Community College track and field team continued their flirtation with the storied program history book while adding thirteen additional national qualifiers to their list this past weekend competing in the Back & Gold Premier hosted by the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.
In the process the Cougar squad came away with four gold finishes among the forty Top-8 placings and thirty-one personal best efforts, posting numerous top ten and just outside the top ten in program performances.
Knocking on the door all season long and coming up a mere quarter of an inch of the school's shot put record last week in Lubbock, Latavia Maines put a right arm straight through the wall Saturday morning. Getting warmed up on her first two attempts, the sophomore from Centralia, Illinois, shattered the record with a 15.92m (52-02.75) mark on her third attempt to replace Cassandra Lee's 2004 school record of 15.47m (50-09.25). Placing second in the event to Iowa junior Nia Britt's meet record 16.12m, Maines wasn't done with high quality marks on the day as a final throw of 15.13m posted the third time of exceeding the 15-plus mark, the most in Cougar women history.
Another program book assault came in the weight throw as Kameliah Style posted a school fourth best mark of 16.52m (54-02.50) in placing sixth overall. Exceeding the 16m mark on her second and third attempt, the Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, sophomore landed her career best on the fifth attempt to leap over Marcela Solano's 16.38m mark from the 2011 season.
A pair of program Top-10 performances on the men's side also came in the weight throw as freshmen Alencar Pereira and Phillipe Barnett each etched their name in the book. Placing fourth and fifth in the event, Pereira topped 18m on two of his six throws with a second attempt of 18.65m (61-02.25) landing in the program's 5th spot with Barnett's third attempt of 18.03m (59-02.00) falling on the all-time's 9th slot.
The short track was also strong for the Cougars over the weekend in earning three golds and a combined four runner-up placings.
In two divisions of the 60m dash, the women took both spots with Deborah Giffard setting a new personal best in a winning time of 7.48 to rank third nationally. T'Nia Riley, who owns the nation's top ranking with a 7.41, placed third on Saturday in a time of 7.49 while Kaytie Black reset her personal best clocking with a 7.56 in placing fourth and recording the nation's 5th fastest time.
Tied for 6th nationally, Sharikae Campbell's 7.66 was just .04 seconds slower than her personal best but still was fast enough to take first in the second division. Two additional Cougars met the national qualifications in recording personal bests as Yoveinny Mota and Anitria Sangster clocked a 7.74 and 7.86 to place second and fourth respectively in the division with nation's Top-20 performances.
Prior to the dash portion of the 60m track, Mota won the hurdle event with an 8.60 time as St. Louis Aquila crossed in fourth at 8.85. A slightly slower time than her collegiate debut 8.53, Mota owns the tenth best 60m hurdle time in school history and currently ranks third in the nation.
Two women not only set new personal best but punched their tickets to nationals in the 800m as sophomore Cadeebra Calcote placed third in a nation's fourth best 2:16.40 while freshman Shanique Masters first time in the even clocked a 2:23.16.
Barton solidified the top spot in the 4x400m relay with the women taking third in the event at 3:52.77 (Riley, Nijah Roberson, Azan Sargusingh, and Calcote) and the men finishing runner-up to Northern Iowa in a time of 3:11.75 (Kenroy Williams, Dartez Hamlin, Kyle Mason, Jr., and Adriano Gumbs).
Also posting a nation's best, Stephon Torrence just missed the program's 60m hurdle top ten by .05 as the sophomore from Baltimore, Maryland, placed third behind a pair of Iowa athletes in a time of 7.97 with Deshaun Jones placing sixth in 8.15.
Three personal bests for the men occurred in the 60m dash with freshman Davonte Burnett taking second in the Premier event in 6.72 to miss the program's top ten by .02 of a second. Deondre Spruill also had a runner-up placing, coming in the second division, with a new best 6.88 to qualify for nationals with Tyreke Wilson's 6.99 new best time in the preliminary round before placing seventh.
The lone Cougar men gold of the weekend came in the 600m as Gumbs clocked a new best of 1:21.55 to qualify for nationals as did Hamlin in the 400m in a new PR 48.98.
Flirting with the program's top ten list, Nathan Hood's 1:52.66 time nearly grabbed the 800m title but crossed just a photo finish .08 seconds behind the new meet record clocked by Marquette University senior Alec Miller and a mere .40 seconds from the record book. Tallan James joined Hood as a national qualifier with a 1:55.79 time to place eighth overall in the twenty-nine man event.
Tyrone Treadwell joined Timothy Wilson on the triple jump national qualifying list with a 14.69m (48-02.50) leap to place third with Wilson's mark of 14.38m (47-02.25) also setting a new best in placing sixth overall after placing sixth earlier on Saturday in the long jump with a 6.89m (22-07.25) splash in the sand.