The Barton Community College men's cross country team placed in the national Top 20 for the second year in a row finishing 17th Saturday at the 2015 NJCAA Division I Cross Country Championship held at the Lakeside Municipal Golf Course in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Barton completed the 8k race in a combined 2:19:00 to average 27:48 per runner as two Cougars placed amongst the nation's best 100 runners.
Region VI Champion Sampson Laari led the Cougars with a sixth place finish improving on last year's seventh placing coming in at 25:06.6 earning a 2nd Team All-American status. Laari stayed with the leading six pack of runners through the first mile of the 8k race before gradually dropping behind the 4:48 winning pace clocking a 5:03 per mile average. In addition to his 2014 seventh placing, Laari's sixth place was the highest national finish since Jake Raines' fourth place 2002 finish and joined four other Cougars with consecutive Top 10 national finishes and the first since Joseph Kogo's feat in the 1995 and 1996 seasons.
Devyn Brotherton wrapped up his Barton cross country career finishing 61st in 27:11.6 as fellow sophomore Elder Colindres just missed a Top 100 finish by one second crossing the line in 101st place at 27:59.2 and over a second faster than at last year's championships.
Marcus Pastran improved eight slots from his freshman national appearance placing 166th in 29:07.2 while first-year runner D'Corian Williams cracked the Top 200 with a 29:35.6 for 192nd place. Tyler Thornton rounded out the six-man team with a 259th placing crossing in 31:20.8.