The Barton Community College women's track and field team captured its twenty-fifth Region VI Indoor Championship as the Lady Cougars won seven individual titles this past weekend at Pittsburg State University's Robert W. Plaster Center. Repeating as Jayhawk West Conference champions, the Lay Cougars put themselves in opportune position after Friday results and preliminary rounds pulling away from the competition in Saturday's events. Winning its first region title since 2009, Barton finished with 175 points unseating defending region champion Coffeyville Community College by twenty points and running away with the conference title by forty-six points over runner-up Butler Community College.
"Great team effort by this group of ladies," said Head Coach Dave Schenek. "Seemed as though just about every woman on or off the track brought a season's best, personal best or in some cases, a national best effort to the meet."
Rian Robinson led the Lady Cougars earning Barton's third straight Athlete of the Meet award. The Westwego, Louisiana, freshman not only recorded the nation's top 400m time and top ten school record, but scored twenty-five points including a strong second leg helping Barton to the 4X400m relay title. Finishing fourth behind teammate Tamara Style's third place 60m, Robinson drew elation from her teammates in the 400m blowing past teammate O'neisha Glover in the 400m clocking a nation's best 54.64 and eighth best time in school history. Robinson finished her three event performance in the final track event of the day teaming with Widline Lageroy, Glover, and Sabrina Mason in the 4X400m Relay gaining separation on her second leg powering the Lady Cougars to the nation's third best time of 3:47.16 and over three seconds better than its nearest competitor.
Barton got the first of their seven individual championships in Friday's shot put as Michelle Tomlin's 14.66m shot put throw won the meet while Ayesha Champagnie finished third at 13.41m giving Barton a sixteen point start. Shortly after that the Lady Cougars would gain another fifteen points with a first and fourth place finish in the long jump. Tasha Frazier brought home the title with a 5.95m leap while Champagnie switched from her throwing shoes to the runway jumping 5.73m to finish in fourth place.
Brianna Payne earned the first points of the meet for Barton competing in the Pentathlon for the first time this season finishing with 2747 points for fourth place. The Florida freshman posted personal bests in each event beginning with a 9.14 clocking taking third in the 60m hurdles. Payne then cleared a 1.28m high jump height for eleventh place before an 8.25m seventh place shot put throw. Finishing her five events with two fifth place finishes, Payne leaped 4.66m in the long jump wrapping up the day in the 800m run at 2:38.32.
Qualifying eight of the possible nine spots from Friday's preliminary rounds, the Lady Cougars were primed for their second straight region title heading into Saturday's final rounds. A 1-2 finish in the 60m hurdles began the day in the two-peat quest as Frazier' 8.59 beat out Champagnie's 8.67 while Olivian Jackson finished in the seventh spot at 9.28. Picking up an another eleven points in the 60m, Tamara Style's 7.77 edged out Robinson's 7.80 in winning third place.
"The sprints group carried a big load indoors for us and really showed out in the 60m hurdle, 200m, and 400m events," Schenek said. "But not just there, mid-distance and distance group were non-stop for two days and put in a ton of races to build solid points out of those events."
Asha Douglas not only recorded a season best but took home the 1 mile run title winning by three seconds crossing the line in 5:26.04 and eleventh best time in the country. A day after taking sixth place in the 5000m in personal best time of 20:03.46, Holly Pierce added a seventh place to her collection crossing in 5:42.16 in the mile run combining with Douglas giving Barton twelve points in the event.
Lageroy picked up six points with her third place finish in the 600m at 1:39.95 while Douglas was back on the track an hour later from her first place mile run to finish third in the 800m at 2:21.88.
Barton again went 1-2 again with personal best performances in the last of the individual track events as Mason beat out Style 24.66 to 24.85 while Lageroy took home the fifth spot at 25.38.
Meanwhile in the field events Barton continued to rack up points beginning with the fourth and fifth place triple jump finishes of Frazier and Danashka Lawrence. Sitting out the finals, Frazier's 11.33m held up for fourth while Lawrence came through with her personal best performance in the event leaping 10.65m earning the fifth spot.
Tomlin, who won Friday's shot put championship, completed her solid debut at the championships with a fourth place weight throw of 15.58m. Champagnie rounded out the field events with a 1.56m height finishing in sixth place in the high jump.
"The Jumps were very strong as well as our throws," said Schenek. "Asha Douglas, Sabrina Mason, Michelle Tomin, Tasha Frazier twice, Rian Robinson were all individual event region champions. When you have seven individual event champions, you are going to do well. Not to mention our 4x400m relay championship as well. Just a great group of young ladies who are really coming together well as the season moves forward."
Next up for the Lady Cougars will be a trip to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for the NJCAA Indoor National Championships held March 4-5.