The Barton Community College women's track and field team headed to Nebraska this past weekend splitting the No. 3 ranked Lady Cougars sending one group to Lincoln for the 42nd annual Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational while a smaller contingent headed across state to Crete for the Fred Beile Classic hosted by Doane College.
Taking on NCAA Power-5 conference schools including the likes of No. 6 Texas, No. 8 Kentucky, No.18 Kansas State, the Lady Cougars took some of the nation's best coming away with six in the top ten with multiple personal bests and high national performances.
Distance runner Mirena Goncalves led a host of solid performances by the Lady Cougars with a fourth place finish in the 5000m in a time of 17:35.32. The clocking was not only the second fastest in the NJCAA this season but clocked the third fastest time in Barton school history.
Sabrina Mason also had a solid performance against top notch competition finishing eighth in the 200m with a nation second best time of 24.30. Chenelle Ricketts also put up nation's second best time in the 400m finishing seventh in 55.68 and just ahead of Latoya Stewart's 55.89 time. Stewart, who owns the nation's top time of 55.57 earning her the conference female of the week honor, also recorded a career best in the 200m clocking a 24.86.
Mahendra McWhite joined the Barton ranks of recording a current nation's second best mark 8.59 to take tenth in the 60m hurdles. McWhite also had a solid run in the 200m posting another personal best with a 25.09 clocking.
Reigning NJCAA Indoor Pentathlon champion and record holder Ayesha Champagnie made her 2017 debut placing fifth amongst NCAA Division I competition compiling 3691 points highlighted by a second place finish in the shot put with a 13.29m (43-07.25) throw and a national qualifying high jump leap 1.62m (5-03.75).
Across the state in Crete, the Lady Cougars won three of the events. Keosha Sanders bettered her personal best speeding down the 60m to take the crown in a national qualifying 7.56. Asjah Wallace and Tiara Williams gave Barton a first and third 200m finish crossing the line in 25.47 and 25.78 respectively.
Wilyeska Suarez captured the 5000m joining Goncalves in the national top ten list with a career best 19:08.76 while also bringing home a runner-up finish in the 1-mile run finishing ahead of teammate Mariah Stein's personal best 5:55.79.
Emilykate Hopson-Boyd also bettered her personal best in the 600m crossing in 1:41.35 to finish fourth.
Barton will next head to Fayetteville, Arkansas, for the Tyson Invitational held February 10-11.