The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced their indoor regional awards recently with the Barton Community College track and field team earning thirty-six All-American awards including three coaching honors. Student-athletes earned USTFCCCA All-America status by virtue of finishing among the top-8 in their events, including as a member of a relay team, at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Indoor Track & Field Championships in Pittsburg, Kansas, while coaching honors were voted and selected by coaches within the USTFCCCA.
Headlining the selections were Head Coach David Schenek and Assistant Coach Tony Davis, each being named Central Region women's coaches of the year, with Davis adding to his credentials garnering the National women's assistant coach of the year.
Women's Head Coach of the Year (Central Region)
In his eighth year in the program, Schenek led his women's squad to its second consecutive KJCCC and Region VI Indoor title, with five Lady Cougars capturing individual titles amongst it's twenty-eight top-ten finishes. Marking Barton's twenty-seventh region title, Schenek's squad of twenty national qualifiers went on to finish fourth nationally, just three points shy of bringing home hardware from the national indoor meet. In addition to the team's standing, Schenek helped Ayesha Champagnie claim her second straight pentathlon title with his 4x400 meter relay team blistering the oval for a 3:38.93 meet record to rank fourth in Barton's storied track history.
Women's Assistant Coach of the Year (Central Region and National)
Former Cougar athlete himself, Tony Davis, earned his second Central Region women's assistant coach of the year in his three years, leading the Lady Cougars to its second straight KJCCC and Region VI Indoor titles. Of the 177 points scored at the Region VI Championship, 111 came from his sprint and hurdle athletes with five capturing individual titles to help the squad rank first in the Central Region and fourth nationally.
Concluding the indoor season at the national meet in Pittsburg, Davis' band of athletes didn't disappoint as the national coaches recognizing the efforts to award Davis his first national assistant coach of the year honor. Placing fourth and just three points from a third place trophy, Davis' 4×400 meter relay broke the meet record by nearly a full second to place fourth on the school's all-time list at 3:38.93.
Champagnie, who set the national record at last season meet scoring 4003 points, defended her championship piling up 3943 points to distance her competition by over 150 points. Champagnie would also go on to finish fifth in the 60m hurdles in 8.71 and earn another point in the shot put with a 13.77m (45-02.25) throw.
Mason picked an opportune time to obliterate her 200m personal best time to crack the 24-second mark placing third in the event at 23.90. Tying a personal best 7.53 in the 60m preliminary round, Mason earned an eight place spot on the medal stand running a 7.61 in the finals.
Mason's third All-American honor came in the final event of the meet, placing her name in the Barton all-time list running the third leg of the 4X400m being joined by Rian Robinson, Chenelle Ricketts, and anchor Latoya Stewart to clock the new meet standard of 3:38.93.
Earlier in the day, Robinson and Ricketts each ran a new 400m personal best with Robinson coming in second by .24 seconds clocking a 54.47 while Ricketts grabbed the seventh spot with a 54.98 time. Stewart also timed a new personal best in becoming a two-time All-American, placing third in the 600m in 1:31.55.
Freshman distance runner Mirena Goncalves was also a two-time award winner, placing third in Friday's 5000m run in 18:03.03 before a final day 10:26.36 eighth place 3000m finish.
Joining Champagnie in the Pentathlon, freshman Ed'Quisha Alvin set a new personal standard scoring 3441 points to place fourth before completing her national debut in Saturday's high jump placing sixth with a 1.66m (5-05.25) height.
Freshmen Mahendra McWhite and Keosha Sanders each garnered an All-American award, with McWhite missing her 60m hurdle personal best by .04 seconds to place third with a 8.63 while Sanders missed by the same blink of an eye to come in just ahead of Mason for a seventh place 60m finish at 7.53.
On the men's side, the Cougars also earned eighteen All-American awards led by the three event honors by sophomore McKinely West. Setting a new 60m personal best time of 6.65 in the preliminary round, West finished fourth in the event at 6.69 leading three Cougars into the finals. West would later earn another fourth place finish clocking a 200m season best 21.15. Leading off the 4x400m relay team, West was joined by Kemarni Mighty, Samson Colbrooke, and DeAndre Jobe for a national runner-up 3:10.45 and ninth best time in school history.
One of two Cougars to earn All-American status, Jobe earlier in the day set a new personal best in the 600m with a 1:19.88 clocking to finish fifth overall.
Joining Champagnie and the women's relay team, freshman Sanjae Lawrence added his name to the national champion list with a personal best shot put 17.65m (57-11.00) leading three Cougars with All-American status in the event. Stevon Crooks also posted a personal best mark finishing runner-up with a 17.m (56-06.00) mark while Ricky Nelson took sixth with a 16.53m (54-02.75). Nelson would also join Jobe as a double award winner with a national runner-up 18.57m (60-11.25) weight throw to set a new personal best, as did freshman Enrique Martinez' 17.09m (56-01.00) in placing sixth.
Barton was also strong in the short track, as Chedlin Sagesse and Terrance Ware joined West in taking three of the top-8 placers in the 60m. Sagesse tied his personal best 6.68 in the preliminary round to clock a 6.71 final round just .02 seconds behind West's fourth place finish while Ware placed seventh in 6.81.
Two personal bests in the 60m hurdles fell within the top four in the preliminary round, as Jermaine Jones clocked a 7.88 with Kevin Turner crossing the wire in 8.09. The duo would finish fourth and sixth in the finals with Jones at 8:03 and Turner coming in at 8.26.
The jump events produced two All-Americans with Denroc Dixon soaring a season best 7.37m (24-02.25) to place fifth in the long jump while freshman Alvin McCray tied for sixth with a personal best 2.05m (6-08.75) slipping into the seventh spot based on jumps.