Diverting the planned schedule due to forecasted deteriorating weather, the throwing crew from the nationally ranked Barton Community College track and field team went back to a work a day earlier than expected, posting eight personal best efforts Thursday in the Bethel Invitational in Newton.
Headlining the Lady Cougars' four best efforts was the continued progression of Shyledeen Smith in blowing past her personal best discus throw by over seven meters. The freshman from Jamaica and reigning KJCCC Field Athlete marked a distance of 50.80m (166-8) to leap to the top of the season's NJCAA performance list, as well as, etching her name into fourth place in the program's all-time best list.
The women's hammer throw squad also had a great day in the ring, chalking up over twelve meters of personal best distance. Alexis James led the trio of Lady Cougars with a third place throw of 42.01m (137-10) to exceed the Illinois sophomore's best throw by over five meters. Florida freshman Kameliah Style flew over four meters past her best mark in finishing five inches behind James at 41.89m (137-5) with Smith Center freshman Mikayla Dietz placing 15th at 34.13m (111-11) to reset her personal best mark by over 3.5 meters.
The Cougar men also had a strong performances in the ring with the hammer crew taking the first two spots in the standings and three of the top nine. Enrique Martinez continued his strong sophomore season, coming off his school record breaking performance last week earning conference and national field athlete honors to again eclipse the 60m mark with a programs second best throw of 60.44m (198-3).
Graham Sokol set two personal bests on the day, finishing runner-up to Martinez in the hammer throw with a nation's third best mark of 54.90m (180-01) with Trey Lee finishing ninth at 41.87m (137-4). The Gainesville, Florida, sophomore also set a new mark in the discus, placing 17th with a throw of 37.32m (122-5).
Both squads just competed in the two throwing events with Sanjae Lawrence giving the Cougars two champion placings with a 2.5m personal best throw of 53.69m (176-2) for the NJCAA's second best throw of the year. Martinez also reset his personal mark with a 45.35m (148-9) throw to finished sixth in the thirty-four entry field.
The throwers will rejoin their fellow team members for their next outing as Barton travels to Norman, Oklahoma, next week for the John Jacobs Invitational hosted by the University of Oklahoma April 20-21.
Complete Barton results at Bethel Invitational:
Discus Throw - CHAMPION Shyledeen Smith (PB 50.80m, 166-8, 1st NJCAA), 7th Latavia Maines (37.09m, 121-8), 17th Mikayla Dietz (31.98m, 104-11 *1st collegiate mark)
Hammer Throw – 3rd Alexis James (PB 42.01m, 137-10), 4th Kameliah Style (PB 41.89m, 137-5), 15th Mikayla Dietz (PB 34.13m, 111-11)
Discus Throw – CHAMPION Sanjae Lawrence (PB 53.69m, 176-2, 2nd NJCAA), 6th Enrique Martinez (PB 45.35m, 148-9), 17th Graham Sokol (PB 37.32m, 122-5)
Hammer Throw – CHAMPION Enrique Martinez (60.44m, 198-3, *2nd best school history), 2nd Graham Sokol (PB 54.90, 180-01, 3rd NJCAA), 9th Trey Lee (41.87m, 137-4)