Barton Men Win National Championship

Barton Men Win National Championship

(Barton CC Sports Information)  El Dorado, Kan. -- The Barton Community College men's track and field team captured the 2018 NJCAA Outdoor Championship Saturday, earning the College's 56th national title with a 15.5 point victory at the BG Products Veterans Sports Complex in El Dorado, Kansas. Like the men's pre-championship ranking of No. 2, the Lady Cougars also bettered their No. 5 ranking by finishing tied for fourth.

Having lost the indoor title on the final race of the day back in March, Saturday's final event was a four lap victory stroll as the Cougars had the title wrapped up with the completion of the three-day event's second to last race in the 5000m.

Barton had built a 19.5 point margin headed to the 5k with national runner-up South Plains College having three competitors in the race. As each of the thirteen laps were completed, the roar from the Barton contingent grew as South Plains would score just two points in sending the Cougars to its first outdoor national crown since 2004 and its first national title since the 2010 indoor championship. The victory also snapped an impressive eleven straight titles for the Texans beginning in 2006 season as Barton finished with 128 points to South Plains 112.5.

The Lady Cougars had more suspense going into their final 4x400m relay race, trailing South Plains for the fourth spot by two points. Getting off to a two second lead from Nijah Roberson and Latoya Stewart's laps, Azan Sargusingh and Cadeebra Calcote held off the Texans for the final two in clocking a one second margin at 3:39.19 for the national runner-up placing for eight points to move into the fourth place overall tie.

Men's Coach of the Year David Schenek saw his two squads capture four gold medals to go along with two new school records.

The Jamaican sophomore duo of Amanda Carty and Fiona Barnes won the Lady Cougars' two national championships, with Carty getting Barton off to a ten point start on Thursday. Voted Barton's most inspirational female athlete at the 2018 Athletic Banquet earlier in the month, Carty led from the beginning uncorking a solid 5.89m first leap before shattering her career best on her next run with a 6.25m (20-06.25) winning jump.

Barnes led after the first day of competition, matching a season best 1.60m in the high jump, before concluding the four event day with career bests in winning the shot put with a 10.80m (35-05.25) mark and a third place 25.35 in the 200m. Winning the long jump to begin Friday's three events, Barnes chalked up another career best effort with a 24.15m (79-03) javelin throw before falling .08 seconds shy of a personal best in the 800m to win the title accumulating a 4366 for a new career high total.

The shot put provided multiple highlights for Coach Schenek's throwing squad, including a national championship and school record by Sanjae Lawrence. Already the school record holder, the Florida State University signee solidified his name atop the chart with an 18.55m (60-10.50) mark. Fellow Jamaican Kevin Nedrick gave Barton six more points with a 17.17m (56-04.00) throw.

On the women's side, 1.25 inches separated Illinois freshman Latavia Maines from a national title but the Illinois freshman left the ring with a big smile in breaking the school record of Cassandra Lee set in 2003 by over a foot and a half with a new chart topping 16.46m (54-00.00).

In one of the most exciting races of the weekend, the men's 4x100m relay team of Christian Lyon, Terence Ware, Samson Colebrooke, and anchorman Dartez Hamlin seized the title on the final leg as Hamlin brought the Cougars from behind to edge out the field in a winning season best 39.78 time.