RANDY SMITH, BUTLER CC ATHLETICS
EL DORADO, KS — For the first time since 2006, someone other than South Plains took home the NJCAA DI Men's Outdoor Track & Field National Championship trophy.
After finishing runner-up during the indoor season, Barton (Kan.) Community College was the team to end the Texans' run of 11 straight outdoor titles as the Cougars scored 128 points, beating South Plains by 15.5 points at the three-day meet, which was held at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex.
"We had so many personal bests," said Barton head coach David Schneck. "I could thank all my sophomores, but I don't want to leave anyone off. I appreciated the efforts of all my kids. I love my Barton family to death. It's unbelievable."
In addition to Barton ending South Plains' run, a pair of outdoor meet records were set on Saturday from Texans freshman Markim Felix in the javelin and Hinds (Miss.) freshman Khance Meyers in the 200-meter dash.
In his final preliminary throw, Felix fired a throw of 70.89 meters to set the record, then improved on the mark with his opening throw in the finals, reaching 71.36 meters (234'-1"). Meyers cruised to top honors in the 200-meter dash with an outdoor championship meet record of 20.02 seconds, which not only was the top mark in the NJCAA this season but ranks seventh in the world.
Barton won only two events (4x100m relay, shot put), but had multiple athletes in seven different events that combined to score at least 10 points in each one enroute to its first national outdoor championship since 2004. The Cougars, who won seven straight outdoor titles from 1998 to 2004, won their eighth outdoor title in program history.
Cougar sophomore Sanjae Lawrence picked the right time to set the top NJCAA D-I mark this season in Friday's shot put, winning the national title with a school-record throw of 18.55 meters (60'-10 1/2"). Lawrence followed up with a runner-up finish Saturday in the discus (52.10m), while teammate Kevin Nedrick placed third (51.39m) to give Barton a 2-3 finish in the event. Nedrick also had a third-place finish in the shot put (17.17m) and went fourth in the javelin (57.90m).
Barton started off Saturday's track finals with gold in the 4x100-meter relay, as the team of Christian Lyon, Terence Ware, Samson Colebrooke and Dartez Hamlin ran an NJCAA-best 39.78 seconds, edging Hinds (39.81). In the 110-meter hurdles, Stephon Torrence (13.94) and Charlie Forbes (13.95) placed third and fourth, while Lyon (10.08) and Ware (10.19) finished third and fifth in the 100-meter dash.
The Cougars went 3-4-5 in the 400-meter hurdles with Kenroy Williams (50.36), Michale Reyes (51.53) and Marquise Hill (52.29) to score 15 points. Just as they did in the discus, Barton also finished 2-3 in Thursday's hammer throw (Graham Sokol, 56.64m; Enrique Martinez, 56.18m).
In addition to Felix's record in the javelin, South Plains enjoyed three first-place finishes Saturday as Fabian Edoki took first in the triple jump (16.02m / 52'-6 3/4") and Mason Weh won the 110-meter hurdles (13.80). The Texans, who scored 112.5 points, also had runner-up finishes from Edoki (long jump) and Andrew Bosquez (10,000-meter run).
Cloud County took third behind a strong effort from sophomore Thobile Mosito, who was the top individual point scorer of the meet with 26 points. Mosito, who won Thursday's 10,000-meter race with a time of 31:32.68, got some help from the jumbotron while tossing his hat in celebration after winning Saturday's 5,000-meter run (15:10.50).
"It was really great winning to 10,000, because I was expecting that, but I wasn't expecting that I wouldn't win the 5K," said Mosito, who will run next year at Middle Tennessee State. "As I crossed the line, I celebrated. I thought that (Gillette's Ayrton Ledsema) was coming back for me, but I saw on the screen that he wasn't.
"I never thought that I would be the top point scorer," Mosito added when told when he scored the most points. "It's amazing and winning the 5K... that's what got me there."
Cloud scored 67 points, with Moses Dirane (9:18.66) and Mosito (9:26.76) placing second and third, respectively, in Friday's 3,000-meter steeplechase. The T-Birds also had a runner-up finish in the 4x800-meter relay (Longins Kouri, Omari Miller, Dirane and Stephen Marindich, 7:35.70).
Trinidad State (Colo.) freshman Derek Holdsworth was a double-winner Saturday in the 1,500-meter (3:57.89) and 800-meter (1.49.77) events, while Western Texas won three events (Sean Bailey, 400m dash, 45.51; Emmanuel Yeboah, 100m dash, 10.07; Khamal Stewart-Baynes, Rayon Buttler, Ned Azemia, and Bailey, 4x400m relay, 3:05.48).
Other winners at the NJCAA D-I Outdoor Championships:
- 400-meter hurdles - Marvin Williams, ASA Miami (Fla.), 49.60
- 4x800m relay - Iowa Central (Isaiah Nicholas, Alex Sanford, Mel Obadiah, Brian Bell), 7:32.96
- 3,000m steeplechase - Ayrton Ledesma, Gillette (Wyo.), 9:17.07
- Decathlon - Jonathan Ply, Central Arizona, 7,010 points
- Discus - Josh Boateng, Central Arizona, 55.97m (183'-7")
- Hammer - Travis Petersen, Iowa Central, 61.07m (200'-4")
- High jump - Richard Newman, Hutchinson (Kan.), 2.21m (7'-3")
- Long jump - Darius Clark, Coffeyville (Kan.), 7.80m (25'-7 1/4")
- Pole vault - Dalton Riep, Paradise Valley (Ariz.), 4.80m (15'-9")