Barton men capture NJCAA Indoor Championships
National titles don’t get much more fun than the one won by the Barton Community College men’s track and field team Saturday. Barton and Iowa Central battled to the final event in Charleston, Illinois, where the Cougars won the event and with it an NJCAA National Indoor title. That gave Barton a razor-thin margin in total points – 114.5 to 113. Heading into that event – the 4x400m relay – Iowa Central led by 2.5 points, meaning Barton not only had to win the event but if Iowa Western finished 2nd, the Tritons would win the meet 115-114.5. Fortunately for the Cougars, Rend Lake (Ill) finished between Barton and Iowa Central to give the Cougars the title. It was the Cougars 1st indoor title since 2006, which capped a string of 9 straight at the time.
It wasn’t the first time Barton won an NJCAA Indoor title on the final event with Rend Lake involved. The irony this time was that Barton was cheering for Rend Lake instead of competing against them. In 2005 Barton edged Rend Lake by 1.5 points in the final event. This time Rend Lake was also in the mix, finishing 3rd overall with 110. But the Illinois school would have need quite a bit of help to overtake both Barton and Iowa Central.
To get that where the teams were heading into the final event, Barton dominated in the field events while Rend Lake and Iowa Central battled it out in the middle and long distance races for most of their points. With three events to go Rend Lake actually held a slight lead in the points with 99 followed by Iowa Central with 97 and Barton was 3rd at 94.5.
The Cougars briefly jumped in front following the 200m, won by Barton’s Everett Walker in a time of 21.8. Rend Lake scored 3 points in the event with a 6th place finish. Barton jumped to lead at 104.5 followed by Rend Lake at 102 and Iowa Central was still at 97 after not scoring in the 200m. The Tritons made up for that with a 10-point effort in the next-to-last event of the day – the 1000m. Iowa Central took 4th, 5th and 8th in the event to retake the lead in the point standings with 107. Barton and Rend Lake didn’t score, keeping them at 104.5 and 102 heading into the final event.
Iowa Central jumped to the early leg on the opening leg of the relay but Barton and Rend Lake began reeling them in on the 2nd leg and overtook the Reivers on the 3rd leg. By the final leg Barton and Rend Lake were battling for the title while Iowa Central fell a couple seconds behind. Barton edged out Rend Lake 3:15.74 to 3:15.88 for 1st. Iowa Central was 3rd at 3:17.81.
The 4x400m relay team of Walker – who ran the 200m barely 30 minutes prior – Marcus Anderson, Ontorio Shaw, and Lamonte Fowler celebrated with the rest of the Cougars winning the schools’ 55th national title overall.
Barton bullied its way into contention in the field events – especially the throwing events where the Cougars scored 42 points in just 2 events. Barton went 1-2-3 in the weight throw and 1-2 in the shot put. Max Alonso medaled in both events, winning the shot put with a heave of 57-3. Matt Marcoccia took 2nd for the Cougars in the shot by nearly 7 inches over 3rd with a distance of 52-11. Alonso was 2nd in the weight throw at 61-0 behind teammate Avery Griffen’s throw of 51-6.5. Thomas Mauldin was 3rd at 60-1.75. All 3 throwers were more than 5 feet farther than anyone else in the competition.
Barton made hay in the jumping events as well, scoring 25.5 points there. Carmetrick Ross took 2nd in the long jump and tied for 4th in the high jump to pace the points out of the jumps. Ross jumped 24.-2.5 in the long jump for 2nd while Jarrod Hutchens also topped 24-feet with a leap of 24-0.75 4th. In the high jump the freshman went 6-8 for the 4th place tie. Floyd Ross was 2nd in the triple jump at 51-4.5.
In addition to Walker’s win in the 200m on the track, the freshman was 5th in the 60m. Barton’ Aleec Harris was 2nd in the 60m hurdles in 8.0. Fowler and Shaw were 3rd and 4th in the 400m and LaCarl Hayes was 5th in the 800m run.
Barton Coach David Schenek was named the Coach of the Year following his team’s NJCAA Championship.
Results can be found at www.bartonccc.edu/sports
Indoor season complete
March 27 – Cowley Invite (Outdoor season at Arkansas City)
Check out Barton County Track Online at www.bartonccc.edu/sports