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Release by Mike Marzolf
Photo available upon request
Barton men rally for 7th straight NJCAA Outdoor title
The Barton County Community College men's track and field team had a weekend to remember at the NJCAA National Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Not only because the Cougars walked away with their 7th straight NJCAA Outdoor title but because of the dramatic way Barton made it happen. It was a weekend that saw Barton trail the entire meet until the 3rd-to-last event of the day, then retake the lead and win the championship in the meet's final event. In the end, Barton County edged Central Arizona for the 2004 NJCAA Outdoor Championships held in Levelland, Texas. Barton finished with 128 points to Central Arizona's 123.5. South Plains College, the host of the meet, was 3rd with 93 points. Barton Coach Lyles Lashley was named the Coach of the Meet.
The Cougars didn't wrack up large point totals with individual titles this time around. The Cougars won just 3 individual events to go along with 2 relay titles. But that was enough for Barton. In those 3 individual events the Cougars the won, they racked up a lot of points. Steven Mullings pulled a double-gold effort in the 100m and 200m. Mullings won the 100m in a time of 10.17, well ahead of 2nd place. In that event the Cougars scored a total of 18 points as Ronnie Wright (3rd) and Ronnie Pines (7th) placed as well. The story was similar in the 110m high hurdles where Dexter Faulk ended his junior college career unbeaten against other 2-year hurdlers. Faulk defended his 110m hurdle title with a 13.60, again well ahead of 2nd place. And like the 100m, which followed it on the track Saturday, the Cougars added two more placers - Dior Lowry (6th) and Curtis Carpenter (7th) - to collect 15 points. That gave Barton 33 points in the span of two events, chopping into what was a huge Central Arizona lead of more than 30 points at the time.
It was Mullings 2nd individual gold of the day - 3rd overall - that pushed Barton to the lead for the first time. With just 3 events remaining, the Cougars still trailed Central Arizona by 14.5 points when the 200m finals came up. In that event Barton added 17 points to its column with a 1-5-6 finish. Mullings took the event in 20.58 while Jermaine Barton (21.57) and Faulk (21.59) gave the Cougars the lead 115-112.5. But Central retook the lead with 1st place finish in the 5000m. In that event the Vaqueros added an 8th place effort to put them at 123.5. But thanks to the efforts of Jake Raines - who had completed the grueling 3000m steeplechase in 3rd place earlier in the day - and his 4th place effort, Barton did not need to win the final event to capture the title. Raines 5 points moved him Barton to 120 points, meaning it only needed to finish 5th in the 4x400m, where Central Arizona missed the finals by one place. The foursome of Derrick Ray, Frankie Wright, Barton and Schafer Sherrer took 2nd in the event but it just as well have been 1st. With that silver medal, the Cougars secured their 7th title in dramatic fashion.
Earlier in the day the Cougars won the 4x100m relay as Pines, Mullings, Wright, and Faulk blitzed the competition for the win. The 4x800m relay was golden as well with Sheldon Williams, Robert Hughes, Troy Jones, and Sherrer won it as well.
Not to be downplayed were the non-gold medal efforts the Cougars put in. On the track, Ray went from unseeded to 5th in the 400m hurdles for 4 points. Robert Stevenson added 2 points in the steeplechase with a 7th place effort.
In the field, Barton just missed gold on a couple of occasions. Frankie Wright took 2nd in the triple jump with a leap of 49-7.25. David Walker was 3rd in the long jump at 23-11.5. In the throwing events, the Cougars also snagged 19 totals points. Glenwood Edwards threw 55-9-75 to earn 2nd in the shot put. Kelley Jackson was just two spots lower in 4th place with a 54-5.25. Jackson also took 3rd in the hammer throw with a toss of 165-0.
Results can be found at www.bartonccc.edu/sports
Season Complete with 7th straight NJCAA National Outdoor Title
Check out Barton County Track Online at www.bartonccc.edu/sports