LUBBOCK, Texas — It came down the final event of the day. An event the Barton men’s track team knew it was pretty good at.
Barton led by a single point heading into that final 4x400m relay. An event the Cougars had posted the third best time in the nation this year. The team chasing them, South Plains, had the fourth best time.
So Barton just needed to make sure they stayed in front of the Texans as the two teams ran head-to-head in the fifth and final heat of the 4x400m. But it wasn’t too be for Barton.
The Cougars finished fourth in the 4x400m despite running a season-best time while the Texans took second. A swing of three ponits.
In the end, South Plains won the meet with 94 points, followed by Barton with 92. Cloud County was third with 75 and Meridian a distant fourth with 49.
So the Cougars just missed their 11th indoor title by those two slim points.
The teams had plenty of time to prepare for the final event with the NJCAA title on the line.
Once the triple jump results were finalized, the Cougars had an 87-86 lead with just two events to go. That after Alvin McCray scored three vital points with his sixth place finish in an event a South Plains jumper won.
Neither team had anyone running in the 1000m finals. So the two clubs had a good hour to contimplate what was at stake in that final heat of the 4x400m relay.
South Plains took the lead early in that race but the Cougars edged in front on the second leg. South Plains took the lead back on the third leg and stayed in front of Barton the rest of the way for the title. Barton’s quartet of Kemarni Mighty, Hilton McClain, Kenroy Williams, and Travis Hugg ran a 3:10.60. South Plains ran a 3:09.56.
Barton led nearly the entire day Saturday as South Plains kept cutting into that lead until getting all the way down to that single point into the 4x400m and eventually overtaking them.
The Cougars won a pair of events in the field and two more on the track during the championships.
Sanjae Lawrence continued his dominance in the shot put, winning with a distance of 59-7.5. That bested teammate Kevin Nedrick by almost a foot. Nedrick was second at 58-8.75.
Hugg won the long jump with a leap of 24-6.5 while McCray was fifth at 24-0.75
On the track, the Cougars won both versions of the 60m – the dash and the hurdles.
Barton placed three in the 60m. Terence Ware won in 6.65 with Christian Lyon fifth in 6.78 and Samson Colebrooke seventh in 6.82. Lyon was third in the 200m in 21.04.
Charlie Forbes won the 60m hurdles with a time of 7.86. Stephon Torrence was seventh in 8.18.
Also on the track, Michale Reyes finished fifth in the 600m and McClain eighth in the 400m.
In the field, Enrique Martinez and Graham Sokol went 5-7 in the weight throw while Willie Rodgers took sixth in the high jump.
The 4x800m relay team of Tallan James, Marquis Hill, Adriano Gumbs and Nathan Hood was fifth.
South Plains 94, Barton 92, Cloud County 75, Meridian 49, Iowa Central 45, Trinidad State 44, Central Arizona 40.5, Western Texas 38, Mesa 38, Hinds 29, Iowa Western 25, Monroe 23, Coffeyville 23, Paradise Valley 20, Hutchinson 19, Gillette 18, Pima 18, Arkansas Baptist 13, Vincennes 13, Garden City 13, Louisburg 12, Allen County 12, Colby 10, Cowley 7.5, Glendale 6, Macomb 5, DuPage 2.
Barton results Men
60m – 1 Terence Ware, 6.65; 5 Christian Lyon, 6.78, 7 Samson Colebrooke, 6.82
200m – 3 Christian Lyon, 21.04
400m – 8 Hilton McClain, 47.81
600m – 5 Michale Reyes, 1:18.59
60m H – 1 Charlie Forbes, 7.86; 7 Stephon Torrence, 8.18
4x400m – 4 Kemarni Mighty, Hilton McCray, Kenroy Williams, Travis Huggs, 3:10.60
4x800m – 5 Tallan James, Marquis Hill, Adriano Gumbs, Nathan Hood, 7:50.6
High Jump – 6 Willie Rodgers, 6-10.75
Long Jump – 1. Travis Hugg, 24-6.5; 5 Alvin McCray 24-0.75
Triple Jump – 6 Avlin McCray, 48-9.5
Shot Put – 1 Sanjae Lawerence, 59-7.5; 2 Kevin Nedrick, 58-8.75
Weight Throw – 5 Enrique Martinez, 57-4.75; 7 Graham Sokol, 54-11.5