HUTCHINSON – Last season the Barton Community College men were not able to show their worth at the NJCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Serving a probation the Cougars could only watch their women counterparts capture fifth at the meet.
This year the men are looking to make some noise.
Barton is currently ranked No. 4 in the nation and have their sights set on a top three finish and another plaque for the trophy case.
The meet will get started Thursday with day one of the multi events, the hammer throw and the 10,000m runs. The meet will pick up to a full schedule Friday and Saturday at Gowans Stadium on the campus of Hutchinson Community College.
South Plains (Texas) is ranked No. 1 and has won the last eight outdoor titles. The Texans also won the indoor title this season. Central Arizona is the second ranked team followed by Iowa Central and Barton.
If the Cougars are to get that plaque much of the burden will fall on the shoulders of the sprinters, hurdlers and relay teams for Barton.
Freshman Deron Gordon has posted the best time in the NJCAA this year in the 400m hurdles at 50.90. He also had the fifth best time in the 110m hurdles. Teammate Zodani Francois is eighth in the 110m hurdles.
All three relay teams look to score points with the 4x400m and 4x800m teams both recording the second best times in the nation. The 4x100m team currently has the sixth best effort.
Quick Stukes comes into the 400m with the fourth best time in the nation at 46.77. The Cougars don’t have any Top 10 in the 100m and 200m but several sit just outside the top 10 and look to score points in those races as well.
In the distance events Sampson Laari has posted the fourth best 1500m (3:52.55) and Devyn Brotherton has the fifth best 3000m steeplechase time.
In the field the Cougars have a trio of throwers ranked in the top 10. Donald Daley brings the fourth best hammer throw to the meet, Colby Overturf the fourth best javelin throw and Antoine Romario the ninth best discus throw.