The final event of the meet was the best one for the Barton Community College men’s track team. It was in that relay the Cougars crowned a national champion at the 2015 NJCAA National Indoor Championships.
It was that first place effort in the final event that not only gave the Cougars a national champion but also pushed Barton solidly into the top 10 in the team standing.
The 10 points from the 4x400m gave Barton 40 for the meet and into seventh place. South Plains (Texas) won the event with 136 and Central Arizona took second with 116. After those two it was a long ways to third where Coffeyville finished with 55 points. Barton was just three points of out fifth.
The quartet of Deron Gordon, DeAndre Henderson, Quick Stukes and Kennedy Mayweather won the third of four heats in the relay with a time of 3:11.7. Barton had to wait until the fourth and final heat was complete to ensure the title. The best time in that final heat was a 3:12.56 givng the Cougars the gold.
The relays teams contributed nearly half of the points for the Cougars on the days.
The 4x800m relay team gave Barton gave Barton five points with its fourth place finish. Anthony Forrest, Elder Colindres, Brady Holler and Tony Perez won the first of two heats in 7:56.4 but that time fell to fourth overall after the second heat was complete.
Barton also won the opening heat of the Distance Medley relay but that time fell to sixth place after the second heat was complete. Sampson Laari, Micah Carey, Forrest, and Devyn Brotherton won their heat in 10:20.97 for that sixth place effort.
Individually Laari had the best finish as the sophomore took runner-up in the 1000m Laari and Ronaldo Ball of Monroe College (NY) hooked up in a 2-man battle in the finals with Ball edging Laari down the stretch. Ball ran a 2:29.56 for first with Laari finishing close behind in 2:29.79.
Laari was the only Cougar to earn a place in two individual events and three overall with his fourth place finish in the mile. Laari ran 4:21.01 to win his heat but was outrun by three others in the final heat for his fourth place effort.
Alex Richemond took fourth in the 200m for Barton in a time of 21.32 and Henderson fifth in the 400m in 47.96.