Sampson Laari had a nice year as a freshman for the Barton Community College cross country team. He topped it off with a seventh place finish at the NJCAA Championships.
If his second season opener was any indication it is going to be another big year for the sophomore from Ghana. Laari started off the 2015 campaign by winning the 67th JK Gold Classic in Augusta.
Laari won with a time of 18:36.2 over 6k. That bested all 105 runners including several NCAA Division I runners. Paul Raymond of Wichita State was second in 18:47.8.
Newman University won the team portion with 38 points followed by Hutchinson with 81. Barton was close behind with 86 while Friends was a distant fourth with 124 in the small college and community college division.
“Sampson raced well,” Barton coach Parker Cowles said. “We were missing some guys from our top five but it was still a great team performance. Elder (Colindres) looks great, and Morgan (Feemster) is going to be a great freshman for us.”
Colindres, a sophomore from Dodge City, ran nearly one minute faster than last year on the course, finishing 32nd overall and ninth in his division. He ran a 20:35.5.
Feemster, a freshman from Ellinwood, was next for Barton in 43rd overall and 18th in his division with a 21:14.1. Marcus Pastran was close behind with a 21:21.7.
Anthony Forrest finished 69th and 37th with a 22:28.1. Tyler Thornton ran a 22:41.9 and Robert Portice a 25:02.0 to round out the Cougar team.
Barton will be back on the course Saturday with the Romp at the Ridge in Hutchinson.