It was another banner day on the track for Barton Community College standout Lydia Mato. The sophomore shattered the Barton women’s record for the 5000m indoor by an astonishing 16 seconds to lead the Cougars during the Holiday Inn Invitational on the campus of the University of Nebraska.
The meet was the second of the season for the Cougars that included several Big XII teams as well as some of the elite NJCAA teams in the area.
“It was a solid follow up to the first weekend at Air Force,” said Barton Coach David Schenek. “We are still improving and with every meet will see times drop and marks improve. The coaching staff has put together an excellent training plan and you can see it by what we’re doing on the track.”
Mato ran a 17:14.4 to blow by the old mark set by Kristijna Loonen of 17:30 set in 1995. Mato finished second in the event behind South Dakota’s Amber Eichkorn.
The second place effort was the best by a Cougar on the day and one of three additional efforts that earned a qualifying mark in the NJCAA National Indoor meet the first weekend in March at Albuquerque, NM. The sophomore also ran on the distance medley relay team that earned a Top 10 effort and a qualifying mark as well. Mato along with teammates Holly Pierce, Widline Lageroy, and Trenna Cox ran a 13:12 to qualify.
Lageroy, who already qualified last week at the Air Force Academy in the 400m, improved her time in the 400m running a 58.56 for ninth place.
Vanessa Style earned a qualifying time in a second event this past week. She placed fifth in the 60m hurdles in a time of 8.85 and took seventh in the 200m in 25.29 to earn her a spot in the 200m at the NJCAA meet. She had already earned a spot in the 60m hurdles.
The Cougars will take the next weekend off then head to Lubbock, Texas for the Masked Rider Open on Jan. 30-31.