HUTCHINSON— For Lydia Mato there aren’t too many more accomplishments to achieve. It is just simply adding to the list at this point.
Her stellar career at Barton Community College will come to a close this weekend with the 2015 NJCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
The Championships will take place in Hutchinson at Gowans Stadium on the campus of Hutchinson Community College.
Mato will look to help the No. 7 ranked Barton Cougars move up the list and try to bring home a top three finish. Last season the Cougars finished fifth at the meet led by Mato who won two events and took second in a third event.
The sophomore from Ghana was named the Athlete of the Meet for efforts – something she has earned at both indoor championships as well. She has a combined nine championships – seven indoor and the two outdoor last season.
She will get things underway Thursday with the 10,000m run where she is the defending champion. Mato won the event last season with a 39:08.93. She will have some quality competition in the event this year as three runners have ran sub 40-minute marks and two under 39 minutes. Former Great Bend Panther Katelyn Tuey has posted the eighth best time in the 10,000m this year.
In the 5000m, where Mato will also look to defend her title, she has run the best time of the season by more than a full minute with her 16:51.75 time back in early April.
The lone race she didn’t win last year was the 1500m. In that race she was beaten by teammate Agnes Abu. Mato will have her hands full in that event this year also where she has the third best time of the outdoor season.
Barton hopes to get points on the track from the 100m hurdles where Tasha Frazier will bring the fifth fastest time in the nation to the meet with a 14.09. Tamara Style also had the fifth fastest time in the 400m hurdles at 1:00.70.
The Cougars 4x100m relay team has clocked the 10th fastest time this year and the 4x400m the sixth fastest.
In the field, Frazier will look to earn points in the long jump for Barton. She finished second at the indoor meet and has the fifth longest jump of the outdoor season at 19-6. Frazier also ranks sixth in the triple jump.
In the throwing events, Elizabeth Evans took sixth last season in the discus at the NJCAA meet.
The meet will start Thursday, May 14 with the first wave of multi events as well as the hammer throws and 10,000m. The meet kicks into high gear Friday and concludes Saturday.