Barton men’s track sets four indoor records at JDL Collegiate Kick-Off Classic

Raekwon Fiddermon, the Barton runner on the left, and Joel Lagat, center, were two of the four Bulldogs to set new school records on Saturday during the JDL Collegiate Kick-Off Classic. | Photo by Jahmoul Gordon
Raekwon Fiddermon, the Barton runner on the left, and Joel Lagat, center, were two of the four Bulldogs to set new school records on Saturday during the JDL Collegiate Kick-Off Classic. | Photo by Jahmoul Gordon

by Benny Benton

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Four members of the Barton College men's track team set new school indoor records on Saturday during the JDL Collegiate Kick-Off Classic at JDL Fast Track.

Juniors Aaron Jones and Joel Lagat, sophomore Raekwon Fiddermon and freshman Russell Corbett all eclipsed BC records during the team's 2016-17 season-opener.

Barton also received a strong showing from senior sprinter Semaj Street, who posted NCAA provisional times in both the 60-meter and 200-meter runs while producing top-five finishes.

Six benchmarks were set by team members competing in an event for the first time collegiately, and senior Tyler Amerson recorded a personal record in the 3000-meter run (9:37.89).

Finishing 12 spots ahead of Amerson in eighth place was Lagat, who broke his own school record in the 3000 with a run of 9:08.39. His previous top mark had been 9:26.37, which was set in last year's league championships.

Jones, a resident of Blounts Creek, N.C., set a new Barton standard in the 400-meter run while finishing fifth in a field of 70 with a time of 49.78 seconds. The previous BC record had been 50.39, and was shared by Nihgel Scott and Angel Alvarez. Scott, now a sophomore for the Bulldogs, placed 11th on Saturday with a mark of 50.55.

Fiddermon and Corbett took out Barton's oldest indoor records, both dating back to the 2014 season. Fiddermon, a resident of Largo, Md., set the new 800-meter mark of 1:57.66 while placing sixth in a field of 43. The previous BC record was 1:59.67, recorded by Austin Edmonds at the 2014 league championships.

Corbett, a resident of Leland, N.C., made an impressive collegiate debut by posting a mark of 14.09 meters in the shot put that was 12th overall in a field of 38 and fourth among NCAA Division II competitors. The toss exceeded the previous BC record of 13.58 meters, set by Trevor Kyle at the 2014 WSSU Open.

Street, a Fayetteville, N.C., resident, missed his own school records in the 60-meter and 200-meter runs by less than a tenth of a second, but did earn NCAA provisional status in both events.

His mark of 6.90 in the 60-meter preliminary round matched the minimum criteria for NCAA provisional status. He was one of 12 runners nationally to achieve that mark or better in the opening weekend of indoor competition.

Street's run in the prelim was the best among all NCAA DII runners and third overall in a field of 84. With the performance, he advanced to the 60-meter finals, where he placed fifth out of eight with a time of 6.94 seconds.

In addition to his effort in the 60, Street also had an outstanding run in the 200-meter dash, placing second overall in a field of 57 with a time of 22.11 seconds. He trailed only Appalachian State University freshman Jabari Johnson in the event.

The NCAA uses a conversion system in indoor competition to account for different track sizes and embankments, and Street's 200-meter run converted to a mark of 21.72 for NCAA comparison purposes. That mark exceeded the provisional time and ranked fifth-best nationally in NCAA Division II.

Although they did not achieve NCAA provisional status, Jones did rank eighth nationally in the 400 and Scott was 19th, while Fiddermon stood 14th in the 800-meter run. Sophomore Larry Russell also ranked among the top-15 nationally, claiming 13th after a leap of 6.90 meters in the long jump. Russell finished seventh of 38 overall on Saturday.

Saturday's meet was the only one for Barton before the holiday break. The Bulldogs will return to action on January 14 at the Art and Linda Maillet Open, which will be hosted by the University of North Carolina.