by Benny Benton
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Making the first appearance by a Barton College student-athlete in program history at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships, sophomore Larry Russell placed 15th in the long jump on Thursday evening at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
Russell's best jump came on the second of his three attempts, an effort of 6.95 meters (22 feet, 9 3/4 inches). He also had marks of 6.80 meters and 6.76 meters.
The Sicklerville, N.J., resident qualified for the national meet after posting the seventh-best mark in NCAA Division II this season in the event with a mark of 7.49 meters (24 feet, 7 inches) during the Conference Carolinas Championships, but could not duplicate that result in his first visit to the big stage.
However, he was hardly alone in that regard. Just two of the 15 competitors matched or exceeded their qualifying mark on Thursday. Runner-up Sedeekie Edie, representing Lincoln University of Missouri, improved upon his mark by a tenth to 7.66 meters, and Marquise Corbett of Tiffin University matched his qualifying mark with a dramatic leap of 7.81 meters in his final attempt to claim the national title.
Russell will now turn his attention to the high jump, for which he qualified with a leap of 2.13 meters (6 feet, 11 3/4 inches), fifth-best in the nation. He will compete in that event on Friday beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern.