by Benny Benton
HIGH POINT, N.C. – Barton College senior Semaj Street sprinted into the national top-15 with a strong run in the 100-meter dash, and his teammates produced four modern-era school records over the weekend during the VertKlasse Meeting at High Point University.
Freshman Micah Clemons claimed two of those school records, producing program bests in both the shot put and the hammer throw. Freshman Raheme Dawkins gave the team a third school record in the throws area, surpassing his own top mark in the javelin, and junior Joel Lagat posted a new standard in the 5000-meter run.
Street, a resident of Fayetteville, N.C., finished fifth in a field of 80 in the 100-meter event with a time of 10.57 seconds. He led all competitors representing collegiate programs in the event, as the four finishers ahead of him were all unattached, including race winner Darrell Wesh, a former four-time All-American at Virginia Tech now training for the Olympics. Street was also the lone NCAA Division II runner among the top-12 finishers in the race.
His time of 10.57 earned NCAA provisional status and was tied for 15th nationally in NCAA Division II. Street joins sophomore Larry Russell (long jump) as Barton team members achieving NCAA provisional marks so far this outdoor season.
Clemons, a resident of Greenville, N.C., set Barton's new shot put record at 14.28 meters while finishing 13th in a field of 39 competitors. The previous mark had been 13.78 meters, recorded by Trevor Kyle at both the 2013 and 2014 league championships. In the hammer, Clemons surpassed his own school record, produced just two weeks ago at the Trojan Challenge. He moved the mark from 42.28 meters to 43.20 meters with his throw in High Point, which earned sixth place in a field of 17.
Dawkins, a resident of Bloomfield, Conn., also improved upon his own record set in the Mount Olive meet two weeks ago. That effort in the javelin had been 46.32 meters, but he launched a throw of 48.99 meters this weekend to claim seventh place in a field of 36. Dawkins was the top NCAA Division II thrower in the event and the only one in the top 12.
Lagat, a resident of Eldoret, Kenya, knocked down teammate Tyler Amerson's 2014 record in the 5000-meters (16:35.01) with a run of 15:43.18. Lagat placed 14th overall in a field of 66 participants, and was second among DII runners in the event.
In addition to those producing school records, Barton had one personal record set and nine benchmark PRs established by competing in an event for the Bulldogs for the first time.
Junior transfer Qasim Ray made an outstanding outdoor debut for Barton in the long jump, finishing fourth in a field of 38 with a leap of 6.81 meters.
Barton will return to action on Saturday when it competes in the JCSU Invitational, hosted by Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte.