by Benny Benton
WILSON, N.C. – Sophomore Micah Clemons significantly improved his own school record in the shot put, and junior Larry Russell added a pair of top-five finishes to highlight Barton College's participation in the Appalachian Open over the weekend at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C.
Clemons, a resident of Greenville, N.C., increased his Barton indoor record by more than half a meter with his toss of 14.77 meters, which earned him fifth place in a field of 38. His previous mark had been 14.14 meters, set last month in the season-opening UNCG Early Bird Duals. Clemons currently ranks second in Conference Carolinas in the event.
Russell, a resident of Sicklerville, N.J., finished second only to Appalachian State's Jordan Dale in the high jump after recording his top leap of the year, 2.01 meters (6 feet, 7 inches). That mark also stands second-best in the league for the season.
He also ran the 55-meter hurdles, claiming fourth place in the finals with a time of 7.95 seconds. The mark, when converted to the standard 60-meter distance and adjusted for the altitude in Boone, translates to an 8.58, which is less than a tenth of a meter off the school record, and currently fourth-best in the league.
Competing in the shot put with Clemons, BC freshman Chianti Ghee collected a top-15 finish with his toss of 12.85 meters.
Two Barton competitors participating in the Appalachian Open posted benchmark personal records by competing in an event for the first time collegiately, freshman Alex Kelly in the mile (5:26.64) and freshman Brian Creasey in the shot put (7.15 meters).
Barton split its team into two squads for the weekend. While one group went to Boone, the other took part in the Wake Forest Invitiational at JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, N.C.
In that meet, senior Joel Lagat recorded a 10th place finish out of 56 competitors in the mile with a time of 4:35.94, which was three seconds off his own indoor school record. BC also received a 12th place showing from senior Collin Wilks out of 67 participants in the 400-meter run with his effort of 51.52 seconds.
Freshman Evan Lee set a collegiate personal record in the 800-meter run (2:02.99) by improving upon his only previous mark at that distance. He also anchored Barton's 4x400-meter relay team which placed eighth out of 17 squads with a time of 3:30.48. He was joined on that team by Wilks, Aaron Jones and Greg Gibbs.
Barton will compete again on Saturday at the Liberty Kickoff in Lynchburg, Va., which will be hosted by Liberty University.