by Benny Benton
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Barton College sophomore Micah Clemons posted a national top-10 mark in the hammer throw this weekend at UNC Charlotte's 49er Classic during the men's outdoor track season-opener.
The toss of 55.03 meters (180 feet, 6 inches) earned the Greenville, N.C., resident NCAA provisional status in the event, and shattered his own school record by nearly five meters. Clemons leads the NCAA Division II Southeast Region by nearly five meters and ranks 10th nationally in the event.
Clemons finished second among 38 competitors in the meet behind David McGriff, a senior at NCAA Division I program Lafayette College.
In addition to Clemons' runner-up result in the hammer, Barton also received a top-10 performance from senior Joel Lagat in the 10000-meter run and a top-15 showing from senior Aaron Jones in the 400-meter run.
The first Barton male to compete at 10000-meters in the Division II era, Lagat set a benchmark school record of 32:24.37. He finished seventh overall in a field of 28, and second among DII runners in the event. The time also ranks second in the Southeast Region.
Jones placed 14th out of 79 in the 400-meter run with a time of 48.69 seconds that stands second in both Conference Carolinas and the Southeast Region. The mark was roughly a half-second off his personal record.
Freshmen Greg Gibbs and Evan Lee did set overall collegiate PRs in the 800-meter run, 2:00.47 and 2:01.48, respectively, after topping their best indoor marks at that distance. Freshman Nicholas Leek made his Barton debut with a benchmark time of 2:07.39 in the event, and Leslie Jones recorded a benchmark of 2:16.51 by competing in the 800 for the first time collegiately.
Lee and Leek established benchmarks in the 1500-meter run as well, 4:23.17 and 4:31.41, respectively, and Chianti Ghee posted a benchmark in the hammer of 38.66 meters.
Barton will return to action in two weeks at the Raleigh Relays, hosted by NC State University.