by Benny Benton
HIGH POINT, N.C. – Making his collegiate debut in the 3000-meter steeplechase, senior Joel Lagat broke the Barton College school record while racing to a fifth-place finish this weekend in the VertKlasse Meeting at High Point University.
The performance by the Eldoret, Kenya, resident was one of eight top-five finishes for the Bulldogs. Barton also recorded five other top-10 results during the meet at Dick Vert Stadium.
Lagat posted a mark of 9:58.64 in the steeplechase to eclipse Austin Edmonds' BC record of 10:30.18, set in the same event back in 2014.
Sophomore Micah Clemons placed fourth out of 13 in the javelin with a personal record mark of 44.48 meters, and claimed fifth out of 28 in the shot put with a season-best toss of 14.15 meters.
Senior Aaron Jones and junior Nihgel Scott both cracked the top-five in the 400-meter run, Jones coming in fourth out of 28 with a season-best time of 48.56 seconds, and Scott finishing right behind him with a mark of 49.09 seconds.
Larry Russell broke into the top-five as well, placing fifth of 16 in the 110-meter high hurdles with a wind-aided mark of 15.33 seconds.
Jones, Russell and Scott joined Collin Wilks in making up the 4x100-meter relay squad which recorded a fifth-place finish among 10 teams with a mark of 42.59 seconds, and Jones, Scott and Wilks teamed with Qasim Ray to earn the runner-up spot among 13 squads in the 4x400-meter relay event with a time of 3:20.98.
Personal records were set by Scott in the 200-meter dash (22.49 seconds), Chianti Ghee in the discus (36.09 meters) and hammer throw (41.85 meters), and Avery Smith in the javelin (32.95 meters). Alex Kelly established a benchmark PR by competing in the 5,000-meter run for the first time collegiately (16:53.10).
Wilks broke 11 seconds in the 100-meter dash (10.91 seconds) for the first time in his career and turned in his best mark ever in the 200 (22.62 seconds), but both were wind-aided and will not count as official PR times.
Ghee's PR in the hammer occurred during an eighth-place finish among a field of 16. He also placed sixth in the javelin. Russell placed sixth in the long jump, Clemons claimed seventh in the discus and Smith earned ninth in the hammer to account for Barton's other top-10 results.
The Bulldogs will return to the Triad next Saturday to compete in the Phoenix Invitational, hosted by Elon University.