by Benny Benton
HIGH POINT, N.C. – Barton College seniors Justin Alford and Alex Kimble have been named Conference Carolinas Scholar-Athlete of the Year in their respective sports, the league announced Friday.
Alford, a resident of Middlesex, N.C., was chosen in men’s indoor track and field, while Kimble, a resident of Virginia Beach, Va., was honored in women’s basketball.
Both are the first Barton student-athletes in their respective sports to receive the award in the program’s eight-year history.
The award is one of the most prestigious handed out by the league in a given sport, as it represents the best combination of athletic and academic success. Nominees are limited to juniors and seniors who earned both athletic and academic all-conference recognition. Recipients are then selected by the league's student-athlete affairs committee.
Alford was an All-Conference Carolinas Third Team selection after placing third in the pole vault at the Conference Carolinas Indoor Championships with a mark of 3.97 meters (13 feet, 1/4 inch). In doing so, he helped Barton to a third-place team finish, matching its best result in program history. During the season, Alford posted a top effort of 4.0 meters (13 feet, 1 1/2 inches), the second-best indoor mark of his career.
Academically, Alford scored in the 96th percentile on the ETS Major Field Test for the bachelor’s degree in Business and holds a 3.92 grade point average.
Kimble was an All-Conference Carolinas First Team pick after leading Barton to its first Conference Carolinas Tournament title and NCAA Tournament berth since 2013. She led the league in 3-pointers made (89) and ranked sixth in scoring (17.1 points per game).
She scored in double digits during 26 of the team's 32 games, recorded 20 or more points 11 times and surpassed 30 points twice, one of those a new career-high of 37.
Kimble is a biology major with a 3.32 GPA.
Alford and Kimble joined two student-athletes from North Greenville University, Shekinah Wilder in women’s indoor track and field, and Daniel Burchette in men’s basketball, as conference honorees for the winter sports. As an emerging sport, women’s swimming did not participate in the scholar-athlete program this year.