by Benny Benton
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Barton College sophomore Micah Clemons set a pair of school records and junior Larry Russell posted an NCAA provisional mark on Sunday during the men's indoor track opener at JDL Fast Track.
Clemons, a resident of Greenville, N.C., finished second out of 24 participants in the shot put with a toss of 14.14 meters. The throw surpassed Russell Corbett's Barton record of 14.09 meters set exactly one year earlier. Clemons added a third-place showing in the weight throw, posting a mark of 16.83 meters that significantly exceeded his own school record of 14.08 meters set last February at the Buccaneer Invitational.
Russell, a 2017 national meet participant in both the long jump and high jump, took the first step toward returning in 2018 with a provisional mark in the long jump. Although his effort of 7.27 meters fell well short of his qualifying mark of a year ago, 7.49 meters, it did get him on the short list to kick off the season. The leap also earned Russell a runner-up finish out of 17 participants in Sunday's event, trailing only NCAA Division I competitor Ari Jahanfar of USC Upstate.
The Sicklerville, N.J., resident also took home first place in the high jump with a leap of two meters flat. Russell topped five other contestants in that event, four of them from DI schools. He finished directly ahead of two jumpers from North Carolina Central University.
In addition to those earned as part of Clemons' school records, Barton team members recorded five other personal records in the meet, which was hosted by UNC Greensboro. Sophomore Avery Smith accounted for two of those, one in the shot put (12.10 meters) and another in the weight throw (15.14 meters). Smith's mark in the weight throw was nearly 3.5 meters better than his previous PR, and earned him fourth place in the event directly behind Clemons.
Barton also received strong performances from a pair of freshmen. Greg Gibbs placed second among NCAA Division II competitors and fourth overall out of 16 runners in the 800-meter dash with a mark of 2:01.85. Chianti Ghee delivered a seventh-place showing out of 24 in the shot put with a mark of 13.14 meters, and added a 12th-place finish in the weight throw (11.98 meters).
Senior Joel Lagat completed Barton's participation in the UNCG Early Bird Duals with a seventh-place result in the 3000-meter run.
Barton is slated to return to action in early January.