Morris becomes first Barton track athlete to hold three NCAA provisional marks

Freshman Jamina Morris, shown here at the season-opening Trojan Challenge in Mount Olive, N.C., posted NCAA provisional marks in the 100- and 400-meter hurdles on Saturday in Charlotte, N.C., and is now the first BC athlete to hold provisional status in three separate events. | Photo by Benny Benton
Freshman Jamina Morris, shown here at the season-opening Trojan Challenge in Mount Olive, N.C., posted NCAA provisional marks in the 100- and 400-meter hurdles on Saturday in Charlotte, N.C., and is now the first BC athlete to hold provisional status in three separate events. | Photo by Benny Benton

by Benny Benton

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Freshman Jamina Morris became the first track and field athlete in Barton history, male or female, to hold NCAA provisional marks in three separate events following an outstanding weekend at the JCSU Invitational, which was hosted by Johnson C. Smith University.

The Edison, N.J., resident won the 400-meter hurdles with the eighth-fastest NCAA Division II time in the country this season, a mark of 1:00.42 that eclipsed Alexandria Robinson's 2015 Barton school record of 1:01.92.

Morris also earned NCAA provisional status in the 100-meter hurdles, breaking her own school record of 14.95 seconds following a run of 14.25. That mark came in the finals, where Morris shared the track with reigning world champion Danielle Williams, who easily won the event in a blistering time of 12.78 seconds.

She earned a spot in the finals after also placing seventh out of 26 in the preliminary round with a run of 14.49.

Her NCAA provisional marks in the 100- and 400-meter hurdles come on top of qualification in the triple jump last week. Morris is currently ranked 26th nationally in DII in the triple jump and 27th in the 100-meter hurdles.

Her performances were among several outstanding efforts by the Lady Bulldogs in the meet at the Irwin Belk Complex.

Freshman Kelsey Poole also set a Barton school record in the shot put, taking back the spot after teammate Desiree Whitley snatched it from her last week. Poole's new BC standard is 11.38 meters, which earned her a 12th place finish out of 47 in the JCSU event.

Poole, a resident of Oakboro, N.C., also blew away her old personal record in the discus, adding more than seven whole meters to her previous best with a toss of 34.94 meters. The mark earned her seventh in a field of 36 in the event.

Freshman Janae Cunningham finished one spot ahead of Poole in sixth in the discus with a toss of 37.54 meters, and Whitley set a PR in the event with a throw of 30.54 meters.

Cunningham also posted an outdoor PR in the spot put at 10.45 meters, as did freshman Dejayanna Fizer at 7.90 meters. Freshman Tyneshia Cowell claimed a PR in the 200-meter dash (28.33), and freshman Meghan Araldi set a benchmark PR by running the 5000-meters for the first time collegiately (21:43.29).

Barton received some strong performances from its upperclassmen as well. Junior Sharon Kiptoo won the 1500-meter run, leading a field of 17 with a time of 4:55.45. Senior Heather Cuddington placed third in the same event with a PR time of 5:05.50.

Senior Jamicia Jones also had an excellent outing, recording a PR time of 2:23.38 in the 800-meter run while placing seventh out of 36. Kiptoo finished third in the event with a mark of 2:18.24, one of the 10 top-10 finishes on the day for the Lady Bulldogs.

Barton will return to action on Saturday when it takes part in the Phoenix Invitational hosted by Elon University.