by Benny Benton
CENTRAL, S.C. – Freshman Jasmine Watson won the 100-meter hurdles and sophomore Janae Cunningham broke her own Barton College school records in the javelin and hammer throw this weekend during the 2018 Conference Carolinas Championship at Southern Wesleyan University.
Senior Sharon Kiptoo added a pair of podium finishes, placing third in both the 800-meter and 1500-meter runs in helping the Lady Bulldogs to a seventh-place team finish among nine programs competing in the two-day meet.
With their top-three finishes, Watson and Kiptoo were designated as all-conference honorees by the league.
Watson, a resident of Suffolk, Va., qualified for the 100-meter hurdle finals after placing second in the preliminaries with a personal record time of 14.37 seconds. She was one of two runners to surpass the meet record of 14.42 set last year.
In the finals, Watson recorded a mark of 14.46 seconds while taking first place and her first conference event championship.
Kiptoo, a resident of Eldoret, Kenya, turned in season-best times of 2:25.98 in the 800 and 4:56.86 in the 1500 to take third place in both events. She also reached the podium twice during the indoor season, placing second in the 800 and third in the mile.
Cunningham, a resident of Hubert, N.C., cracked the 40-meter barrier in the hammer throw for the first time in her career, making a toss of 41.40 meters (135 feet, 10 inches) while placing fifth in the event. In doing so, she surpassed her old BC record of 38.35 meters set earlier this month. Cunningham posted a new Barton standard of 31.50 meters (103 feet, 4 inches) in the javelin while finishing eighth, improving upon her previous top mark of 30.97 meters.
Junior Courtney Ricks set a personal record in the preliminaries of the 100-meter dash (13.01), and followed it up with a 13.04 while placing eighth in the finals and earning one team point.
Freshman Trinity Wells earned a PR in the shot put (11.20 meters) while placing seventh and earning two points. Sophomore Kelsey Poole missed a PR in the discus by one-tenth of a meter, but did earn four points by finishing fifth in the event. Poole also won her flight in the hammer to place ninth, just outside a scoring finish.
The 4x100-meter team of Taylor Everly, Andrea Mills, Ricks and Watson recorded Barton's best time of the year in that event, 50.25 seconds, while placing sixth to earn three points. Mills added a PR in the 400-meter run (1:03.16) while finishing 11th.
Sophomore Meghan Araldi finished just one spot off the podium in the 3000-meter steeplechase, coming in fourth with a time of 12:53.67 to give the Lady Bulldogs five points.
Barton produced a total of 42 points in finishing seventh. The Lady Bulldogs were four points ahead of eighth-place Lees-McRae College and 19 behind sixth-place North Greenville University.
University of Mount Olive repeated as champions with 240.5 points, easily out-distancing second-place and host SWU, which had 123.5.