ELON — Barton College sophomore Justin Alford claimed his first collegiate win in the pole vault for the Bulldogs at the Phoenix Invitational track and field meet, hosted by Elon University, on Saturday.
Alford, a Southern Nash High product, broke his own school mark with a winning height of 3.95 meter, easily surpassing his 3.70-meter vault from the season opener at the Shamrock Invitational. Alford also set a new personal record, eclipsing the 3.76 meters he set during the Conference Carolinas Indoor Track and Field Championships in February.
Joining him atop the podium was freshman teammate Lawrence Russell Jr., who tied his school record in the high jump with a height of 1.95 meters. Russell also ran the 200-meter dash for the first time as a collegiate performer, finishing in 23.17 seconds.
Junior Semaj Street posted the second-fastest time in the 100 dash preliminaries with a time of 10.77 seconds, second only to Ben Youssef Meite, who competed in the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Meite’s prelim time was 10.17 seconds. Third was Methodist University assistant coach and former five-time All-American Tazz Petty in 10.81.
In the finals, Meite won with a time of 10.20, followed by Petty in 10.69, just ahead of Street in 10.72.
Sophomore Aaron Jones was the runner-up out of 15 runners in the 400, finishing in 49.63 seconds.
Barton set a total of seven personal records in the meet, including freshman Nihgel Scott in the 200 dash (22.83 seconds), sophomore Sebaston Barrett in the 400 run (52.21 seconds), freshman Leslie Jones in the 800 (2:08.42), and freshman Juan Zetina in both the shot put (8.76 meters) and javelin (30.17 meters).
In the women’s meet, Barton set four personal bests, including junior Jayvona McDaniel’s 400 run in 58.41 seconds. She finished ninth out of 22 runners.
Junior Heather Cuddington set a PR in the 800 run with a time of 2:30.10. Also setting PRs were junior Tyamber Neal in the 200 (29.95 seconds) and freshman Ciera Williams in the long jump (4.94 meters).
Both Barton teams will compete in the NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas Championships on Friday and Saturday at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk.