David Barnett became an All-American once again in the javelin, claiming a third-place finish at the NAIA National Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Thursday in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Barnett’s heave of 204 feet, 7 inches marked a personal best for him and led the Saints on Day One of the championships. Barnett placed third between Pancho Saldana of Eastern Oregon, who won the event with a mammoth heave of 221-5.75, and Brandt Wolters of McPherson, who placed second with a throw of 205-2.75.
"He closed out his career with his best throw ever, and there isn't much more you can ask from him than that," coach Harry Clark said. "He had a great career. He won a national title last year and his throw today was better than that. I am excited about the way he finished, and I hope our other seniors go out the same way."
Distance runner Chance Hyatt got the Saints going early as he advanced the finals in the 1,500. Hyatt had the fifth fastest time in preliminaries when he ran a 3:51.99.
"Chance ran a great, great race in the prelims," Clark said. "He ran a lot faster than he thought he would need to but he did what he had to do to get in the final, and I think he ran a very smart race. He sat in the pack and made his move right when he needed to, the final in that race will be something to watch."
Leah Esposito received an automatic qualification into the steeplechase finals. Other competitors dropped from the event prior to its running.
After four events in the heptathlon, Carroll’s Bethany Lacock sits in 11th and Crystal Schmidt in 13th, scoring 2,738 and 2,683 points, respectively. The point total is a personal record for both athletes during the first four events of the heptathlon -- the 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200 meters.
"They are right where they need to be," Clark said. "They looked did some great things today and set the tone for tomorrow, and I expect them to make some moves."
The heptathlon continues Friday morning with the long jump.
Away from the heptathlon, Schmidt finished in 12th in the javelin final, throwing 130-2.
The Saints will have Kara Barth and Monica White in action on Friday, with the prelims of the 400 meter taking place in the afternoon.
Samantha Mundel will run in the 5,000-meter preliminary in the penultimate event of the day.
Carrolls 1,600 relay team -- consisting of Keely Ehmann, White, Barth and Hannah Porch -- will cap off the day in preliminary action.
"We are going to be on the track a lot tomorrow, and that is going to be very exciting," Clark said. "These kids all have a chance put up some special performances. It will be great to turn some heads at this meet and set us up for a great day Saturday."