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Junior Larry Russell made Barton College history Monday by becoming the program’s first indoor track and field athlete be named regional athlete of the year.
Russell was saluted by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) as its NCAA Division II Southeast Region Indoor Field Athlete of the Year after posting the top long jump in the region and fourth nationally with a school-record leap of 7.63 meters at the Conference Carolinas Championships last month. That effort landed Russell in the NCAA Div. II championship meet, which is Friday in Pittsburg, Kansas. He is the first Bulldog to qualify for the national indoor championships.
Russell, who repeated as Conference Carolina Indoor Field Athlete of the Year last week, also placed fifth in the Southeast Region in the high jump and the triple jump. His best effort in the high jump was 2.04 meters and his top triple jump was 14.34 meters. He is one of just two jumpers to attain All-Southeast Region in three events and the first in Barton history to do so in indoor track.
Last spring, Russell, a resident of Sicklerville, New Jersey, became Barton’s first NCAA Div. II All-American in outdoor track when he placed third in the long jump with a program-record mark of 7.72 meters at the Div. II outdoor national championships in Bradenton, Florida. He also earned All-America status at the 2017 Div. II indoor championships by placing eighth in the high jump.