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LYNCHBURG, Va. — With his leap of 7.37 meters that produced a first-place showing in the long jump at last weekend’s Liberty Kickoff, Barton College junior Larry Russell inserted himself into the NCAA Division II national conversation.
Russell ruled a 49-competitor field at the Liberty University Indoor Track Complex by producing the second-best jump of his career, trailing the 7.49-meter effort put forth at the 2017 Conference Carolinas Championships.
Currently, Russell’s mark leads the Div. II Southeast Region by one-tenth of a meter over UNC Pembroke’s Ja’vonta Smith and is in the top-five nationally among Div. II jumpers. No other conference performer currently owns a jump over seven meters.
Russell added a triple jump of 14.31 meters, a mark that is third among Conference Carolinas athletes and eight one-hundreths of a meter off his own school record.
Joel Lagat, a senior, extended his own school record in the mile, crossing the line in 4 minutes, 28 seconds.
On the women’s side, freshman Jasmine Watson blazed to the second-best 60-meter hurdles time in the region during the Liberty Kickoff.
Watson was second among Div. II performers and 11th overall in the 53-runner field, traversing the track in 8.97 seconds. The time is just five one-hundreths of a second off the Barton school record, set last season by Jamina Morris.
Her competition for the top spot in the region resides in Conference Carolinas, as Converse College’s Dasia Sanders owns the top regional mark at 8.96 seconds.