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Kiptoo finishes third, Lagat seventh at Conference Carolinas Championships

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CONCORD — A pair of Barton College cross-county seniors — Joel Lagat and Sharon Kiptoo — notched top-10 finishes at Friday’s NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas Championships at Frank J. Liske Park.

Both Kiptoo and Lagat earned all-conference honors for the third time in their careers, with Kiptoo placing third in 23:09.7. Lagat was seventh in 26:29.

Kiptoo led the Lady Bulldogs to an eighth-place finish out of 10 teams. The University of Mount Olive, ranked No. 21 nationally, claimed every top six spot not occupied by Kiptoo to win the meet with 18 points. The Trojans tallied 18 points as Belmont Abbey (110) and Southern Wesleyan (111) rounded out the top three.

Kiptoo was supplmented by sophomore Meghan Araldi (19th, 25:21.2), senior Judith Melly (44th, 28:25.6), sophomore Courtney Ricks (59th, 31:49.8) and freshman Brooke Lonergan (62nd, 32:33.1) rounded out Barton’s scoring runners.

Leah Hanie of UMO won the individual title for the second straight year, finishing in 22:52.9.

On the men’s side, Lagat was followed by a pair of freshmen in Greg Gibbs (29:10.1) and Alex Kelly (29:10.2) in 36th and 37th place. A third freshman, Lee Evans, was 48th in 30:16.2. Sophomore Leslie Jones secured a 60th-place finish in 31:52.8.

No. 6 UMO secured the top six spots in the meet to win the team title with 15 points. Lees-McRae was second with 71. UMO’s Jonathan Dahlke finished in 26:14.5 to win the men’s individual title.

Barton returns Nov. 4 when it competes in the NCAA Div. II Southeast Regional at Wingate University.

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