Buster men finish one point shy of goal
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
The Garden City Community College Broncbusters men's indoor track and field team came just one point short of head coach Ryan Turner's goal for the NJCAA Championships in New York City on Friday and Saturday.
Heading into the two-day meet, Turner was hoping for anywhere between 10 to 15 points from his men's team, marks that would historically place the Busters in the top 20 as a team. However, that goal took a big hit as Alfredo Lebron, male athlete of the meet for the Region VI championships on Feb. 22,, became ill in the days leading up to nationals, leaving Lebron in less than optimal shape for nationals and the Buster men without one of their top scorers as they finished tied for 21st with seven points.
Lebron competed in four events — the 800-meter, 1-kilometer, 1-mile and 4X800-meter relay — but failed to score any points by not placing inside of the top eight. His best finish was ninth in the 800 with a time of 1 minute, 59.71 seconds.
"Goal was top-20 finish for the men," Turner said in a text message on Saturday after the meet, "and we got 21st. Close enough in my book."
The Busters picked up five points on Qhyle Elijah's fourth-place finish in the 400 with a time of 47.85, and a team point each from Odion Agbi in the triple jump and Aaron Vazquez in the heptathlon.
Agbi jumped 47 feet, 8.75 inches for his eighth-place finish, while Vazquez racked up 4,270 individual points in the heptathlon, a seven-event competition where athletes score points based on finishes in each event.
Vazquez finished in eighth in the 1000-meter run; ninth in the 60, 13th in the 60-meter hurdles; fifth in the high jump; sixth in the long jump and pole vault; and 14th in the shot put for his eighth-place overall finish in the heptathlon.
Iowa Central Community College ran away with both the men's and women's team titles, with the men scoring 143 points, more than double than second-place Colby's and Coffeyville's tie with 71, while the Iowa Central women were dominant with 174.5 points scored compared to New Mexico Junior College's 80 points.
The Buster women failed to score a point as Kadijah Brown competed in the high jump and long jump, and Kiera Brown competed in the 60-meter hurdles.
Brown jumped 5- 2 in the high jump, finishing in ninth place, the closest the women came to gaining a team point.
"Women's goal was top 30. If Kadijah would have finished eighth instead of ninth, then we would have gotten 27th with one point," Turner said.
The Busters now transition to outdoor track and field, which begins Thursday at the Southwestern Invitational hosted by Southwestern College in Winfield.
Full Results in Scoreboard, Page B2.