David Barnett has lived in the shadow of his brother’s success on the field at Nelson Stadium. His brother’s Paul and John each won a football title with the Saints but the baby of the family will have some bragging rights of his own after winning the championship in the javelin Thursday at the NAIA National Track and Field Championship.
“I would love to be a fly on the wall at Thanksgiving dinner,” head coach Harry Clark said. “That family has done a lot of great things here at Carroll but none of them were All-Americans so I think David has a little bragging rights.”
Barnett was fifth going into the final and third going into his final throw which he launched 204-6.25, just over a foot longer than the throw of second-place finisher Pancho Saldana from Eastern Oregon.
“It was a tight competition, it was a lot of fun to compete that hard and come out on top,” Barnett said. “Coach (Jimmy Stanton) told me before my fifth throw to get some adrenaline pumping. On my last one I got excited about it and got a grunt on it. I was awesome to see the spear fly.”
Stanton knows that it often comes down to the final throw in a meet that the competition is so close, the top five throws were all within five feet.
“It is often that way with the throwing events,” Stanton said. “The guys feed off of each other and the level of competition. Fortunately, David was able to rise to the top of the pack in a really good meet with really good opponents.”
Barnett for his part is proud of what he accomplished and to represent his family and his school which has been intertwined for the more than a decade.
“Coach Van Diest always talks about ‘it’s the gold helmet’ you are doing it for gold helmet. Even though we don’t have helmets but we represent Carroll and we represent the Saints. To be able to stand on top of the podium and represent your school and show everyone what it means to be a Saint is an exciting opportunity.”
And as for those bragging rights?
“I am from a family of nine and there is always competition,” Barnett said. “My brothers have been national champions but I am the only All-American. I’m the baby so it will probably sting a little that I can say that.”
Barnett was one of four Carroll athletes crowned All-Americans today. Crystal Schmidt earned a fourth-place finish in the Javelin with a throw of 151-6.75, just and inch and a half over sixth-place Miranda Burton of Bethany (Kan.).
Hannah Porch entered the meet ranked 22nd in the long jump and finished 6th with a jump of 18-3.75, just 2.74 inches out of second place.
Janie Reid entered the meet ranked 11th in the 10k and finished eighth in dramatic fashion, passing ninth-place Megan Fitzgerald of Southeastern U in the last 40 meters to edge her out for All-America honors with a time of 38:23.17.
There were also multiple prelims with Carroll qualifiers.
Leah Esposito took second in the 1,500-meter run to earn an automatic qualifier into the final with a time of 4:34.58.
In the men’s 1,500-meter, Lyle Pocha and Chance Hyatt finished 2-3 in their heat to earn automatic advancement. David Thor finished fifth in his heat, outside of the auto-bid but his time was still fast enough for a wildcard advancement.
The women’s 4x800-meter entered the meet ranked 17th but cruised to a win their heat and enter the final with the fastest time from the prelims at 9:05.98.
The final Carroll runner to advance to a final is senior Regan Bold who set a new PR in the 3,000–meter steeplechase with a time of 10:59.65 and enters the final with the eighth-best time from the prelims.
“It was just a great day,” Clark said. “You can feel the momentum building. Everyone did what we thought they could and expected them to do. I am excited and you can feel the excitement on the team. It was a great start but there is a lot of awesome things to come.”
The meet continues tomorrow and beginning with the final events of the heptathlon for Carroll competitor Bethany Lacock. She sits in 15th-place after the first day of competition.
Sandy Torres starts the track events for the Saints at 2 p.m. with the 800-meter run. She placed third in the event at indoor nationals and enters the meet ranked fifth.
Live scores and video are available via the NAIA website.
Carroll College Athletics