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CHARLOTTE — Barton College junior Larry Russell placed the finishing touches on a spectacular junior season Thursday afternoon by claiming a third-place finish in the long jump at the 2018 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Russell, who won third place in the event a season ago, entered the meet 15th on the national performance list with his leap of 7.44 meters. He turned in an effort of 7.28 meters on his opening attempt of the preliminaries and fouled on his second effort, but produced a leap of 7.43 meters on his third and final attempt.
Russell, competing in the second flight of qualifiers, was forced to see if his mark would hold up against higher-seeded competitors in the opposite flight.
With the top nine jumpers reaching the finals, Russell qualified after finishing eighth in the preliminaries.
In the finals, Russell turned in his best jump of 2018.
He traversed a total of 7.55 meters, which translates to 24 feet, 9.25 inches — a mark that, at the time, put him in second place.
Texas A&M-Kingsville senior Charles Graves logged an effort of 7.88 meters to move into second, forcing Russell into his second straight third-place showing in national competition.
Minnesota State University senior Brian Huber tacked on a leap of 7.98 meters (26.1 feet) to secure the individual national title in his last collegiate meet.
Russell, the only performer for Barton at the national championships, earned the Bulldogs six team points with the showing.
He concludes his junior season as the Conference Carolinas Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year after winning the conference long jump crown, finishing second in the triple jump, fourth in the 110-meter high hurdles and fifth in the high jump, which gave the Bulldogs 26.5 points at the league meet.