Rodney Barton, a quick left-hander, lost the second game to Arizona State teammate Solaiman Jonaton, but breezed through the third to win the men's singles title, 15-12, 14-17, 15-5, in the National Collegiate Badminton Championships yesterday at George Washington University's Smith Center.
Claire Allison of Wisconsin had no difficulty in the women's final, beating Joy Kitzmiller of Stanford, 11-3, 11-2.
Barton and Jonaton then beat Miles Munson and Marty French of Arizona State, 15-6, 15-9, in the men's doubles final, while Allison and Sandy Colby took the women's doubles title with a 15-8, 15-5 victory over Arizona State's Brenda Nobauer and Cristie Cook.
Barton, a sophomore from Palo Alto, Calif., won the U.S. Badminton Association championship two weeks ago, becoming the first black to win a national USBA title. He said he began playing the game when he was 12.
"I was only 5-2 in junior high," said Barton, now 6 feet 1. "I wasn't big enough to play basketball or football. In junior high, you had to take badminton in P.E."
Barton's coach, Merle Packer, has guided seven Arizona State women's teams and three men's teams to national championships. She said the Barton-Jonaton matchups are usually closer than yesterday's final.
Arizona State won the men's team title with 34 points, followed by UCLA (6), California State-Dominguez Hills (4) and Glassboro and Temple (3.5). Wisconsin won the women's title (32), followed by Arizona State (25), Western Illinois (22) and George Washington (11).