BOONE, N.C. AND LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 17, 2009) - It was safe to say the mile run was ETSU's top event on Saturday.
While sophomore Ben Ronoh (Sotik, Kenya) was claiming his second title in the mile this season at the Appalachian Indoor Open, senior transfer Heidi Dahl (Provo, Utah) was making noise five hours away as she set a NCAA provisional mark and new ETSU school record in the mile at the University of Kentucky Invitational.
Dahl, who is coming off Atlantic Sun Athlete of the Week honors on Wednesday, beat out a tough and competitive 33-woman field in the mile at Kentucky. The Provo, Utah native knocked off Kentucky's Jessica Ortman and Tennessee's Phoebe Wright with an outstanding time of 4:47.39. Dahl's time also broke Val Urchison's Buccaneer record of 4:49.55 which stood for 11 years.
"Heidi went up against some of the best athletes today and overcame a very aggressive and competitive field," commented associate head track and field coach Michelle Byrne. "I am very proud of her effort and time today. Heidi has been a huge addition to the team and hopefully she continues to build off her early season successes."
Meanwhile, back in Boone, Ronoh edged out his cousin Kenneth Rotich (Nairobi, Kenya) by one full second in the mile. Ronoh - who claimed the title in this event last month on the same track - improved on that time by finishing with a mark of 4:18.65. Ronoh also won the mile at the Appalachian State Invitational back on Dec. 5, with a time of 4:26.70. Rotich finished right behind in 4:19.68; while seniors Jeff Crane (Taylors, S.C.) and Michael Deren (Blasdell, N.Y.) finished third and fourth, respectively. Crane posted a season-best time of 4:25.95, and Deren ended in 4:29.19 as he made his season debut in the event.
Deren also competed in the 3000m and finished third (8:49.42).
In the men's 55-meter hurdles, sophomore Michael James (Palm Bay, Fla.) finished first in the prelims with a time of 7.60, but he was knocked off by Appalachian State's Daniel Neal in the finals. Neal took the crown with a top time of 7.63, and James finished second (7.65).
After setting the new Clemson track record in the 300m last weekend, red-shirt freshman Quentin Greenlee (Morristown, Tenn.) followed that up by posting the Atlantic Sun's fastest time this season in both the 55m and 200m. Greenlee finished fourth in the 55m with a blazing speed of 6.35 and second in the 200m (22.37).
Freshman thrower Cornell Sneed (Miami, Fla.) placed in the top-10 in the shot put on Saturday. Sneed's heave of 43-11.75 (13.40m) was not only was strong enough for a ninth-place finish, but also set a new personal best as well.
On the women's side, senior Nae-Nae Bailey (Statesville, N.C.) placed fourth in the 55m, as she finished with a time of 7.26. Sophomore Jasmine Ingram (Frederick, Md.) made her Buccaneer season debut in the 200m and placed fourth as well (26.08).
Sophomore Tesha Haggard (Morristown, Tenn.) continued to improve on her season time in the 3000m. In each of her three runs in this event, the Morristown, Tenn. native has clipped time off, as finished fifth in 11:10.83, which is 12 seconds faster from her first run of the season.
In the throws, junior Zachlynn Blackburn (Tazewell, Va.) placed third in the shot put with a mark of 40-07 (12.37m).
A select few Buccaneer athletes will compete at next weekend's Liberty Open in Lynchburg, Va., while the rest of the ETSU track team will not return to action until the Niswonger Invitational at the end of the month.
For more information on Buccaneer track and field, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.