JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Aug. 6, 2009) - Coming off one of the best ETSU track and field seasons in program history, head coach David E. Walker and his staff announced its recruiting class for the upcoming campaign on Thursday afternoon.
The Bucs, whose men's squad was one of five Division I programs to win a Triple Crown in 2008-09, features a loaded class of 11 student-athletes whom will represent ETSU in women's throws, long and triple jump, men's multis, pole vault, long and triple jump, middle distances and sprints.
"This incoming class will bolster our scoring potential with the diversity and competitiveness they bring in different event areas," commented ETSU associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Michelle Byrne. "This class has the ability to impact the overall cross country and track and field programs at ETSU, as we are bringing in a core group of athletes in the throws, jumps and multis along with additional depth in the sprints and distances."
Below is a capsule of each incoming Buccaneer along with a quote from their coach.
Les Gilbert - Pole Vault/Multis - Franklin,
Gilbert, the 2009 Tennessee state champion in the decathlon, is a AAU All-American with a personal best of 6099 points … the Franklin, Tenn. native also holds PRs of 121-00 in the discus, 14-00 in the pole vault, 6-00 in the high jump, and 155-04 in the javelin … Gilbert helped his high school team to a 14th place finish at the state meet this year, as their only competitor … the multi-talented athlete scored in the top six in the decathlon, pole vault, triple jump and 300m hurdles at the Tennessee state meet … Gilbert will not only help the Bucs tremendously in the multi event, but also in the pole vault and javelin.
Coach Sunquist on Gilbert - "Les is a tremendous athlete who comes from a great training background. He worked with Olympic Decathlete Gary Kinder in high school, and has learned from one of the best. I am extremely excited to see what Les can do at the next level, and it will be neat to seem him duke it out with Nic and Jordan next year. Les has a tremendous attitude and competitive spirit. I am quite excited to see what he can do for us in the years to come."
Ryan Beaver - Long/Triple Jump -
Beaver will look to contend for the conference title in both the long jump and triple jump … he has a personal best of 23-06 in the long jump and 47-02 in the triple jump.
Coach Sunquist on Beaver - "Ryan is a very raw jumper who has a ton of potential, and I am excited to see what he can do with a full season of training under his belt. Ryan is used to coming to track right off the basketball court, so there is no telling what he can do once he trains consistently for the jumps. Both he and Jason (Johnson) should have a tremendous impact at the conference and regional level next year. I am looking for Ryan to qualify for the regional meet in both horizontal jumps."
Jason Johnson - Long/Triple Jump -
Like Ryan, Jason will look to contend for the conference title in both the long jump and triple jump … Johnson has a personal best of 22-11.25 in the long jump and 48-00 in the triple jump … the Springfield, Pa. native won the 2009 Pennsylvania Indoor State Meet in the triple jump, and finished third at the National Scholastic Indoor Championships ... he is also a two-time NSIC All-American in the triple jump.
Coach Sunquist on Johnson - "Jason is a focused individual who gave up football his senior year of high school to concentrate on track. He has a terrific attitude, and I am quite confident he will make huge improvements in his first year at ETSU. I am excited to see Jason and Ryan (Beaver) train and compete together. Jason has set some high goals and I am looking forward in helping him accomplish them. In addition, I am looking for Jason to "jump" onto the national scene in his first year with us."
Max Lee - Multis/Long Jump -
Max will look to add depth on the ETSU multis squad … the decorated athlete has a personal best of 5914 in the decathlon, 22-00 in the long jump, 40-09 in the shot put, and 11.38 in the 100m … was a state qualifier in the decathlon, long jump and triple jump.
Coach Sunquist on Lee - "Max is a very determined individual who has been working hard all summer. He has set a personal best in the decathlon by about 500 points since the beginning of the summer, and there is no doubt that once he arrives on campus that he will continue to improve by leaps and bounds. I am very excited to work someone as hard working as Max, and I think he will fit in nicely with the other multis we currently have."
Landon Milhorn - Middle Distance - The Woodlands,
Ran for one of the top cross country programs in the country … helped guide the Highlanders to state cross country titles from 2006-2008 and finished fourth in the nation in '08 … placed 16th overall at the 2008 state cross country championship and posted a personal best time 15:30.90 in the 5000m … named Third Team All-State.
Coach Walker on Milhorn - "Landon comes out of a really strong high school program in
Tim O'Dell - Sprints -
O'Dell won the 2009 conference championship in the 400m and helped guide Flagler Palm Coast to the 2009 4A State Championship as well … named First Team All-State and finished fourth in the 400m (48.51) at the state meet … the Ormond Beach, Fla. native also ran a leg on the 4x400-meter relay team - who finished second at the high school state championship … set a personal best in the 200m (22.39) at the 2008 Florida Relays … ran a 48.90 in the 400m and a 1:21.80 in the 600m at the 2009 ERAU Last Chance Invitational.
Coach Byrne on O'Dell - O'Dell brings a championship mentality to a team that is coming off a tremendous season in 2008-09. He is one of the top sprinters from the state of
Ryan Jones - Middle Distance - Apopka,
Jones was a four-year letterwinner in track and field and cross country for the Patriots … received Triple Gold honors in the 800m, 1600m and 4x800m at the district and conference championships … named All-Conference in 2009.
Coach Byrne on Jones - "Ryan, who also hails from the state of
Bethany will look to contend for the conference title in both the long jump and triple jump … recorded a personal best of 39-00.50 in the triple jump, and 17-09 in the long jump … was a competitive gymnast for many years, and gave up the sport this year to focus in on track.
Coach Sunquist on Lender - "
Kelly Monteleone - Long/Triple Jump -
Like Bethany (Lender), Kelly will look to contend for the conference title in both the long jump and triple jump … posted a personal best of 39-03.25 in the triple jump, 18-03 in the long jump, and 5-02 in the high jump … won the 2009 Pennsylvania Indoor State Meet in the triple jump.
Coach Sunquist on Monteleone - "Kelly is a fierce competitor who fits in nicely with our program. I am really looking forward to seeing her progress in all three jumping events this season. Having Bethany (Lender) and her train together will be great for these two young jumpers. Kelly also has the chance to win conference in both horizontal jumps, and qualify for the NCAA Regional meet next year."
Jordan Beard - Throws -
Multi-sport athlete for the Raiders … four-year letterwinner in track and field and volleyball, also lettered in softball and cheerleading … finished first at the regional meet (discus) in 2007 and 2008, while being named Best of Preps in 2009 … took fifth in state in 2008 and sixth in 2007.
Jasmine Foster - Throws -
Was a two-sport athlete for the Toppers (track and field and basketball) … was the 2009 discus state runner-up and placed sixth in the shot put … tallied personal bests as a senior in both events … recorded a mark of 128-06 in the discus at the Big East Challenge and let one fly 41-06 in the shot put at the Big 9 Conference Championship … won the 2009 Big 9 Conference Championship in both the shot put and discus.
Coach Stone on Beard and Foster - "Both these throwers have the ability to come into the program, and make a very big contribution at the conference championships. Jasmine will do well in the discus and shot, while
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