JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 16, 2011) - The ETSU men's and women's track and field teams are set to host the 2011 Atlantic Sun Indoor Championships this weekend on the David E. Walker Track inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
The two-day event starts Friday at 8:30 a.m. with the women's pentathlon, while Saturday's events are slated to begin at 8:30 a.m. with the meet concluding around 4:15 p.m.
The conference will keep the same scoring system from 2010 that saw the top eight athletes score points in each event. ETSU enters the meet as the favorites in six events on the men's side - 60m, 400m, 60mH, 4x400m relay, triple jump and shot put, and two events on the women's side - 60m, 400m.
"Last year's men's championship left a horrible taste in our mouths, and we have been working very hard to make sure that nothing like that ever happens again," said assistant coach Eli Sunquist. "Our men have been doing well all season, and we are looking forward to seeing them perform at a much higher level this weekend. Our goal is not only to win, but also to break some conference records and place as many men as we can in the top three."
The men's team came up just short in 2010 finishing four points back of Kennesaw State for the A-Sun Championship. Currently the men are ranked 14th the USTFCCCA NCAA Division I South Region Poll.
Ifrish Alberg (Paramaribo, Suriname) still holds the top 60m time in the A-Sun (6.81), while Mike James (Palm Bay, Fla.) also has a top time in the 60m hurdles (7.97). Sophomore Tim O'Dell (Palm Coast, Fla.) also leads the A-Sun in the 400m (49.15), and the Bucs have also posted the top 4x400m time this season running almost a second faster than North Florida at 3:18.96.
Newcomers Stephond Allmond (Memphis, Tenn.) and Jesse Aliaga-Jacob (Nice, France) will look to make an impact in the men's heptathlon, while senior Jarrod Burton (Bastian, Va.) will look to win both the shot put and weight throw in his final indoor meet inside of the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
Sophomore Ryan Beaver (Virginia Beach, Va.) also holds the top mark in the triple jump after posting a mark of 49-7 ¾ at the Liberty Open.
"For the women we are looking to have our best team finish in years, as well as possibly double our point total from last year's meet," Sunquist added. "This would help us make the kind of progress that we are looking for in our women's program."
On the women's side, Emani Harrison (Columbia, S.C.) holds the top time in the 60m (7.64), while Jasmine Ingram (Fredrick, Md.) is tops in the 400m (55.11) and will look to take the 200m as well.
Also expected to score big on the women's side will be newcomers Lexie Burley (Johnson City, Tenn.) in the triple jump and Leah Oakhill (Brisbane, Australia) in the high jump and Pentathlon.