JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 23, 2004) - The first day of the Niswonger Foundation Track and Field Invitational, hosted by East Tennessee State University, came to a close Friday night.
ETSU senior Tiffany Collier (Atlanta, Ga.) took second place in the 800-meter finals with a time of 2:21.31.
"I'm really pleased with how Tiffany raced today," commented assistant coach Michelle Byrne. "It is a good start for her first meet of the indoor season. She needs to learn how to run a more controlled race but that will come during the season."
Buccaneer junior Chantelle Vernon (Markham, Ontario), qualified for the finals of the 60-meter dash, finishing the race with a time of 7.57. The time was .01 shy of the school record 7.56, which she set last year in her first place finish at the 2003 Niswonger Track & Field Invitational.
"Chantelle has really matured in her racing and she is very committed this year," said Byrne. "If she can stay healthy, I feel this will be a really great year for her."
On the men's side, freshman Joshua Hicks (Riceville, Tenn.) ran a strong 800-meter race, finishing with a personal best of 1:59.88.
The Bucs 4X400 meter relay team composed of Hicks, Kaylin Chesney (Knoxville, Tenn.), David Cabbler (Roanoke, Va.), and Johnny Tucker (Spartanburg, S.C.) also ran well placing eighth with a time of 3:25.70.
The highlight of the day's competition was the 3000-meter invitational run. The race featured Alan Webb, who is sponsored by Nike and broke Jim Ryun's prep mile record with a time of 3:53.43 while in high school, making him the first American high school miler ever to run under four minutes indoor. Webb won the race with a final time of 8:01.29, more than six seconds faster than his closest competitor.
One of Webb's competitors was ETSU junior Brad Yewer (Newbury, England), who finished sixth overall. Yewer's time of 8:24.36 was two seconds faster than his personal best.
Byrne stated, "This race sets Brad up for his future races. He will continue to improve throughout the year."
"Overall, today was a good team effort," said Byrne. "All of the kids are feeding off each other and that is good to see early on and I hope it continues throughout the season."
The Niswonger Track and Field Invitational will conclude tomorrow with the distance finals scheduled to begin at 8:00 a.m. and sprint events to begin at 4 p.m. Complete results for Friday's and Saturday's events are available on www.flashresults.com/etsu.