(February 17, 2006) - With one full day of competition under their belts, the Buccaneer men's track and field squad stands in third place at the Atlantic Sun Indoor Track and Field Championships, held in Memorial Center. With five events completed, Gardner-Webb stands atop the heap with 44 points, followed by Campbell with 39, and ETSU with 33. The Bucs bagged a total of three medals on the day, while earning conferences crowns in two events.
Freshman Jeff Crane (Taylors, S.C.) was the first Buccaneer to strike gold on the weekend, clocking a time of 8:43.69 for the win the 3,000-meters. Crane's mark is also an A-Sun meet record. But the rookie wasn't finished, holding off a late charge by Kennesaw State on the anchor leg to secure the ETSU win in the distance medley relay. Crane was joined by teammates Josh Hicks (Riceville, Tenn.), Josh Rock (Sportsylvania, Va.), and David McDaniel (Watauga, Tenn.) in the wire-to-wire win.
Sophomore Mike Wright (Chattanooga, Tenn.) had a big day for the Bucs, earning a bronze medal in the long jump with a leap of 21-9 (6.63m). Wright is also in position for more hardware tomorrow, posting the top time in the 60-meter hurdle prelims with a performance of 8.33. The sophomore is also comfortably atop the men's heptathlon standings after four events, netting top finishes in all but one of the first day's events.
Wright's four-event total of 2,759, is over 300 points ahead of Kennesaw State's Austin Klinefelter, who is currently in second place. Wright was especially clutch in the high jump, clearing 6-4.25 (1.94m), the best mark in the competition by nearly five inches.
ETSU's Drew Beamer (Johnson City, Tenn.) is also competing in the multi, standing in sixth place after day one. The heptathlon is set to wrap tomorrow morning, with the 60m-hurdles, pole vault, and 1,000-meter run remaining.
Elsewhere on day one, Daniel Williams (Knoxville, Tenn.) notched a scoring performance in the pole vault, clearing the bar at 13-11.25 (4.25m). Brad Jones (Spruce Pine, N.C.) also recorded a scoring effort with a heave of 42-5.25 (12.93m) in the shot put, good for fifth place. Freshman Michael Reber (Sunbright, Tenn.) joined Wright in the long jump scoring, tallying a fifth-place finish with a leap of 21-3.75 (6.50m).
Senior James Rainer (Alcoa, Tenn.) is in good shape for tomorrow's 60-meter final, sprinting to a time of 6.74, the best mark in the preliminaries. Johnny Tucker (Spartanburg, S.C.) also ran his way into the 60 final, clocking 7.05 in his prelim heat.
Competition in the Mini-Dome continues Saturday morning, with the heptathlon 60 hurdles kicking off the action at 8:30 a.m.