CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 17, 2007) - The ETSU track and field team battled through cold, damp and windy conditions at the Irwin Belk Track complex, as they wrapped up its opening outdoor weekend in the Charlotte 49er Classic Saturday.
The weather conditions did not affect freshman Jarrod Burton (Tazewell, Va.) as he carried his record-setting indoor success over to the outdoor season, by breaking teammate Guy Hornsby's (Morgantown, W. Va.) school record in the hammer with a heave of 161-11 (49.35m). Burton finished first in his flight and sixth overall in the event. The freshman also had a great showing in the discus where he finished eighth with a toss of 144-04 (43.99m).
ETSU sprinters James Rainer (Alcoa, Tenn.) and Jenny Knox (Connelly Springs, N.C.) each competed in the finals of the 100-meter dash, but either athlete could come home with a first-place finish. After posting an automatic qualifying time for NCAA Regional yesterday, Rainer finished second behind Charlotte's Jason Moore with a time of 10.61 in Saturday's final. Knox finished seventh (11.98) in the women's final; however, it marked her best start to an outdoor season for the senior. Also on the women's side, sophomore Nae-Nae Bailey (Statesville, N.C.) missed the 200-meter finals by two-tenths of a second, as she crossed the finish line in 25.48. Freshman Vicki Currie (Dumfries, Scotland) made her Buccaneer outdoor debut with an eighth-place finish in the 800 meters (2:22.76).
It was a tight finish in the women's high jump as Anna Marie Ricciardi (Canfield, Ohio) was one of three athletes to finish at the top with a leap of 5-07 (1.70m). A pair of St. Augustine jumpers also posted the same height in the event, placing Ricciardi third overall. Tashauna Robinson (Trelowny, Jamaica, W.I.) placed 12th in the long jump with a leap of 16-08.75 (5.10m).
A pair of ETSU women throwers had a successful day despite the windy and wet conditions on the field. Freshmen Zachlynn Blackburn (Tazewell, Va.) and Brooke Berarducci (Knoxville, Tenn.) had a solid debut in the discus and shot put. Blackburn finished ninth in the discus with a throw of 125-02 (38.15m), and Berarducci's toss of 39-10.75 (12.16m) placed her 13th in the shot put.
The men's 4x100-meter relay squad of Johnny Tucker (Spartanburg, S.C.), Mike Wright (Chattanooga, Tenn.), Derek Carey (Nassau, Bahamas) and James Rainer won their section with a mark of 41.79, but finished behind G.W. Express, Western Carolina and N.C. State for fourth overall on Saturday. Wright also posted a top-10 finish in the high jump with a leap of 6-00.75 (1.85m). Johnson City native, Drew Beamer represented the Bucs in the pole vault and finished sixth (14-07.25), while teammate Nate Strickland (Morganton, N.C.) had a strong performance in the triple jump, finishing ninth (42-02.25).
The track and field team will now have a week and a half off before competing in their second meet of the season. The Bucs will stay in Johnson City when they participate in the Milligan Open on March 28.