CLEMSON, S.C. (May 17, 2008) - After being forced to sit out the 2004 outdoor campaign with an injury, Jenny Knox (Connelly Springs, N.C.) was given an extra chance to compete for the ETSU track and field team this season and she took full advantage of the effort by turning in a final memorable run in 2008.
The Connelly Springs, N.C. native not only rewarded herself but also helped the Lady Buccaneer track team during this weekend's Atlantic Sun Championships from Clemson's Rock Norman Track and Field Complex. Knox helped contribute 22 points on the day after she ran a leg in the 4x100-meter relay teams' gold medal performance, took second in the 100m and fourth in the 200m.
Prior to her record-breaking day, Knox had already set a new school-record in the 100m dash earlier this month and punched a ticket to the NCAA Mid East Regional last week when she helped guide ETSU's 4x100-meter relay squad to a program-best and regional qualifying time of 45.60.
However, on Saturday afternoon, Knox also set a regional qualifying time in the 100m for the second consecutive season with a time of 11.63. The mark also broke the school-record which she previously set earlier this month at Liberty. Knox, Judy Johnson (Knoxville), Nae-Nae Bailey (Statesville, N.C.) and Christin Zink (Herndon, Va.) made up the quartet of the relay teams' championship run and will continue their dominant efforts in a couple weeks down in Arkansas.
In team competition, ETSU men's squad finished fourth with 105 points and the women ended the two-day championships in fifth after tallying 61 points. Kennesaw State won the title on the men's side (170 points); while the Jacksonville women took home the hardware for the third straight year, scoring 170 points as well.
The Buccaneer men were once again fueled by Kenneth Rotich (Nairobi, Kenya) on Saturday. Less than 24 hours after claiming gold in the rigorous 10,000m run, Rotich carded a first-place effort in the 5,000m; finishing with a season-best time of 14:38.53. Joining Rotich in the scoring department in the event was junior Michael Deren (Blasdell, N.Y.). Deren crossed the line in 15:15.35 - which placed him sixth overall in the 22-man field.
While Rotich was winning gold in the distance events, sophomore Duronal Monal (Belle Glade, Fla.) turned in a first-place finish in the short sprints. After earning the top spot in Friday's 100m prelims, Monal was the fastest sprinter to cross the line in the finals, ending the event in 10.61. The first-place finish marked the third consecutive year a Buccaneer won the title in the 100m; however, Monal was hoping to making it a clean sweep in the short sprints, but he suffered an injury in the 100 and was forced to take himself out of the 200m finals.
Junior Josh Cloyd (Telford, Tenn.) was eyeing gold in the triple jump as he was holding onto the top leap with only one competitor left. Unfortunately, Campbell's Sam Tilley waited until his final jump to turn in a first-place finish, moving Cloyd's mark of 47-07.75 (14.52m) to second overall in the event. The Telford, Tenn. native also gave the Bucs a boost in the 200m as he finished third with a time of 22.13.
After scoring in the 100m earlier in the afternoon, freshman Zach Titman (Damascus, Va.) notched eight points for ETSU with his second-place showing in the 200m. Titman finished fifth in the 100m (10.83) and followed that up with season-best mark of 22.02 in the 200.
Senior Jordan Ladd (Lyn, Ontario) wrapped up his collegiate career with a third-place finish in the steeplechase. Ladd ended the 3,000m race in 9:36.13.
A pair of Buccaneer athletes also scored in the decathlon. Sophomore Nic Chernikow (Seymour, Tenn.) - last year's champion - wrapped up the two-day event in fourth with 5668 points, and Jordan Briggs (Erwin, Tenn.) tallied 5536 points, which placed him sixth overall.
Freshman Michael James (Palm Bay, Fla.) and Andrew Houston (Crossville, Tenn.), along with senior Shane Estes (Maryville, Tenn.) rounded out the scoring attack on the men's side. James placed fifth in the 110-meter hurdles (14.72); while Houston and Estes each competed well in the high jump. Houston soared to a season-best 6-06.75 (2.00m), which was good enough for third and Estes tied for sixth as he cleared 6-00.75 (1.85m).
Back on the women's side, sophomore Zachlynn Blackburn (Tazewell, Va.) scored in her two throwing events on Saturday. Blackburn - who was coming off a first-place showing in Friday's hammer - finished fifth in the shot put with a season-best toss of 40-02.75 (12.26m) and ended the day with a sixth-place finish in the discus (115-07).
On the track, Johnson and Bailey crossed the line right behind Knox in the 100m. Johnson earned bronze with a time of 11.79 and Bailey finished fourth (11.82). Bailey led the pack of runners in the 200m as she wrapped up the event in second; ending the race in 24.48. Once again Johnson placed third (24.51) and Knox came in fourth (24.82).
Sophomores Vicki Currie (Dumfries, Scotland) and Christin Zink each scored in their respective events. Zink - who was competing in the 400m - placed fourth overall and Currie also posted a sixth-place finish in the 800m.
The track and field season continues for Knox, Bailey, Johnson and Zink as they represent the Bucs at the Mid East Regional in Fayetteville, Ark. on Friday, May 30.
For more information on Buccaneer track and field, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.