Blackburn wins shot put title; Bucs wrap up final day at Carolina Classic

Saturday, February 02, 2008

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (Feb. 2, 2008) - The ETSU track and field team wrapped up competition at the 2008 Texas Roadhouse Carolina Classic, and sophomore hurler Zachlynn Blackburn (Tazewell, Va.) enjoyed the spotlight for the Buccaneers as she won gold in the shot put inside the Eddie Smith Field House on Saturday.


Blackburn beat out North Carolina's Latasha Jones for the title as she posted a personal-best in the event with her toss of 40-11.75 (12.49m). The Virginia native's mark was a little over five inches longer than Jones' second-place throw of 40-06.25 (12.47m). 


On the track, junior sprinter Nae-Nae Bailey (Statesville, N.C.) was busy qualifying for the 60-meter finals. Bailey, who was making her season debut in the event, flew to a time of 7.76; placing her 16th overall. Unfortunately, she was held out of the finals with a leg injury.


Sophomore Jarrod Burton (Bastian, Va.) made his first appearance of the season in the shot put. After spending the past couple months working on his technique and form, the Bastian, Va. native posted a seventh-place finish in the event. Burton let one fly 52-04.75 (15.97m) on his first toss of six tosses.


A pair of Buccaneer middle distance runners shined in the 3,000-meters. Sophomore Kenneth Rotich (Kipsolu, Kenya), who was competing in just his second meet of the campaign, placed sixth overall in the event. Rotich clipped three seconds off his time set at the Appalachian State Invitational (back in Dec.) as he posted a time of 8:34.21. Junior Jeff Crane (Taylors, S.C.) also competed in the 3K race and finished ninth overall with a mark of 8:44.93.


Jordan Briggs (Erwin, Tenn.) entered the final day of the heptathlon in 10th, but managed to move up three spots as he finished the grueling event in seventh with 3,812 points.


"Both Zacklynn and Jarrod shined in the field events this weekend," added associate track and field coach Michelle Byrne. "Our athletes competed in such a strong field, and they were able to see where they stacked up among some of the best competitors in their event area."


The ETSU track and field team will be back in action next weekend when they compete in the Hokie Invitational. The meet begins Friday in Blacksburg, Va.


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