JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 27, 2012) – The 34th annual Niswonger Foundation Track and Field Invitational opened up on Friday, as the ETSU men’s and women’s track and field teams put impressive performances together on their way to five top-fives, eight top-10s, two personal bests and earning nine additional spots in Saturday’s finals.
“I thought we had a great first day,” ETSU assistant coach Eli Sunquist said. “We had a few personal bests today, especially in the throws, qualified for a lot of tomorrow’s finals, and we’re looking forward to taking home a few wins.”
Junior Jason Johnson (Philadelphia, Pa.) earned ETSU’s best result of the day, taking second place in the men’s triple jump with a mark of 14.81m. Fellow classmate Justin Haston (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) also earned a top-10 in the event, taking seventh at 13.35m.
The day started at 10 a.m. with the preliminaries to the women’s 60m hurdles, where South Carolina natives Demeteria Edgecomb (Spartanburg, S.C.) and Nicole Alexander (Rock Hill, S.C.) each put in qualifying times for Saturday’s finals. Edgecomb won her heat with a time of 9.02, qualifying third overall, and Alexander clocked in at 9.35 to qualify ninth.
Meanwhile, sophomore local-product Lexie Burley (Johnson City, Tenn.) started her day in the women’s triple jump, earning ETSU’s first top-three of the day after finishing third with a mark of 11.84m.
Fellow Johnson City native Jasmine Foster (Johnson City, Tenn.) competed in the other opening event, the women’s weight throw, and earned fourth place with a personal best 16.20m toss. Foster’s throw crushed her previous personal mark by over 2.5 feet. Sophomore Victoria Taylor (Knoxville, Tenn.) also set a new personal best in the event with a 14.15m hurl, blowing by her previous mark of 13.06m by over 3.5 feet.
The men’s 60m hurdles prelims rounded out the morning session, as freshman K’vonte Scott (Virginia Beach, Va.) got his day started by clocking in at 8.56 to qualify ninth for Saturday’s finals.
Starting off the afternoon session was the women’s 400m, where senior Hannah Bowers (Jonesborough, Tenn.) won her heat with a time of 58.79, earning the fourth of 12 qualifying spots for Saturday’s final. Junior Tim O’Dell (Palm Coast, Fla.) kept the Bucs’ rolling, winning his heat in the men’s 400m at 49.22, and earning one of 12 spots out of over 75 competitors for Saturday’s final.
The women’s 60m dash saw three Buccaneers secure three trips to the finals, as sophomores Emani Harrison (Columbia, S.C.) and Taylor Story (Germantown, Tenn.) clocked in at 7.69 and 7.91, respectively, and Edgecomb qualified for her second final on Saturday with a time of 7.92. On the men’s side of the 60m, Ifrish Alberg (Paramaribo, Suriname) earned the seventh qualifying spot with a time of 6.75.
The Bucs earned two top-fives in the men’s 800m, when freshman Filip Jalovy (Modrice, Czech Republic) and junior Ryan Jones (Apopka, Fla.) earned fourth and fifth place with times of 1:54.47 and 1:55.80, respectively.
Harrison then put herself in a second final for Saturday, running the 200m in a time of 25.60 to earn the sixth of 12 qualifying positions. Foster, after setting a personal best in the weight throw earlier in the day, earned her second top-10 of the Niswonger Invitational with a 12.47m toss in the shot put to place seventh.
Day two of the Niswonger Foundation Track and Field Invitational begins Saturday at 8 a.m. with the women’s 5000m finals.
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