Men’s track and field finishes runner-up, women’s team takes fourth place at Atlantic Sun Indoor Championships

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Jadon Short named Most Outstanding Freshman and Most Outstanding Male Performer

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 18, 2012) – The ETSU men’s track and field team erased a 26-point, day-one deficit to Kennesaw State and took a 10-point lead heading into the final two events on Saturday at the Atlantic Sun Indoor Championships, but could not hold on as KSU overtook the Bucs in the 5000m and finished third in the 4x400m relay to edge ETSU by five points, 177-172, and celebrate its third indoor title in five years.

“We had some good individual performances, but as a team this is extremely disappointing and, frankly, it’s embarrassing,” ETSU assistant coach Eli Sunquist said afterwards. “We do have to give Kennesaw State credit for pulling through when it counted; they set a lot of personal bests en route to the championship”

The Bucs were down by three points heading into the men’s 4x400m relay, but could only manage a fifth-place finish after being seeded second heading into the event. The Owls’ third-place performance ensured the victory, as ETSU would have had to win the final event to earn the back-to-back titles.

In the women’s championship, Jacksonville won its seventh-consecutive A-Sun Indoor Championship, finishing ahead of second-place Kennesaw State by 21 points, 164-143. The ETSU women’s team put together its highest-ever point total in the competition’s seven-year history, and closed out the meet in fourth place with 107 points.

“The women did an excellent job scoring 107 points," commented Sunquist. "All of our women did a great job of competing, especially Lexie [Burley] and Kelly [Monteleone] in the triple jump, Karissa [Bertling] in the 200m and Demetria [Edgecombe] in the hurdles. This team is still very young and they still have events where we don’t have any bodies. They’ll be good for the next few years."

Day two began at 8:30 a.m., with the completion of the men’s heptathlon. Heading into the final three events, freshman K’Vonte Scott (Modrice, Czech Republic) led the field by 192 points in front Kennesaw State’s Brian Graham. The two went started the day by finishing first and second in the 60m hurdles, with Graham clocking in at 8.25 (920 points), and Scott at 8.62 (832 points). The event cut Scott’s lead to 104 points heading to pole vault.

In the vault, Scott finished in seventh place and cleared just 3.65m to earn 522 points, while Graham cleared 4.45m to finish second and collect 746 points. The result gave Graham a 119-point lead heading to 1000. In as close of a finish as you could ever see in the heptathlon, Scott ran a 2:48.45 clip to take 782 points and waited to see that Graham clocked in at 3:00.12 to earn 663 pts, giving Graham a 4,954 to 4,953 point victory in the event. Lipscomb’s Matt Deery finished third with 4,889 pts, as all three podium finishers broke the previous A-Sun meet record held by former Buccaneer Nic Chernikow. Scott’s total was a new personal best in the event, building upon the school record the freshman set earlier in the year at the CNU Captains Invitational and Multis.

The men’s field events took place during the morning and early afternoon starting with the weight throw. Senior Cornell Sneed (Miami, Fla.) earned ETSU’s top spot in the event with a personal best 15.75m toss to take the bronze. The throw crushed Sneed’s previous personal mark of 15.03m by over two feet, which he set at the first event of this year’s indoor season at Appalachian State. Fellow senior Justin Burton (Bastian, Va.) also set a personal mark in the event with a 15.20m toss, breaking his mark of 14.91m, and earning fourth place. Sophomore Justin Harris (Johnson City, Tenn.) earned two points for the Bucs with a seventh place finish, but set a personal best as well with a 13.55m hurl. For the event, ETSU totaled 14 points with junior Sam Liska (Cookeville, Tenn.) taking eight place at 13.11m.

Junior Jason Johnson (Philadelphia, Pa.) earned a gold medal in the men’s triple jump, leaping personal best 14.91m to claim the top spot on the podium. Freshman Graham Boone (Johnson City, Tenn.) set a new personal mark in the event as well at 14.20m to earn a top-five, while junior Justin Haston (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) finished sixth after recording a 14.12m jump. Rounding out the point scorers for the Bucs was another junior in Dre Westfield (Cleveland, Tenn.), who took eighth behind a 13.79m posting.

The men’s high jump ended around 2:00 p.m., and saw freshman Marek Navratil (Olomouc, Czech Republic) take another gold medal for ETSU. Navratil cleared 2.05m to tie his personal best which he set three weeks ago at the Niswonger Invitational. Scott barely missed the podium in fourth with a 2.00m leap, while sophomore Jared Davis (Memphis, Tenn.), who set a new personal high jump of 1.90m, and junior Dane Gray (Vilseck, Germany) grabbed three total points with seventh and eighth place finishes, respectively. ETSU’s marks in the high jump put them ahead of Kennesaw State for the first time all weekend, 148-147.

The women’s championship had three field events to run in the early portion of the day as well, starting with the weight throw. In the event, junior Jasmine Foster (Johnson City, Tenn.) finished fourth after placing a mark of 15.62m, while sophomore Victoria Taylor (Knoxville, Tenn.) wound up seventh with a 13.94m throw.

The ETSU women came up empty in the pole vault, but excelled in the triple jump with sophomore Lexie Burley (Johnson City, Tenn.) and junior Kelly Monteleone (Pittsburgh, Pa.) each ending up on the podium. Burley won the event by recording a 12.19m leap, while Monteleone used a career mark to earn the bronze after jumping 11.97m. Sophomore Bethany Lender (Atloona, Pa.) competed in the event as well, snatching two points with a seventh place finish of 11.28m.

ETSU got women’s track underway with a bang, as freshman Demetria Edgecombe (Spartanburg, S.C.) ran the 60m hurdles in 8.53 to set a new A-Sun Championship record. Edgecombe barely beat out JU’s Stacey Young, who would have owned the new A-Sun record after running the hurdles in 8.54. Fellow classmate and South Carolina native Nicole Alexander (Rock Hill, S.C.) set a new personal best in the hurdles, taking seventh place with a time of 8.96.

Sophomore Emani Harrison (Columbia, S.C.) took the silver in the 60m dash, clocking in at 7.62 – nearly identical to her time in Friday’s prelims of 7.61. Harrison later took sixth in the 200m with a time of 24.94, while freshman Karissa Bertling (New Port Richey, Fla.) set a personal best with a fourth-place finish of 24.70.

ETSU women’s team was unable to rack up too many more points the rest of the way. Senior Hannah Bowers (Jonesborough, Tenn.) wound up sixth in the 400m, but classmate Anja Classnitzer (Chemnitz, Germany) wrapped up the silver in the 800m with a personal best time of 2:15.29.

After the women’s 5000m was over, JU had officially clinched their seventh-consecutive A-Sun Indoor Championship, and ran the women’s 4x400m in second place.

Men’s track started the day at 12:30 p.m. with the mile run. Freshman Filip Jalovy (Modrice, Czech Republic) set a new personal time of 4:14.16 to take the bronze, but could not outdo North Flordia’s James Post, who set a new A-Sun Championship record time of 4:10.62.

In the sprints, Scott earned another top-five in the 60m hurdles with a fourth place time of 8.55, and Briar Pierce (Crossville, Tenn.) took in a personal best with a hurdles time of 8.82 to earn sixth place. Ifrish Alberg (Paramaribo, Suriname) and Jadon Short (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) then picked up right where they left off in yesterday’s 60m dash preliminaries, taking the top two spots on the podium with times of 6.79 and 6.89, respectively.

ETSU then set another Atlantic Sun Championship record in the men’s 400m, with junior Tim O’Dell (Palm Coast, Fla.) running the event in 48.30 to break Harold Sims’s record of 48.84 set back in 2009. Jalovy and junior Ryan Jones (Apopka, Fla.) finished back-to-back in the 800m, taking fourth and fifth place with times of 1:55.05 and 1:55.62, respectively.

The men reeled in 18 points for the 200m dash, with Short taking third place at 22.03, Alberg earning fourth in 22.05, O’Dell coming in fifth at 22.12 and Errol Cash (Nassau, Bahamas) rounding out the group in sixth place at 22.20. The four Bucs all finished within .17 of a second of each other.

Going into the final two events, ETSU led Kennesaw by 10 points, 166-156, but witnessed the Owls put up 15 points in the 5000m while ETSU sophomore Anders Ludvigsen (Odense, Denmark) managed two points in seventh position. KSU then led by three points heading into the 4x400m, and took care of the rest to win the title.

ETSU and Kennesaw State have now traded each of the last six A-Sun Indoor Championships, with ETSU holding a 4-3 lead in titles having gone back-to-back in 2006 and ’07.

Short was named the Most Outstanding Freshman and Most Outstanding Male Performer of the meet, as he used top-three finishes in the 60m, 200m and long jump to total the most individual points, 22 points, out of the competition field. Scott finished one point behind Short for Most Outstanding Male Performer.

For more information on ETSU track and field, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the track and field links. Fans can also follow the Bucs on Twitter @ETSUAthletics, and the rest of the Atlantic Sun Track and Field Indoor Championships on Twitter with #ASunITF.

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