Bucs heading in strong with multiple top conference postings
CLEMSON, S.C. (Feb. 7, 2013) – The ETSU men’s and women’s track & field teams take to their final meet before the indoor conference championships this weekend, stopping in Clemson, S.C., for The Tiger Paw Invitational inside Clemson’s Indoor Track & Field Complex.
The two-day meet begins Friday at 2 p.m., with multiple field events and the qualifying rounds of the men’s and women’s 60m dash and 60m hurdles. The first field events to get underway include the women’s long jump, pole vault, high jump and weight throw. Opening day comes to a close at 5:40 p.m., with the men’s and women’s distance medley relays.
After a night’s rest, the meet picks back up Saturday at 10 a.m., when the men’s pole vault, shot put and triple jump get underway. The final events, the men’s and women’s 4x400m relays, are scheduled to begin around 6:45 that evening.
"We made great strides last weekend at the Hilton Garden Invitational," Director of ETSU Track & Field/Cross Country George Watts said. "We had athletes winning events and improving on their personal and seasonal bests.
"Lexie burley is a good example of someone improving on a consistent basis and positioning herself to win events. We had big improvements from the distance runners and sprints and hurdles crew, and I believe the jumpers are close to hitting on all cylinders and expect continued improvement between now and the conference championships."
In total, over 1,300 collegiate athletes will compete at The Tiger Paw. ETSU student-athletes make up 75 of the entries on the heat sheets and will compete in the majority of events to take place throughout the weekend.
"We are well prepared for the meet and hope to see contiunued improvements with everybody fine-tuning their individual events," Watts added. "We will hold out several kids in order to get them healthy, train or rest for the next two weeks prep work before the conference meet.
"I beleive our sprinters and jumpers are ready for a breakout performance and I'm looking forward to their events. I'm very pleased with how hard the kids have worked and understood the level of competitiveness we as a staff are asking of them."
Highlighting some of ETSU’s competitors this weekend, the Bucs will have Ifrish Alberg (Paramaribo, Suriname) run in the 60m dash. Alberg ranks No. 1 in the A-Sun with a season-best time of 6.82, which he ran the last time ETSU traveled to Clemson for the Orange & Purple Winter Classic.
On the women’s side of the 60m, Emani Harrison (Columbia, S.C.) and Keturah Williams (Alpharetta, Ga.) will look to improve upon their season-best times of 7.62 and 7.63, respectively. Harrison currently ranks No. 4 in the event in the conference and Williams is just behind at No. 5. Both trail the top mark of 7.56 run by Kennesaw State’s Alicia Whittle and Hannah Wood.
In the women’s 60m hurdles will be ETSU sophomore Demeteria Edgecombe (Spartanburg, S.C.). Edgecombe is currently No. 2 in the conference with a posting of 8.51 in early December at Clemson, trailing JU’s Shanique Walker who has a conference-leading time of 8.37.
In the women’s 200m, sophomore Karissa Bertling (New Port Richey, Fla.) can creep closer to the conference’s top mark currently held by UNF’s Brianna Frazier. Bertling has a season-best time of 24.77 in the event, while Frazier leads all at 24.37.
Increasing the distances, ETSU senior Tim O’Dell (Palm Coast, Fla.) will want a solid performance in the 400m as he looks to defend his indoor title in the coming weeks. O’Dell currently sits at No. 2 in the conference this season with a time of 48.97, trailing North Florida’s Jake Menan who ran a 48.88.
Two-time A-Sun Men’s Track Athlete of the Week Filip Jalovy (Modrice, Czech Republic) currently leads the A-Sun in the mile and 3000m, but will not compete in either event this weekend. Instead, Jalovy will take his mark at the men’s 800m and as one of the four in the DMR.
Women’s distance runner standout Chelsea Clark (Fairmont, W. Va.) – with an A-Sun Women’s Track Athlete of the Week award to her credit this year – is first in the 3000m and second in the 5000m, but will not compete in either event in Clemson. Like Jalovy, Clark will compete in the DMR, while also taking aim at the women’s mile.
As for the field events, junior Tyler Stepp (Dandridge, Tenn.) will take a week off from the high jump to improve his mark in the long jump. Stepp is currently among the conference’s top three in the long jump, but has some ground to make up on the leader in Andre Dorsey of Kennesaw State. The women’s high jump will feature ETSU’s freshman standout, Kristin Chapman (LaFollette, Tenn.). Chapman took home A-Sun Women’s Field Athlete of the Week honors in early December after her first collegiate try and will look to improve upon her mark of 1.68m to eclipse JU’s Charlene Charles who holds a clearance of 1.70m.
Vaulting on the men’s side for ETSU will be Chris Winkle (Gray, Tenn.) The sophomore set a collegiate best of 4.60m in the event a few weeks ago at the Niswonger Invitational and currently trails UNF’s David Shepherd for first place by .30m. Freshman Ashley Kessler (Knoxville, Tenn.) ranks fourth in the women’s pole vault at 3.40m and will compete this weekend in an attempt to improve and potentially pass Kennesaw State’s conference-leading mark of 3.70m held by Michelle Quimby.
Finally, the triple jump will have a pair of Pennsylvania natives in Jason Johnson (Philadelphia) on the men’s side and Kelly Monteleone (Pittsburgh) on the women’s. Johnson stands at No. 2 in the A-Sun, trailing Kennesaw State’s Andre Dorsey who leads by a full meter. Meanwhile, Monteleone is tied for second in the women’s triple jump alongside teammate Lexie Burley (Johnson City, Tenn.) at 12.22m, looking to eclipse JU’s Shanique Walker who boasts a 12.42m leap.
Live results through both days will be provided by TimingInc.com.
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For more information on ETSU men’s and women’s track & field, please visit www.ETSUBucs.com.