JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 3, 2017) – On the second day of the Buccaneer Track and Field Invitational, the ETSU men’s and women’s track and field teams dominated the meet on Friday inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center as it recorded three number one and 13 top-5 finishes.
Highlights of Day Two
- Southern Conference 2015-16 freshman of the year, Kyra Atkins (Greer, S.C.), set the tone early for the Bucs as she crushed the competition in the women’s 60m hurdles. In the preliminary round, the Greer, S.C. native finished first with a time of 8.50. Just an hour and a half later, she matched her prelim finish as she sat atop of the leaderboard. Her closest competitor came in 0.28 seconds behind Atkins. Teammates Kiara Price and Allison Wilson (Rogersville, Tenn.) both made the cut to qualify for the finals on Saturday.
- On the men’s side of the 60mH, Michael Williams (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) finished eighth and just 0.07 seconds away from tying second place. After qualifying to the semi-finals, the New Jersey native rose six spots to second place. He finished with a time of 8.25, which was a difference of 0.12 seconds quicker than his prelim round. The semi-final time is also his fastest time he has posted in the 2017 season.
- In her first 400m event at ETSU, Lamisha Simmons (Dania Beach, Fla.) cracked the top-5 in the event. She crossed the finish line with a time of 58.37 to put her in third place. The finish qualified her for the finals that will take place on Saturday.
- Williams had a second top-5 finish on Friday when he placed fourth in the men’s 400m. The senior clocked in at 49.26 and qualified for the finals. He was 0.16 seconds away from tying third place in the event.
- The lone Buccaneer in the women’s 60m, Kiana Davis (Ooltewah, Tenn.), was very successful as she finished second in the semi-finals and prelims in a 73-person event. The sophomore blasted past her competitors as she clocked in at 7.73 in the prelims, and she followed that performance by shaving 0.07 seconds off her time in the semi-finals to qualify for the finals.
- ETSU had two runners in the men’s 60m that cracked the top-10 in both the prelims and semi-finals. Both Matt Moore (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) and Patrick Taylor (Chattanooga, Tenn.) claimed the two spots for the Blue and Gold in the event. Moore was the only Buc to qualify for the finals as he clocked in at 6.80 in the semi-final event.
- Both ETSU distance medley relay teams were fantastic as the men’s 4000m DMR won the event, and the women’s claimed runner-up status. The men, consisting of Haydn Borghetti-Metz (Rogersville, Tenn.), Ashton Wilson (Gray, Tenn.), Harper Sigler (Bogart, Ga.) and Adam Bradtmueller (Sarasota, Fla.), finished the 4000m relay at 10:12.04. The women, consisting of Kaitlyn Lay (Knoxville, Tenn.), Aubree Collins (Atlanta, Ga.), Emily Lord (Morristown, Tenn.) and Victoria Hutchens (Stuart, Va.) crossed the finish line at 12:25.20, which was just half a second behind first place, Queens University.
- ETSU continued its dominance in the track events as all three Bucs qualified for the 200m finals tomorrow. Davis placed second at 25.24, just 0.09 seconds behind first. Atkins followed by placing sixth, and Starr Graham (Alpharetta, Ga.) finished in eighth with a 25.64 time.
- Benjamin Johnson (Nashville, Tenn.) paved the path for ETSU in the field events as he finished third in the weight throw. The redshirt sophomore annihilated his personal best mark as he set a new high at 17.66m. His previous best was 17.06, which he achieved two weeks ago in Blacksburg. Every time he competes in the weight throw, Johnson sets a new personal record.
- Jacob Dunlap (Fulks Run, Va.) cracked the top-15 in the weight throw as well. He made a mark of 14.52m, which is also a personal best. His previous best was accomplished at the ETSU Track and Field Invitational to open the season with a throw of 14.41m.
- In the final event of the day, Malick Gemechu (Johnson City, Tenn.) crushed his personal best time with a 15:11.51 performance and also placed him in second place in the men’s 5000m. His previous best was set two weeks ago at the Hokie Invitational with a time of 15:46.32.
Director of Track and Field/Cross Country George Watts: “I am very pleased with the results of day two of the Buccaneer Track and Field Invitational. We had a combination of numerous personal bests, top 3 finishes and quite a few finalists for tomorrow’s events.”
“Kyra Atkins, Kiana Davis and Mike Williams all qualified for two finals. Kyra got sick after our first meet and missed the Hokie Invitational. She has bounced back nicely and had great day including a solid long jump. Kiana is starting to believe she can compete at a high level in the Southern Conference and had her most complete day since she's been at ETSU. Mike continues to be steady and composed each time he goes to the line.”
“Matt Moore is beginning to round into form as he had a nice seasonal best in the 60m dash. Lamisha Simmons qualified for the finals of the 400m and has been a pleasure to watch in her short career at ETSU. Starr Graham ran a tough 400m/200m double while making the final in the latter. Our distance medley relay teams performed above expectations with the women finishing second anchored by Victoria Hutchens’ big personal best, and the men ran away with the DMR with four strong legs.”
“Ben Johnson had a great series in the weight throw and reclaimed the conference lead with a huge personal best. Jacob Dunlap continues to steadily improve in the throws and had a personal best of his own in weight. Our young women's throwers are getting better and better and had personal bests as well today.”
“Malick Gemechu finished off the day with a second place personal best in the 5000m.”
“I'm looking forward to tomorrow’s competition to see how we respond after a very strong day. A special highlight will be our senior recognition day of ten men and women who have done a great job for ETSU and the track and field teams.”
What to watch for on Saturday
- The main event for the Bucs is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. where Watts and the ETSU track and field programs will recognize the 10 seniors in the Blue and Gold.
- Senior Williams qualified for two finals on the final day: the men’s 400m dash and the 60mH. The 60mH are set to begin at 2:15 p.m. with the 400m dash scheduled for 3:33 p.m.
- ETSU placed three runners in the women’s 60mH. Atkins posted the fastest time in both the prelim and semi-final rounds as she looks to take home the title at 2 p.m. on day three.
- The Bucs had three runners qualify for three straight finals starting at 3:05 p.m. with the women’s 60m dash. Davis is schedule to run in that event. Following the 60m, Moore will compete in the men’s 60m, and Simmons will follow Moore with the women’s 400m finals at 3:25 p.m.
- The Blue and Gold placed another trio of runners in a finals event. The women’s 200m dash final will have Davis, Atkins, and Graham all competing at 4:05 p.m.
- The first event of the day is the women’s 3000m run at 9 a.m. The final event will be the men’s 4x400m relay final, which starts at 5:45 p.m.
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