BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (May 12, 2017) – The East Tennessee State men’s and women’s track and field program wrapped up the 2017 Southern Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships Friday with both the men’s and women’s teams earning fourth-place team finishes at the Samford Track and Soccer Stadium.
The Buccaneers will head back to Johnson City with five SoCon individual titles, nine all-conference performers while sophomore Kyra Atkins (Greer, S.C.) and sophomore Ben Johnson (Nashville, Tenn.) were named the meet’s Most Outstanding Athletes, after being the top-scoring male and female athletes.
"Ben Johnson has done an outstanding job in his first full year as a thrower. Although he did not score in the Shot Put it is pretty amazing he got two wins and a runner up finish," said director of track & field/cross country George Watts. "What's equally impressive was that he got his second win and school record in his fourth event of the day earning high point male of the meet."
"Kyra Atkins followed up her stellar indoor conference with another outstanding meet over the past two days. She's established herself as a contender to qualify for the NCAA Championships with her win, meet and school record in the 100m hurdles, "said Watts. "Like Ben she was the high point athlete of the meet by winning the 100m hurdles and 200m, finishing second in the Long Jump and running a leg of the 4x400m relay to score 29.25 points."
The ETSU men placed fourth with 129 points while the women also placed fourth with a point total of 89. Western Carolina won the men’s championship while host school Samford won the women’s championship.
"While I am somewhat disappointed with the 4th place team finishes we had far greater positives than negatives. The downside was Katrina getting injured in the 4x100m relay and being unable to be run the 400m hurdles where she had set a meet record the day before and was a clear favorite," said Watts. "The men avoided serious injuries but underperformed in four key events any of which would've gotten us third place in the team standings. The upside of the meet was we set three school records, two meet records, won fifve events and had the high point athletes of the meet."
On day two of the SoCon Championships, sophomore Kyra Atkins (Greer, S.C.) was the highlight of the day for the Bucs as she claimed two SoCon titles. Her first title came in the 100mH where Atkins broke the SoCon Track and ETSU school record with a time of 13.25. It is the second straight year Atkins has claimed the 100mH SoCon title.
Later in the day Atkins won her second SoCon title in the 200-meter dash after posting a time of 23.86. For the second straight outdoor season the Greer, S.C., native has won two individual titles at the outdoor championships.
On the men’s side, the blue and gold had two in the top five in the 1500m as freshman Adam Bradtmueller (Sarasota, Fla.) placed third with a time of 3:56.85 to earn SoCon All-Freshman honors. Right behind Bradtmueller in fourth place was fellow freshman Josh Routh (Gray, Tenn.) who also earned All-Freshman honors by running a time of 3:57.33.
Sophomore Lamisha Simmons (Dania Beach, Fla.) earned All-SoCon honors in two events on day two as Simmons placed third in the 100mH with a time of 13.86 to earn the recognition. Simmons also earned all-conference honors after running a time of 1:02.81 in the 400mH to place third.
ETSU had two in the top five in the 100m dash as senior Matt Moore (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) finished third with a time of 10.59 to earn All-SoCon honors. Close behind Moore was junior Patrick Taylor (Chattanooga, Tenn.) in fifth with a time of 10.75. Taylor went on to earn all-conference honors in the 200m after placing third in the event with a time of 21.51.
In one of the final events of the day senior Victoria Hutchens (Stuart, Va.) placed eighth in the women’s 5000m run with a time of 18:17.96 while the men’s 4x400m relay team finished on the podium in third with a time of 3:17.28.
"Other highlights of the meet included Simeon Roberts winning the steeplechase for the second year in a row and continuing a five year ETSU streak in that event. Patrick Taylor scored 18 points and combined with his indoor point total was the overall combined team leader for the men's team," said Watts. "Overall, I'm pleased with the teams performance this year. We will likely have four athletes qualified for the NCAA East Regionals and hope to get one or more to Eugene for the NCAA Championships."
Multiple members of the ETSU track and field program will have a week off to prepare for the NCAA East Preliminaries, May 25-27 in Lexington, Ky. The top 48 times in the East Region will head to the prelims with the top 12 times from each event of the prelims advancing to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., June 7-10.
• Nathan Rivera finished fourth in the decathlon with a point total of 5,552
• Tyler Houston ran a time of 56.89 in the 400mH to finish fourth
• In the 5000m, Simeon Roberts just missed out on All-SoCon honors after running a time of 14:44.11
• ETSU had two in the top ten in the 1500m as Kaitlyn Lay finished fourth with a mark of 4:41.41 while Katie Hirko finished fifth with a time of 4:43.37
• Katrina Seymour finished second in the 400m after running a time of 55.44
• In the 100m dash, Kiana Davis finished in fourth place with a time of 11.84.
For more information on Buccaneer Track and field, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the track and field page