JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 4, 2018) – For this week’s edition of “ETSU Track and Field Thursdays,” the spotlight turns to four new male athletes entering the program for the 2018 season.
The group of four includes three freshman and one transfer, with athletes ranging anywhere from Johnson City to the land “Down Under.” These athletes will participate in either short or long distance running.
“We have four very talented newcomers on the men’s side this year,” said ETSU head coach George Watts. “We have two local guys, then one from Virginia and one from Australia. I believe they will make an impact immediately and throughout their careers.
Meet the Athletes:
Tate Overbay – Fr. – Sprints/Hurdles – Johnson City, Tenn. (Science Hill HS)
A local product from Science Hill High School, Overbay joins ETSU after lettering in both track and football in high school, sprinting in the spring while catching passes in the fall. The 6’4’’ freshman also has ties to ETSU, as his uncle, Jim Henry, enjoyed a successful four-year career for the Bucs as a football player.
Coach’s Comments: “Tate becomes another in a fast-growing group of Science Hill graduates to join the ETSU Track and Field program,” Watts said. “He can develop into a fine runner, as he has impressed me with his fall training and Blue and Gold results. Tate will concentrate on the hurdles/long sprints while also being a valuable leg on our 4x100m & 4x400m relays. As with many young athletes, if he is patient and trusts the training, he will become a factor in the SoCon.”
Hunter Sampson – Jr. – Sprints – Salem, Va. (Eastern Mennonite Univ. / Salem HS)
The lone transfer of this group, Sampson comes to ETSU as a former collegiate multisport athlete at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va., competing in both soccer and track and field. Sampson cites his reason for transferring to ETSU was to compete at a higher level and focus on one sport. Sampson impressed as a Royal, making the All-ODAC First Team for his performances in the 4x100 and 4x400 relays, becoming an ODAC Champion in the process.
Coach’s Comments: “Hunter comes to us with college experience and quite a bit of talent in the long sprints,” Watts said. “As he increases his strength in the weight room and endurance on the track, he has a chance to threaten the 400m school records. Hunter is an easy going individual and has shown he can do the work in the classroom. He is a great fit for this team and has a chance to make his mark in the Southern Conference.”
Matt Scarr – Fr. – Middle Distance – Wamberal, Australia (Central Coast Grammar School)
Almost 10,000 miles from Johnson City, Scarr joins the ETSU program from Wamberal, Australia as an 800m/1500m specialist. Scarr not only captained the cross-country and track and field squads in high school, but also participated in cricket and soccer. Scarr won athlete of the year in both cross-country and track, with his greatest achievements coming in the 2017 NSW U20 Championships with a first place finish in the 1500 and second place finish in the 800m.
Coach’s Comments: “Matt is following in the footsteps of former Buc, Angus Baldwin, as he becomes the second Australian to join the ETSU Track and Field team. Matt has been a pleasure to have on the team. He is a strong student, a loyal teammate and a fine talent. As Matt moves forward and continues to adjust to the system, I believe we will see some fantastic results in the middle distance events during his career. My expectation is for Matt to also be a contributor during the cross-country season.
Ben Varghese – Fr. – Long Distance – Kingsport, Tenn. (Daniel Boone HS)
A former standout at Daniel Boone High School, Varghese joins fives former DBHS alums at ETSU, one of which is former high school teammate Josh Routh. Varghese cites Routh as a key reason in joining the team. Varghese competed in the 2017 New Balance indoor high school national champion in the 5k while finishing runner up in the outdoor 5k. He also appeared in the 2014 Nike Cross Nationals (NXN) and was part of the 2014 TSSAA State Championship team while at Daniel Boone. Varghese has overcome many odds through his career en route to a collegiate track career, as he suffered a leg injury at four years old in a lawnmower accident, but would eventually recover and pursue his dreams.
Coach’s Comments: “Ben is one of the top distance recruits we’ve had to sign with ETSU in quite some time,” Watts said. “He has some very fine credentials out of high school and a great work ethic to go with them. Ben was our top runner this past cross-country season, earning All-Conference and All-Regional accolades. He performed just as impressively in the classroom. Ben is “all-in” when it comes to training and doing the little things to be successful. How far he can go is ultimately up to him.
ETSU fans wanting to receive Buccaneer news, score updates, in-game promotions and much more sent to their mobile device can do so by signing up for “Buc Updates.” Click here to sign up today!
For more information on ETSU track and field, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the track and field page.