JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 11, 2018) – The ETSU track and field team kicks off the 2018 indoor season this weekend with the ETSU Track and Field Invitational, a two-day meet running from January 12-13 inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
This season marks the third time in four years the ETSU Track and Field Invitational has opened the ETSU indoor season and will also mark the fourth straight year the Bucs will open in Johnson City.
“We are looking forward to the new year and getting our track and field season underway,” said ETSU head coach George Watts. “What better way to get things started than by hosting our first meet of the season?”
The outlook of this year’s squad will be slightly different without the likes of Katrina Seymour, a senior from last season who competed in the 2017 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. A likely candidate to fill the void is junior Kyra Atkins (Greer, S.C.).
Atkins, who was the Indoor & Outdoor Track SoCon Freshman of the Year in 2015-16, has competed in the NCAA East Prelims 100H event in back-to-back seasons and holds the ETSU program records in the 100H (13.25) and the 200m (23.86).
Despite bringing in 17 newcomers on the women’s side, the Bucs still have experience to the tune of seven seniors, including long distance specialist Macy Carrier (Bluff City, Tenn.). Carrier set top marks for ETSU last season in the 5K and 3000m steeplechase and currently holds the school record with a time of 11:12.35 in the 3000S.
On the men’s side, ETSU returns a plethora of experience with 18 guys who competed in multiple events last season. Among those are redshirt junior Ben Johnson (Nashville, Tenn.) and senior Simeon Roberts (Greenville, Tenn.), who each earned conference championships last season.
“Our returnees are ready to go, as it's been eight months since they last competed as a team,” Watts said. “The goal for this meet is to see where are fitness is at and come out of the meet with some good early season marks and without any injuries. We will hold some people out due to minor aches and sicknesses but should have good representation throughout the weekend.”
The Bucs added 21 combined newcomers to the program, a group mostly containing true freshman seeing their first collegiate action. Watts said this home meet would be a good opportunity to break in the newcomers.
“As always, I look forward to seeing how our new kids perform in their first college meet,” Watts said. “We have a good-sized group of freshman this year, and our expectations are high for them and the rest of the team.”
As it takes many people to make an event of this caliber possible, Watts expressed his gratitude to the officiating crew for the meet.
“I especially want to thank our officials for their continued hard work, support and dedication to ETSU Track and Field and the hosting of our meets. We truly do have some of the very best officials around.”
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For more information on ETSU track and field, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the track and field pages.