LEXINGTON, Va. (Feb. 22, 2018) – The indoor track and field season hits a fever pitch this weekend, as the ETSU squads head to Lexington, Va. Feb. 24-25 for the 2018 SoCon Indoor Track and Field Championships.
The championships, which were held in Johnson City last year, will take place on the campus of VMI at the Corps Physical Training Facility. ETSU’s squads are familiar with the new facility as they each competed there as part of the VMI team challenge Jan. 27. The facility opened in January 2017.
The Bucs hope to send 20 male athletes and 18 female athletes to VMI this weekend.
“We are looking forward to another Southern Conference Championship this weekend and will put our best foot forward when we head up to VMI,” said ETSU Director of Track and Field George Watts. “We've had a lot of good performances this indoor season and hopefully will continue that trend on Saturday and Sunday.”
ETSU has won two men’s championships in SoCon indoor action, with the last coming in 1998. The women’s lone title came in 1995. Last season, both ETSU teams placed third in Johnson City, taking home a number of individual titles in the meet.
So far this season, ETSU has the top mark or fastest time in eight events among Southern Conference competitors.
ETSU’s Ben Johnson (Nashville, Tenn.) holds the facility record at VMI with his weight throw of 20.15 meters back in January. He currently holds the top mark in the SoCon and 19th best nationally at 21.39m — over three meters better than the conference’s second place thrower.
Also in conference action, junior Kyra Atkins (Greer, S.C.) holds the top time in the 60 meter hurdles at 8.33 seconds. Atkins ran an 8.32 last season at the SoCon Indoor Championships to take the individual crown and will look to do so again in Lexington.
Atkins’ teammate and fellow junior Lamisha Simmons (Hollywood, Fla.) will also compete in the 60 meter hurdles, as she holds the second best time in the SoCon at 8.71.
Another athlete to watch for Friday and Saturday is crossover athlete Karon Delince (Phenix City, Ala.). The freshman football phenom holds the top marks in the SoCon for the long jump at 7.26m and the 200m dash at 21.99.
Another freshman looking to shine is Symphony Buxton (Knoxville, Tenn.) as she has thrived in the women’s shot put this year. Her mark of 13.81 is tops among conference competition.
Freshman Matt Scarr (Wamberal, NSW, Australia) will also look to score at VMI as he competes in the men’s 800 meter run. Scarr holds the top time in the SoCon at 1:53.52, which he set in the Liberty Elite Invitational.
ETSU’s men’s and women’s DMR teams, which will be determined later at the SoCon Championships, hold the top times in the SoCon on each side.
Watts said it is paramount that each athlete competes on their “A-Game,” as scoring in every event — top or bottom — will put the Bucs in a position to win.
“It's always interesting to see how our athletes respond in a championship setting, and this year's meet should be no different,” Watts said. “We have some individuals that can contend for individual titles or podium finishes, but just as importantly we need to fight for the bottom half of the scoring spots. We like to think that anyone we take has a chance to score.”
For this weekend's meet schedule, click here.
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