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T&F gears up for A-Sun Championships this weekend

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Men look capture outdoor team title for second straight season

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (May 9, 2013) – Championship season is upon us once again as the ETSU men’s and women’s track & field teams are set to compete in the 2013 Atlantic Sun Outdoor Track & Field Championships May 10-11 inside Hodges Stadium on the University of North Florida campus.

Things will get underway on Friday at 9 a.m. with women’s heptathlon events including 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put and the 200m dash. Field events will continue throughout the day with the evening featuring multiple track events, ending with the men’s 10,000m set to begin at roughly 9 p.m.

On Saturday morning, competition will kick off with men’s decathlon events consisting of the 110m hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and the 1500m. Track events will continue the day with the Championships brought to a close with the women’s 4x400m relay set to begin at 8:45 p.m. The championship presentation will follow at 9.   

The men’s squad hopes to replicate last season’s performance when they came away with a team championship. In the Championship’s final event, a 4x400m relay event that literally came down to the last half of a second, the Buccaneers were able to edge their rival in the A-Sun Championships, Kennesaw State, to capture their third outdoor title since joining the league prior to the 2005-06 season. On the final leg of the event, relay anchor Desmond Pierce (Morristown, Tenn.) came from behind to beat Kennesaw State to the finish line by less than half of a second to earn second place and pass KSU in the overall points total by 2.5 points to capture the team title for ETSU. The narrow winning margin is the slimmest margin of victory in the 17-year history of the conference championship meet.

Though it does not have a team title to defend like the men, the women’s squad has a lot to compete for this weekend as well. The task of snapping Jacksonville’s streak of seven consecutive championships may seem daunting, but the opportunity is there to place in many events. In particular, ETSU is strong in the long jump and the triple jump this season with three of the top-marks in the long jump and the top-two marks in the triple jump. Junior Katerina Vodova (Humpolec, Czech Republic) ranks No. 1 in the conference this season in the long jump with a leap of 5.92m. The native Czech continues to inch closer to hitting a mark that will qualify her for the first round of the NCAA Championships.

Vodova is not alone in flirting with NCAA qualifying marks and ETSU school records that could be achieved this weekend. Freshman tosser Verena Tobis (Hechingen, Germany) will look to build off of her personal best mark of 44.81m in the javelin throw two weeks ago at the Highlander Invitational as she searches for that reachable NCAA qualifying throw. Vaulter Chris Winkle (Gray, Tenn.) will also look to continue the momentum generated at Radford with his personal best mark of 4.65m as he aims to break the ETSU school record of 4.66m in the pole vault.

After a week off from competition last week, the Bucs seem to be poised and well-rested for big performances the next few days during A-Sun Championship weekend at UNF.

Meet information, events schedules and heat sheets for the Atlantic Sun Outdoor Championships can be accessed by visiting AtlanticSun.org. Live results will be available through HalfMileTiming.com. A complete recap of ETSU’s performances will be available following Friday and Saturday’s events at ETSUBucs.com.

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