JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 21, 2003) - East Tennessee State's men's and women's track teams completed day one of the Southern Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships crowning two SoCon champions.
Buccaneer sophomore Brad Yewer (Newbury, England) and teammate James Grufferty (Glanmire, Ireland) finished first and third in the finals of the 3000 meters. Yewer finished with a lifetime best of 8:26.06 and Grufferty finished with a personal best of 8:28.65.
The two joined junior David Haefner (Hamburg, N.Y.) and Donald Cabbler (Roanoke, Va.) to place second in the finals of the men's distance medley relay (10:08.78). Haefner, who has been out with an injury since January, finished his leg of the race with a time of 1:53.
"What David did today was courageous," said Buccaneer assistant Michelle Byrne. "Coming back after not training for weeks, he really did a great job."
Another bright spot for the Buccaneer men's team was junior Kaylin Chesney (Knoxville, Tenn.). Chesney, who going into today's race was not a top eight finisher in the final conference rankings, advanced into tomorrow's finals of the 55-meter hurdles, finishing the race with a time of 8.04.
"Kaylin really competed well for us today," said Byrne
On the women's side junior Cheryl Howard (Wyalusing, Pa) placed first in the finals of the high jump, with a jump of 1.66 meters.
"This was a great victory for Cheryl, and a big win for our team," Byrne said.
Buccaneer sophomore, and 55-meter record holder, Chantelle Vernon (Markham, Ontario), recorded the fastest time of the day (7.02) in the 55-meters to advance into tomorrow's finals. ETSU's Kim Simmons (Knoxville, Tenn.) advanced into the finals of the women's 400-meter dash, recording the fastest time of the day, 57.50. Junior Tiffany Collier (Atlanta, Ga.)also advanced into tomorrow's finals of the 400-meters, with the third fastest time of the day, 58.11. Jennifer Habbestad (Tampa, Fla.) advanced into tomorrow's finals of the 800-meters, qualifying with a time of 2:22.12.
"Overall we did well today," Byrne said. "We are still a young team and we are still learning how to compete at these events."
The Buccaneer men are currently in second behind Appalachian State, while the women are fifth. The final day of the championship begins at 9:00 Saturday morning, and is set to conclude with the trophy presentation at 4:15. Log onto www.etsubucs.com for complete results from the 2003 Southern Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships.