LYNCHBURG, Va. (April 29, 2010) - The ETSU track and field team put together strong showings Thursday night at the Liberty Twilight Qualifier, as a pair of junior Buccaneer athletes in Mike James (Palm Bay, Fla.) and Ben Ronoh (Sotik, Kenya) led the Blue and Gold at the Matthew-Hopkins Track Complex.
James, who entered the day ranked 39th in the 110m hurdles (14.29), shaved some time off that mark to finish second in the event. The top 48 times in the event advance to the regional in late May and James moved his way up the charts after clocking in at 14.13.
Meanwhile, with James turning in a season-best performance in the hurdles, Ronoh was capturing the title in the steeplechase. Ronoh, the reigning conference champion in the event, turned in the fastest time at 9:49.23.
As James and Ronoh were making noise on the track, a handful of Bucs were doing the same in the field events.
In the throws, red-shirt senior Jarrod Burton (Bastian, Va.) finished third in the shot put and fifth in the hammer, respectively. Burton posted a mark of 50-06 (15.39m) in the shot put, while recording a distance of 175-04 (53.45m) in the hammer.
Burton wasn't the only ETSU thrower who enjoyed the elements in Lynchburg. Joining Burton in the shot put was Cornell Sneed's (Miami, Fla.) fourth-place showing (47-10.50) and Justin Burton's (Bastian, Va.) fifth-place effort (45-07.75). Sneed, the league's top thrower in the discus, also placed fifth in the event Thursday after letting one soar 157-05 (47.99m).
Junior Matt Baum (Middletown, Md.) had solid efforts in both the pole vault and javelin. Baum finished fifth in the javelin (181-08) and tied Lynchburg's Joe Oliveri for ninth in the pole vault (14-09).
A pair of freshman led the Blue and Gold in the horizontal jumps.
Dre Westfield (Cleveland, Tenn.) blasted his personal best by over a foot in the triple jump after finishing sixth with a leap of 46-02 (14.07m). Westfield's teammate Ryan Beaver (Virginia Beach, Va.) placed seventh in the triple jump (45-10) and ninth in the long jump (23-02).
Senior Zachlynn Blackburn (Tazewell, Va.) led the Lady Bucs after placing second in both the hammer and discus. Blackburn set a season best by over two feet in the discus (134-06) and missed breaking her school record in the hammer by three inches (164-02).
The Bucs return to action next weekend when ETSU competes at the Clemson Orange and Purple Classic the weekend of May 7-8.
For more information on Buccaneer track and field, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.