CHARLOTTE, N.C. (April 24, 2011) - Three gold medals and several solid regional marks highlighted the weekend for ETSU Track and Field at the Charlotte Invite.
Both Mike James (Palm Bay, Fla.) and Emani Harrison (Columbia, S.C.) registered top-48 times -- which they need to advance to the NCAA Regional in May -- in their respective events. James blazed past the competition in the 110-meter hurdles, finishing first in 14.22, while Harrison's top time of 11.67 improved on her run at the Atlantic Sun Championships last weekend.
Among three more Bucs in the top 48 regionally, Jasmine Ingram (Frederick, Md.) posted a new school record in the 400, finishing second in 54.15. Also, Ifrish Alberg (Paramaribo, Suriname) went for a fourth-place 10.52 in the 100 and Jason Johnson (Springfield, Pa.) set a new personal best in the triple jump, finishing fifth with a 48-09.50 (14.87m) mark that is also second in school history.
Finishing fourth in the 800-meter run, Desmond Pierce (Morristown, Tenn.) also turned heads as he qualified for the USA Track and Field junior meet in June with his 1:52.53 run.
Not to be left out, Ben Ronoh (Sotik, Kenya) continued to dominate a Kenyan national pastime in the 3,000-meter steeplechase as he followed his gold at the A-Sun Championships with another top finish, a lifetime-best 9:22.19 -- two seconds faster than his previous best.
Rounding out the individual accolades on the track, Robert Purcell (Raeford, N.C.) made waves in two events in his home state as he took second in the 400 at 48.13 and fifth in the 200 at 21.65. Purcell also collaborated with Alberg, James and Tim O'Dell (Palm Coast, Fla.) for a fourth-place 3:18.88 in the 4x400-meter relay.
Friday's field events yielded one notable finish for ETSU as Matt Baum (Middletown, Md.) finished second in the javelin with a heave of 180-06.50 (55.03m).
On the women's side, Harrison and Ingram placed in multiple events, finishing fourth and fifth in the 200 within a half-second of each other. Harrison edged her teammate in 24.43 while Ingram clocked in at 24.61. Both sprinters joined Emma and Hannah Bowers (Jonesborough, Tenn.) for a third-place showing in the 4x400, notching a 3:45.43 finish.
Lastly from the Belk Track, Chelsea Clark (Fairmont, W. Va.) posted a fourth-place effort in the steeplechase, crossing the finish line in 11:40.06.
Over on the Transamerica Field, Leah Oakhill (Brisbane, Australia) highlighted the field finishes with a third-place leap in the high jump, clearing 5-04.00 (1.63m), while Bethany Lender (Altoona, Pa.) added a fifth-place mark in the triple jump, 39-01.75 (11.93m).
There were many splashes of blue and gold on the final standings, and Assistant Coach Eli Sunquist said the meet was fantastic.
"Our sprinters, jumpers and distance runners combined for twelve lifetime bests," said Sunquist, "and people keep getting better as they look to improve their standing in the region." Sunquist added special kudos to Pierce, Ingram and Johnson on their individual performances, and he looks forward to what is in store for the rest of the season. "We are looking for even bigger things in the weeks to come," he said.
ETSU is scheduled to compete next at the Liberty Twilight on Thursday in Lynchburg, Va. For more on ETSU Track & Field, visit ETSUBucs.com.