JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 22, 2003) - East Tennessee State sophomore Brad Yewer (Newbury, England) won three Southern Conference titles and was awarded with the Most Outstanding Track Performer, as the Buccaneer men's and women's teams finished fifth overall in the 2003 SoCon Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Yewer, who won the 3000-meters and finished second in the distance medley relay on Friday, captured the mile and 5000-meter crowns today. In the mile run Yewer fought off Chattanooga's Colin Sullivan, to win his second title, finishing the race with a time of 4:14.36. In the 5000-meters Yewer waited patiently to make his move and in the final laps he pulled ahead of the pack and was able to hold off Chattanooga's Steven Kocsis -- to win his third conference title -- in the time of 15:04.83.
"I took every race like it was my last," said Yewer. "I wanted to win the mile bad and in the 5000 I sat in and made sure that I was in position down the stretch."
"This is everything, but winning only means that everyone will be out to get you." Yewer said. "Now I have to continue to work hard to improve on my times for outdoor."
"Brad was so disappointed last year, he reached for it, but it wasn't there," said Buccaneer head coach Dave Walker. "This year he had it, he was ready and he was outstanding."
Freshman Peter Dalton (Dublin, Ireland) also had a good showing in the 5000-meters with a fifth place finish and the defending SoCon indoor 5000-meter champion, James Grufferty (Glanmire, Ireland), placed eighth. In the finals of the 55-meter hurdles, junior Kaylin Chesney (Knoxville, Tenn.) won his heat, but came up short, finishing fourth with a time of 8.00.
"We didn't score big where we needed to," said Walker. "I thought we might have a chance at fourth on the men's side, but we were outnumbered overall."
On the women's side sophomore Chantelle Vernon (Markham, Ontario) placed third in the 55-meter dash behind Georgia Southern's Rashedah Arnold and Appalachian's Jennifer Claud. In the women's triple jump, ETSU's Kristin Truman (Johnson City, Tenn.) advanced into the finals and finished sixth, with a jump of 11.27 meters. In the women's 4 x 400 meter relay, the Buccaneer women place fourth.
"We felt that if we had a great meet that we could sneak into fourth," Buccaneer assistant Michelle Byrne said. "We need to keep improving and bring in some added talent to bolster our numbers."
"We did some good things today, I felt like Kristin [Truman] making the finals was a great accomplishment and Tiffany Collier (Atlanta, Ga.) ran a great leg in the 4 x 400 meter relay," said Byrne "We aren't at full strength right now and if we stay committed then we can be much better during the outdoor season."
Appalachian State swept the meet winning the men and women's championships. The Mountaineers totaled 186 points, to win their 13th title, followed by Western Carolina who scored 118.5. The Appalachian women scored 186.5 points to win their 10th title, followed by Chattanooga who scored 158.5.
The Buccaneers will open up the outdoor season on March 1 at Virginia Tech. For complete results from the 2003 Southern Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships, log onto www.etsubucs.com.
Final Team Results
1. Appalachian State 186
2. Western Carolina 118.5
3. VMI 99
4. Chattanooga 87
5. East Tennessee State 62.5
6. The Citadel 51
7. Wofford 8
7. Davidson 8
1. Appalachian State 186.5
2. Chattanooga 158.5
3. Georgia Southern 97
4. Western Carolina 78
5. East Tennessee State 40
6. VMI 24
7. Furman 14
8. Davidson 7
9. College of Charleston 6
10. The Citadel 2
11. UNC Greensboro 1
Most Outstanding Track Performer (Men)
Brad Yewer - ETSU
Most Outstanding Track Performer (Women)
Shannon Wommack - Chattanooga
Most Outstanding Field Performer (Men)
Holt McPherson - Appalachian State
Anthony Greer - Appalachian State
Most Outstanding Field Performer (Women)
LaShana Poole - Appalachian State
Freshman of the Year (Women)
Rasheda Arnold - Georgia Southern
Freshman of the Year (Men)
John Robertson - Western Carolina
Coach of the Year (Men)
John Weaver - Appalachian State
Coach of the Year (Women)
Bill Gautier - Chattanooga