JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 22, 2005) - Competition at the third annual Niswonger Track and Field Invitational wrapped up Saturday afternoon in the Memorial Center at East Tennessee State University.
It was another day of record setting events as Ladji Doucouré, who recently finished eighth in the 110-meter hurdles at the Olympics in Athens, Greece for the French National team, set a new Memorial Center record in the 60-meter hurdle finals. He finished with a time of 7.63, which replaces the previous record of 7.65 set by Allen Johnson in 1997.
USA Track and Field's Miguel Pate, who is sponsored by Nike, won the long jump with a mark of 7.89m. The Niswonger Invitational is Pate's first meet competing back at 100 percent since an ACL injury in 2002. Pate was the 2002 and 2003 USA Indoor champion and placed third at the 2003 World Indoor Championships. In 2002, Pate claimed the NCAA Indoor Championship and in 2001, he was the World University Games champion and placed fourth at the World Outdoor Championships. He holds personal bests of 8.59m in the long jump and 16.62m in the triple jump.
ETSU alumni Catherine Berry, a native of Surrey, England. Berry easily took the 3000-meter invitational with a time of 9:18.55. Her closest competitor trailed her by over 30 seconds. Last year Berry competed at the IAAF Grand Prix II meet in Heusden, Belgium and reached the Olympic ‘B' Standard (15:20.45) in the 5000 meters with a time of 15:19.72 a new personal best. During her career at ETSU from 1997-2000, Berry earned All-American honors in the 5000 meters and made six trips to NCAA meets, three for cross country and three for track and field. Berry holds the Buccaneer record in the outdoor 3000 meters with a time of 9:29.91 set in 1999.
Berry has also seen success as a coach and is currently the volunteer assistant coach for the women's distance runners at ETSU. Three of her athletes Maggie Hunter, Christine Ward, and MacKenzie LaBonte all competed well in the distance session of Niswonger held earlier Saturday morning.
For the ETSU women, senior Chantelle Vernon (Markham, Ontario) competed in the 60-meter dash finals and placed fourth with a time of 7.60.
Up next for the Bucs is the Appalachian State Invitational next Friday, Jan. 28.