Track and Field makes final preparations for 2007 Mideast Regional

Thursday, May 24, 2007

COLUMBIA, Mo. (May 24, 2007) - With a bid to next month's NCAA Track and Field Championships on the line, a handful and ETSU athletes will look to showcase their strongest performances of the season this Friday when they compete in the 2007 Mideast Regional, hosted by the University of Missouri at Audrey J. Walton Stadium.


Competing for the Bucs this weekend is James Rainer (Alcoa, Tenn.), Jenny Knox (Connelly Springs, N.C.), Anna Marie Ricciardi (Canfield, Ohio) and the men's 4x100-meter relay team, which consists of Derek Carey (Nassau, Bahamas), Chris Harrison (Woodbridge, Va.), Johnny Tucker (Spartanburg, S.C.) and Rainer. Junior Mike Wright (Chattanooga, Tenn.) also made the trip to Columbia as an alternate in the 4x100-meter relay.


Rainer will look to close out his illustrious collegiate career with his second straight trip to the NCAA Championships as he leads the Bucs in the 100 meters and will also run a leg in the 4x100. He earned a bid to the 2006 NCAA Championships after placing sixth in the 100 meter finals at the Regional in Knoxville. The speedster from Alcoa, Tenn. stormed out of the gates in 2007, setting a Regional Qualifying Mark at the Charlotte 49er Classic in March. His time of 10.43 places him 15th in the region, and he drew lane three in the first heat of four heats on Friday. Rainer is coming off a top finish in the 100-meter dash at the Atlantic Sun Championships two weeks ago, and he was also named A-Sun Athlete of the Week for his solid performances set at the 49er Classic.


After just missing the 2006 Regional, the men's 4x100-meter relay team had one goal to reach and that was to be racing in Columbia this weekend. The goal became a reality on the third Saturday in April when the crew ran a time of 40.21 in the finals at the Vanderbilt Invitational. The Bucs will be facing some stiff competition as they hold the 13th quickest time in the event, and will be running between LSU (39.37) and Cincinnati (40.15) in the second heat Friday.


On the women's side, Anna Marie Ricciardi will be making her second consecutive trip to the NCAA Regional as she competes in the high jump. Ricciardi's Regional Qualifying leap occurred on the very last day of March when she cleared 5-09 (1.75m) at the Weems Baskin Invitational, hosted South Carolina. She won the event with the mark, and also took first place in the event the very next weekend at Furman.


Making her first trip to a NCAA Regional and closing out a stellar senior season will be Jenny Knox. Knox earned the bid to the regional by claiming gold in the 100-meter dash at the A-Sun Championships two weeks ago as she beat out Belmont's Lynette Rives by four-hundredths of a second, with a time of 11.85. The senior from Connelly Springs, N.C. drew lane six in the final heat on Friday, along side Rives.


Please visit or click on the link above for more information regarding the 2007 Mideast Regional. Make sure to visit for updated coverage of the Buccaneers track and field team as they compete at Audrey J. Walton Stadium.

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