Blackburn sets school mark on day one of Niswonger Invitational
Senior Zachylnn Blackburn set an ETSU record in the weight throw on Friday
Senior Zachylnn Blackburn set an ETSU record in the weight throw on Friday

Friday, January 22, 2010

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 22, 2010) - Senior Zachlynn Blackburn (Tazewell, Va.) made the most of her final Niswonger Invitational, as the standout thrower set a new ETSU record in the weight throw on Friday afternoon inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. Overall, the Bucs came away with a strong showing on day one of the meet.


Blackburn, who all ready owned the record prior to the meet, finished third in the event with her heave of 55-07.75 (16.96m). The Tazewell, Va. native added over four inches to her previous lifetime best, which was 55-03.50.


"Zachlynn had a strong showing for us in the weight throw today," added associate track and field coach Michelle Byrne. "She loves throwing in this building with all the support she gets. Zachlynn has been the backbone of our women's throwing team for a while now, and today it was great to see her throw a personal best. I know Coach (Meg) Stone has worked hard with Zachlynn leading up to this event and it all paid off this afternoon."


Meanwhile, on the track, junior Mike James (Palm Bay, Fla.) advanced his way into the finals of the 60m hurdles. James, who won his heat with a time of 8.21, finished fifth overall in the prelims on Friday morning. The junior hurdler will now try to win the final at 5:25 p.m. on Saturday.


Senior sprinter Duronal Monal (Belle Glade, Fla.) had a bittersweet day on the track. After a false start knocked him out of the prelims of the 60m, Monal came away with a qualifying time in the 200m. Monal advanced to Saturday's final with a time of 21.68.


"It was unfortunate to see Duronal false start in the 60m," commented Byrne. "That being said, I thought he ran well in the 200m. His first 20 was extremely quick, and then, I thought he tightened up a bit at the end. However, this is a strong field so it was good to see him make tomorrow's final."


As James and Monal were qualifying for the finals in their respective events, junior runner Jasmine Ingram (Frederick, Md.) was doing the same in the women's 400m. Ingram, who all ready set a new school mark in the event last weekend at Virginia Tech (55.99), cruised past the competition in her heat as her time of 56.27 was a full second faster than her nearest runner.


"Jasmine is a very talented and strong runner," said Byrne. "She has worked very hard in practice lately, and today we saw that show on the track. She was very relaxed out there, which allowed her to get into a better rhythm."


Other ETSU notables include Quentin Greenlee (Morristown, Tenn.), Robert Purcell (Raeford, N.C.) and Tim O'Dell (Ormond Beach, Fla.). Greenlee, who was making his first appearance in the 200m since injuring his knee a year ago, won his heat with a time of 21.95. Meanwhile, Purcell and O'Dell both clocked season bests in the 400m. Purcell won his heat, finishing in 50.49, while O'Dell turned in a time of 50.59.


Day two of the Niswonger Invitational kicks off with the men's and women's 5000m run at 8 a.m. on Saturday.


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