SPARTANBURG, S.C. (April 25, 2010) - Soggy and windy conditions still couldn't slow down the Buccaneer track and field team on Saturday afternoon, as four ETSU athletes captured individual titles at the USC Upstate Invite.
Competing against two Atlantic Sun rivals in Campbell and the host Spartans, junior runner Manny Gonzales (Maryville, Tenn.), hurdler/high jumper Mike James (Palm Bay, Fla.), thrower Matt Baum (Middletown, Md.) and sophomore thrower Cornell Sneed (Miami, Fla.) all won their respective events on Saturday.
Leading the charge on the track was Gonzales, as he took home the top time in the 3000m (8:58.46), while finishing second in the 800m after clocking in at 1:55.50. Joining Gonzales with a solid effort in the 3000m was senior J Penny (Jonesborough, Tenn.). Penny placed right behind his Buccaneer teammate - finishing with a time of 9:01.13.
Meanwhile, in the field events, three ETSU standouts were excelling in the throws and vertical jumps.
James, who was making his season debut in the high jump, posted a first-place mark of 1.98m - which propelled him into fourth on the conference performance charts. In addition, James also tied his season best time in the 110mH after finishing second with a mark of 14.29. Joining James in the top-5 of the hurdles was senior Nic Chernikow (Seymour, Tenn.). Chernikow placed fifth by finishing with a time of 15.47.
Elsewhere in the field events, Baum and Sneed - who both set school records last weekend in Charlotte - took home gold in the javelin and discus.
Baum was also fresh off receiving his first career A-Sun Athlete of the Week honor, and continued his impressive ways in the javelin. The Middletown, Md. native beat out the field of competitors with a heave of 54.48m. Sneed also led the charge in the discus after letting one soar 44.34m.
Other ETSU notables included senior Kenneth Rotich's (Nairobi, Kenya) second-place performance in the 5000m. Rotich turned in a season best time of 14:33.05, while cousin Ben Ronoh (Sotik, Kenya) finished third.
A pair of ETSU athletes finished second and fourth, respectively, in the men's triple jump. Freshman Ryan Beaver (Virginia Beach, Va.) - who is currently the top triple jumper in the A-Sun - posted a mark of 13.85, while Dre Westfield (Cleveland, Tenn.) leaped 13.79m in the event. Fellow freshman Michael Lockhart (Dandridge, Tenn.) placed fourth in the long jump after one of his jumps measured at 6.47m.
On the women's side, Kelly Monteleone (Verona, Pa.) recorded a top-3 effort in the triple jump (11.03m). In the javelin, senior multi-sport athlete Amanda Youell (Middleburg, Fla.) finished third in the javelin after heaving one 29.15m.
The Bucs return to action next week when ETSU competes in the Liberty Twilight meet on Thursday, April 29.
For more information on Buccaneer track and field, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.