JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 21, 2017) – In an effort to introduce its newcomers, the ETSU track and field team has created “ETSU Track and Field Thursdays” to feature 21 student-athletes new to the program, beginning this week.
With 17 females and four males entering the program this season, each athlete will be divided into one of four groups for the week: middle and long distance runners, throwers, sprinters/hurdlers/jumpers and a “men only” week.
This week will feature the middle and long distance runners on the women’s side. The next four Thursday spotlights will lead directly into ETSU’s first indoor event Jan. 12-13, the ETSU Track and Field Invitational in Johnson City.
“We are excited about our newcomer and freshmen class and what they will bring to the team as we move forward,” said ETSU head coach George Watts. “We filled several needs and have high expectations for this class. ‘Track and Field Thursdays’ will be a fun way to introduce the athletes and highlight the team in general. This particular highlighted group includes athletes from Knoxville, Morristown, the Tri-Cities and Clyde, N.C.”
Meet the Athletes:
Lindsay Bruce – Fr. – LD – Knoxville, Tenn. (Knox Catholic HS)
Bruce comes to ETSU with a specialty in the 5k and the 3200m, holding personal records of 20:00 and 12:09, respectively. Bruce, a Knoxville native, competed in four consecutive TSSAA Division I A-AA state championship meets from 2013-2016 and finished 13th, 9th, 6th and 5th in the TSSAA Division I A-AA East Middle Regionals from her freshman to senior year.
Coach’s Comments: “Lindsay was a pleasant surprise in her first cross country season, and I’m excited to see how she performs on the track,” Watts said. “Lindsay is a very fine student with an easy going personality, and we are happy she is a part of our program. Lindsay came through with perfect grades this fall semester.”
Heather Feuchtenberger – Fr. – MD – Elizabethton, Tenn. (Elizabethton HS)
Feuchtenberger is a local product from Elizabethton High School just a 10-15 minute trek from ETSU’s campus and holds a number of EHS school records. In the 2017 track and field season, Feuchtenberger broke school records in the cross-country 5k, 1600m, 800m, 400m and DMR during her senior season. She was also an all-state track performer in 2014, 2015 and 2017.
Coach’s Comments: “Heather is from Elizabethton HS and has great range from the 400m through cross-country,” Watts said. “Although her success in high school came in the 800m run, she will eventually move up to the 1500m/mile run as her career progresses. Heather is another excellent student who has produced excellent grades in her first semester.”
Jessica Lord – Fr. – MD – Morristown, Tenn. (Morristown-West HS)
Lord comes to ETSU with a connection, as her older sister, Emily, also runs for the Bucs. At Morristown Hamblen High School West, Jessica was part of both the 2013 and 2014 TSSAA Cross-Country State Championship teams and the following year would set school records in the 200m, 400m and 800m while finishing fifth in the 4x800m in the 2015 state championship. She finished her high school career strong in 2017 with an indoor and outdoor state championship in the 800m.
Coach’s Comments: “Jessica joins her sister Emily as a member of the ETSU Track and Field team,” Watts said. “Jessica’s abilities range from the 400m cross-country. Her primary event will be the 800m, where she was AAA Tennessee State Champion last year. Jessica will also be one of the key legs on our 4x400m relay. I expect Jessica to develop into a fine 1500m/miler in the future.”
Makayla Shaw – Fr. – LD – Jonesborough, Tenn. (Daniel Boone HS)
Another local product, Shaw comes to ETSU from Daniel Boone High School, which is 20 minutes from ETSU the opposite direction of Feuchtenberger and Elizabethton HS. Shaw is a four-time all-conference selection in track and one-time all-state selection in DMR. She was also a three-time all-conference and all-region selection in cross-country with a 29th place finish in the Tennessee state cross-country meet. Shaw is the owner of four records at DBHS, including the 3200m, 1600m and parts of the 4x800 and DMR.
Coach’s Comments: “Makayla became the fifth Daniel Boone High School grad to join the team since the fall of 2014,” Watts said. “This recent cross-country season, Makayla was consistently in the top five, setting personal bests almost each time she competed. In track, her focus will be in the longer distances where her positive attitude and patience will ultimately pay off.”
Hannah Sokol – Fr. – LD – Kingsport, Tenn. (Dobyns-Bennett HS)
Further tapping into the local pipeline, Sokol comes to ETSU from tri-city member Kingsport, less than 30 minutes from ETSU’s campus at Dobyns-Bennett High School. While at DB, Sokol lettered all four years in track and was named to the all-conference and all-region squads in cross-country during her sophomore, junior and senior seasons. She also broke the 2000m and 3000m steeplechase records at DB and for the Slipstream Track and Field Club of Northeastern Tennessee and Southwestern Virginia.
Furthermore, Sokol comes from an athletic pedigree, as her father and brother each pursued boxing careers, with her brother still boxing collegiately at VMI. Her sister, Kendra, ran cross-country at King College from 2008-2014.
Coach’s Comments: “Hannah redshirted this cross-country season but is now healthy and beginning to show signs of fitness,” Watts said. “I’m excited that she will be competing soon as her pleasant personality will contribute to a positive team atmosphere. Hannah has a chance to be a scorer, especially in the steeplechase once we get outdoors. Hannah is another in a long line of recent Dobyns-Bennett grads to join the team.”
Lindsey Stallworth – Fr. – MD – Knoxville, Tenn. (West HS)
Stallworth lettered four seasons in both cross-country and track and field at West High School in Knoxville. While there, Stallworth enjoyed a breakout 2017 season that included becoming a TSSAA State Champion in the 4x800, a 2017 TSSAA All-State selectee in the indoor mile and 1600, the 2017 Metro Knoxville Track and Field Award and the 2017 West High School Outstanding Distance Runner Award.
Coach’s Comments: “Lindsey had a super cross-country season as she was our top runner in all but one race,” Watts said. “She earned All-SoCon and All-Region this fall, and there’s no reason why she can’t carry over that success to the track seasons. Lindsey is one of the most dedicated young runners I’ve been around. Her opportunity for success will come in the mid-distance events, and ultimately, the 3k and 5k.”
Colbie Williamson – Fr. – MD – Clyde, N.C. (Pisgah HS)
A multi-sport athlete in North Carolina, Williamson comes to ETSU with an impressive resume that includes success in cross-country, track and field and basketball. Williamson made the all-conference teams in all three sports, while qualifying for state each in cross-country and track in three of her four years. On another interesting note, Williamson’s mother and former high school coach, Jennifer Williamson, ran both cross country and track at ETSU rival Appalachian State from 1987-1991.
Coach’s Comments: “Colbie is a tenacious young runner who can always be counted on to give her very best,” Watts said. “She will add depth to our mid-distance group, and I fully expect her to be a scoring contributor both this indoor and outdoor season. Colbie has a very positive approach to every day, and combining that with her toughness and work ethic will give her the opportunity to have success throughout her career.”
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