JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 1, 2018) – The ETSU track and field team is two days away from competing in its final indoor home meet of the season — the Buccaneer Track and Field Invitational — Feb. 2-3 inside the Mountain States Health Alliance Athletics Center.
With the final indoor meet, the ETSU track and field team will honor its seniors competing in their last collegiate home indoor meet. The honorees include nine female and seven male athletes who have contributed to the team’s success over the years.
Last week, ETSU track and field introduced its eight female athletes competing for the last time in home indoor action. This week, the team spotlights the male athletes.
Meet the Athletes:
Hadyn Borghetti-Metz – Mid/Long Distance – Rogersville, Tenn.
A four-year member of both the cross-country and track and field teams, Borghetti-Metz has found success in middle and long distance events. The Rogersville, Tenn. native has thrived in team events such as the 4x400, 4x800 and distance medley relay, but has also had individual success in events. Borghetti-Metz finished first in the men’s 1500 meter at Western Carolina in 2016 and has also been part of four team victories. His most recent win came at this year’s ETSU Track and Field Invitational’s DMR.
Coach’s Comments: “Haydn has overachieved at ETSU due to his talent and natural athletic ability,” said ETSU head coach George Watts. “He came here as a mid- distance runner, but immediately took to the 3k steeplechase and now has a chance to be a four-time scorer in the SoCon Championship in that event. Haydn can be counted on as well to run on our 4x400 relay, if necessary. He has been a very strong student, and as a Volunteer High School grad and Hawkins County native, he has shown what can be achieved as a Division 1 athlete.”
Ben Johnson – Thrower – Nashville, Tenn.
A redshirt junior, Johnson has carved his name all over the ETSU record books in three years of action. He holds four throwing records for the Bucs, including his most recent men’s weight toss at the VMI Team Challenge in Lexington, Va. His mark of 20.15 broke his own school record set two weeks ago in Johnson City while also breaking VMI’s facility record. He is a multi-time conference champion in events such as the javelin and discus and is among the top 40 nationally in the weight throw category.
Coach’s Comments: “Ben has become one of the very best track and field athletes to attend ETSU,” Watts said. “Although he had a very tough start to his collegiate career with two injuries, he overcame that adversity and now holds 4 school records in the throwing events. Ben’s natural ability has enabled him to become one of the top throwers in the history of the SoCon, and he has an opportunity to build on that legacy. His talent’s outside of athletics ensures that he will have a successful career beyond college.”
Carl Oberfeitinger – Long Distance – Kingsport, Tenn.
Oberfeitinger is in his fourth season with ETSU as a member of the cross-country and track and field teams. The local product from Dobyns-Bennett High School set a personal record of 3:59.49 in the men's 1500 in Cullowhee, N.C. last season to place second and become one of only two runners to crack a time under 4:00.00. The senior also scored at outdoor SoCon meet last season with an eighth place finish in the 5000m with a time of 15:03.40. He has competed in 47 meets with ETSU thus far.
Coach’s Comments: “Carl challenged himself to become a successful D1 athlete and has done so by being one of the hardest working distance runners on the team,” Watts said. “He has been a scorer in the SoCon Championships at a time when the distance events have gotten very competitive. Carl is one of a growing number of local kids that has embraced what it takes to be a successful student-athlete. As he moves on to his future endeavors, he’ll be a reminder of what it means to persevere and never give in.
Nathan Rivera – Multi-Event – Knoxville, Tenn.
With 41 track meets to his name, Rivera has been an integral part of the ETSU track and field team for the last four seasons. The Knoxville native owns the moniker of “conference champion,” as he set the ETSU heptathlon record with his top performance at the 2017 Southern Conference Indoor Championships, scoring 5,041 points to break his previous school record of 4,335. The senior has had countless top finishes in a wide variety of events throughout his career.
Coach’s Comments: “Nathan has been a consistent scorer throughout his career for the Bucs,” Watts said. “He has a chance to leave ETSU as a school record holder in the decathlon and have one great season this spring as he completes his eligibility. Nathan, as he’s done in the past, can score in as many as five events at the SoCon Championships this year. He knows how to prepare for competition and as one of this year’s team captains hopefully that will rub off on his teammates. His durability and leadership will be missed.”
Simeon Roberts – Mid/Long Distance – Greeneville, Tenn.
A fourth year competitor on the cross country and track circuits, Roberts has made an impact for ETSU as a conference champion and a first and second team All-SoCon selection throughout his career. Last season, Roberts highlighted his outdoor season by competing in the NCAA Division I East Prelims in Lexington, Ky. in the 3000m steeplechase event. Most recently, Roberts has earned two top finishes in two meets this season, including an individual victory in the 3K at VMI last week and a DMR victory in Johnson City to open the season.
Coach’s Comments: “Simeon has been one of the toughest competitors to come through ETSU in a long time,” Watts said. “He can be counted on to bring his ‘A-game’ to championship meets, and this year is no exception. Simeon is on the verge of taking a big step forward and has a chance to qualify for the NCAA Championships this spring. As a Chuckey-Doak High School graduate, he has won conference championships at a D1 level, been selected as one of this year’s team captains and has excelled academically. His ‘on-the-track’ work ethic will be greatly missed.”
Daniel Sonnenfeldt – Long Distance – Knoxville, Tenn.
With 33 career meets to his name, Sonnenfeldt has competed for the Bucs in both cross-country and track action as a long distance runner. The Knoxville native set his most recent personal best at the Southern Conference Outdoor Championships in 2017 with a 32:30.03 time in the 10K, finishing 11th overall and second among a group of five ETSU runners. He also finished sixth out of 66 athletes in the High Point VertKlasse Meeting 5000 meter last season with a time of 15:33.85.
Coach’s Comments: “Daniel is an example of someone who, with the right plan in place and the motivation to implement it, can succeed at anything,” Watts said. “He’s proven that in the classroom. Some might say he has overachieved, others would say he’s taken advantage of an opportunity. Daniel has made significant contributions during the cross-country season and ran personal bests almost every season during track. He comes to practice each day with the goal of getting better, and more importantly, with helping his teammates improve. He has succeeded at both.”
Ashton Wilson – Mid/Long Distance – Gray, Tenn.
A local product from just down the road in Gray, Tenn., Wilson has competed in 24 meets for the Bucs while tackling the tough task of a nursing major. Wilson has mostly competed in the 800m event for ETSU while serving as a key leg on relay squads. He is part of three career top finishes, two of which came in distance medley relays in Johnson City. Most notably, Wilson set a personal best in the men’s mile at 4:36.99, placing sixth out of 30 competitors in the 2016 Buccaneer Track and Field Invitational.
Coach’s Comments: “Ashton’s work ethic more than anything, defines who he is and what he will become,” Watts said. “He’s had as tough of an academic major as possible and still been able to succeed athletically. As a local product and Daniel Boone High School grad, he’s opened the door for others to follow. He’s performed well in conference championships and is one of the most reliable 4x400m legs on the team. As time goes on, Ashton will give back to ETSU more than what was given to him. He has proven you don’t have to go far to make a far-reaching impact on others.”
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