Three Bucs earn titles at SoCon Indoor Championships
Photo Courtesy: Southern Conference
Three Bucs earn titles at SoCon Indoor Championships
Sunday, February 25, 2018

Johnson, Atkins, Delince each turn in personal bests with Day Two victories

LEXINGTON, Va. (Feb. 25, 2018) – ETSU wrapped up a successful outing at the 2018 Southern Conference Indoor Championships this weekend inside the Corps Physical Training Facility Sunday, earning three individual conference championships.

Overall, both Buccaneer squads finished in the top half of the pack, as the ETSU men’s team finished third place with 111 points while the women took fourth place with 103 points.

“I am very pleased with the performance and happy for our men's and women's teams at this weekends championships,” said ETSU Director of Track and Field George Watts. “We had a lot of good things occur today, and I couldn't be more excited with what the future holds for our teams as we head into the outdoor season next month.”

Per usual, Ben Johnson (Nashville, Tenn.) had the biggest highlight of the day, setting a new personal, school and facility record with his morning weight throw of 21.99m. This throw also won him a conference championship while breaking the previous all-time championship meet record.

Additionally, Johnson’s mark unofficially ranked him 13th in the nation, meaning if the season ended today he would qualify for the NCAA Championships in the event. Johnson will wait to find out his fate, as the NCAA meet is set for March 9-10 in College Station, Texas.

On the women’s side, junior Kyra Atkins (Greer, S.C.) once again finished first in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 8.29. This time gives Atkins a personal record while also matching the SoCon Championship record and the ETSU program record.

Finally, freshman Karon Delince (Phenix City, Ala.) earned his first career conference championship with a win in the men’s 200 meter dash, setting his new personal best at 21.62 seconds.

Atkins and Delince combined to score in seven events for ETSU, with Atkins scoring in the 60 meter dash and hurdles, long jump and women’s 200. Delince scored in each the men’s 200, long jump and men’s 60 meter dash.


More Highlights from Lexington

  • Delince’s football teammate Drae Butts (Gray, Ga.) had a solid conference debut as a track and field combo athlete, earning the silver medal with a second place showing in the men’s triple jump at 14.66m.
  • Also earning silver in field action was freshman Symphony Buxton (Knoxville, Tenn.), as she set a new school record with a mark of 17.62m. Buxton’s record mark comes one day after fouling out in the shot put, showing her resiliency.
  • Junior Kiana Davis (Ooltewah, Tenn.) had a career day at the championships, earning two medals Sunday with a second place finish in the 60 meter dash and a third place showing in the 200 meter.
  • Fellow Junior Lamisha Simmons (Hollywood, Fla.) turned in another strong performance in the 60 meter hurdles, placing second behind Atkins with a time of 8.64. Simmons also scored in the 200 meter dash.
  • Senior Timia Easley (Columbus, Ohio) also had a busy day for the Bucs, competing in the women’s triple jump and 60mH to finish fourth in each event.
  • Coming into the weekend “not at 100 percent,” according to Watts, senior Simeon Roberts (Greeneville, Tenn.) earned a second straight bronze, this time doing so in the mile run.
  • Another third place performance took place in team action, as the men’s 4x400 relay team of Hunter Sampson (Salem, Va.), Delince, Harper Sigler (Bogart, Ga.) and Hadyn Borghetti-Metz (Rogersville, Tenn.) scored six for ETSU.
  • Likewise, the women’s 4x400 team placed fourth, ran by Vicki Franse (Clinton, Tenn.), Jessica Lord (Morristown, Tenn.), Davis and Nicki Smith (Urbandale, Iowa).
  • An impressive feat in and of itself, sophomore Malick Gemechu (Johnson City, Tenn.) scored in both the men’s 3000m and 5000m in back-to-back days. Gemechu racked up a combined seven points in the two long distance runs to help the Bucs.
  • In the men’s 800, freshman Matt Scarr (Wamberal, NSW, Australia) earned a fourth place finish at 1:54.64, while Borghetti-Metz also scored in the final with a seventh place showing.
  • Freshmen Heather Feuchtenberger (Elizabethton, Tenn.) and Jessica Lord (Morristown, Tenn.) each competed in the women’s 800, scoring with finishes of fourth and sixth place, respectively.


ETSU SoCon All-Freshmen Honorees

Karon Delice (60m dash, 200m dash, long jump)

Tate Overbay (400m dash)

Matt Scarr (800m run)

Drae Butts (triple jump, long jump)

Kendra Whitehurst (triple jump, 60m hurdles)

Heather Feuchtenberger (800m run)

Symphony Buxton (weight)

Jaden Finch (shot put, weight)

Atlantis Warren (shot put)


Thoughts from Coach Watts

On Johnson’s record shattering throw: “The highlight of the day, as he has been for most of the season was the record shattering performance by Ben Johnson in the weight throw. Not only did he win and establish a new school record, but also set a Southern Conference meet record. We will have to wait until the end of the day, but he strengthened his chances of qualifying for the NCAA Championships in two weeks.”

On Delince’s performance: “Our other men's conference champ was Karon Delince's in the 200m dash. Karon had a very busy meet as he scored in three events today to go along with his runner up performance in yesterday's long jump.”

On Atkins’ day: “Our women's team had similar success as Kyra Atkins led the way as she defended her 60m Hurdle title equaling her personal best along the way.  Similar to Karon, she scored in four events over the weekend and did an outstanding job.”

On Simmons and Davis multi-eventing: “Other medalists included Lamisha Simmons in the 60m Hurdles, to go along with her scoring in the 200m. Kiana Davis had her best meet of her career as she earned two medals with a second in the 60m dash and 3rd in the 200m dash, both indoor personal bests. She also ran a leg on the 4th place 4x400m relay team.”

On Buxton’s rebound day: “Symphony Buxton bounced back from a rough shot put to finish runner up in the weight throw today and establishing a new school record along the way.”

On Butts’ conference debut: “Drae Butts another football/track combo earned a silver in the triple jump with a personal best effort in only his second meet of the season.”

On Roberts overcoming the odds: “Simeon Roberts almost stole the mile but had to settle for a bronze medal.  Simeon was not 100% this weekend and I'm very proud of the gutsy effort he put forth.”

On men’s 4x400 team: “We finished off the day with a 3rd place finish in the 4x400m relay with Hunter, Karon, Harper and Haydn.  As well we had several guys that just missed a podium finish as we exceeded the form charts throughout the weekend.”


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