JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 14, 2019) – With the indoor season in the rear view mirror, the ETSU track and field team will now speed ahead to Charlotte, N.C. for its outdoor opener at the 49er Classic, beginning Friday.
The Bucs finished completed indoor season with numerous awards, including three of the four Southern Conference Athlete of the Month accolades for February by redshirt senior Ben Johnson (Nashville), sophomore Ben Varghese (Kingsport) and freshman Mekayla Brown (Elgin, S.C.).
The meet will be video streamed via FloTrack on a paid basis. Live results will be made available free of charge.
There are 54 schools, unattached runners and running clubs estimated to compete this weekend in the open meet. So far, there are roughly 1,750 participants registered to compete. ETSU plans to send 37 athletes to compete — 22 women and 15 men.
This weekend marks the ninth straight season that the Bucs have opened outdoor season in the 49er Classic. Last season, ETSU placed in the top 10 in five events on the opening day, including three of the top five spots in the steeplechase.
One of ETSU’s three entries this season placed third in the event last year — junior Noah Charles (Johnson City) — who has now exceeded his third place time (9:26.12) from that event by nearly half a minute with a personal record of 8:59.18.
Coming off his SoCon Most Outstanding Male Field Performer award this past indoor season, Ben Johnson will look to do some damage in the outdoor season. Johnson will compete in the shot put, discus and javelin at Charlotte.
Mekayla Brown, the 2019 SoCon Indoor Female Freshman of the Year, will hope to continue her breakout freshman campaign in Mother Nature’s environment. She will open outdoor season by competing in the women’s triple jump.
Promising sophomore Ben Varghese is entered to compete alongside three teammates in the men’s 1500m run, as he medaled in all three attempts with a first, second and third place finish in the event last season. This will be his first go at the 1500m at the 49er Classic, as he placed 12th in the 5K in Charlotte last year.
A few Buccaneers will be transitioning to multiple events this outdoor season, a group led by senior Lamisha Simmons (Hollywood, Fla.) who specializes in sprints and hurdles. She plans to compete in the 100m hurdles this weekend, while also entering the women’s discus.
Up-and-coming freshman Noah Shelton (Gray, Tenn.) will take on both throwing and jumping events this outdoor season, including entries this weekend in the men’s high jump, discus and javelin.
Competition begins Friday morning for the Bucs with the women’s hammer throw, as Symphony Buxton (Knoxville), Jaden Finch (Glen Aubrey, N.Y.) and Sydney Hawks (Pearisburg, Va.) will each compete for the Blue and Gold.
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For more information on ETSU track and field, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the track and field pages. Also, follow the program on Twitter @ETSU_TF_XC and on Instagram at the handle @etsuxctf.