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CHAPEL HILL N.C. (Feb. 3, 2007) - The East Tennessee State track and field team put together another strong showing as they competed at the Carolina Invitational Saturday. For the second consecutive week, ETSU athletes found a spot in the record books.
For the fifth time this season freshman thrower Jarrod Burton (Bastian, Va.) found himself rewriting the record books as he smashed his previous weight throw record of 54-02.50 (16.52m) with a heave of 56-11.25 (17.35m). Overall, Burton finished sixth with his record-breaking toss. Last week, Burton broke the ETSU record in both the shot put and weight throw at the Niswonger Invitational. In all four meets this season, the Virginia native has set a new school record in the weight throw event. Burton also competed in the shot put and finished 13th with a throw of 49-05.75 (15.08m). Burton's teammate Dakota Cagle (Rutherford College, N.C.) also competed in the shot put and finished 11th with a season-best throw of 56-00 (15.39m).
Burton was not the only Virginia native thrower to find a spot in the record books on Saturday, as Zachlynn Blackburn (Tazewell) broke teammate Dedra Jones' record in the weight throw with a toss off 48-00.75 (14.65m). Blackburn finished 11th overall in the event with her mark. Blackburn did not let Jones' throw of 47-09 (14.55m) stay in the record books too long, as she set the mark last weekend at Niswonger.
On the women's side, senior Anna Marie Ricciardi (Canfield, Ohio) put together a record setting day with her third-place finish in the high jump. The senior jumper posted a NCAA Provisional qualifying mark with a personal-best leap of 5-10 (1.78m). The leap also broke Kim Harrell's 27-year-old record of 5-9. The trio of Octavia Burgess (Morganton, N.C.), Jenny Knox (Connelly Springs, N.C.) and Nae-Nae Bailey (Statesville, N.C.) put together strong performances in the 60-meter dash. All three sprinters reached the finals with Bailey and Knox finishing side-by-side with times of 7.85, while Burgess crossed the line with a mark of 7.92. Bailey finished 11th, Knox was 12th and Burgess finished 15th in the finals. The three freshman women's distance runners competing Saturday all set personal-bests in their respective events with Vicki Currie (Dumfries, Scotland) finishing sixth in the 800-meters with a time of 2:19.70. Valerie Boothby (Glen Gardner, N.J.) also posted a top-10 finish as she crossed the line in the mile in 5:15.73, placing ninth in the event, and rounding out the pack was Christin Zink (Herndon, Va.) who posted a mark of 1:01.61 in the 400-meters.
Competing on the men's side was junior Mike Wright (Chattanooga) who reached the finals in the 60-meter hurdles for consecutive weeks. Wright finished the prelims with a time of 8.37, and finished sixth in the finals (8.39). In the 3000-meters, Michael Deren (Blasdell, N.Y.) smashed his season-best finishing sixth with a time of 8:49.07. Deren's previous best this season was his 8:54.10 finish at the Appalachian State Invitational.
Up next the Bucs will be the Appalachian Indoor Limited Open, which is held Thursday at Appalachian State University.