Dahl continues to impress, sets NCAA Provisional Mark at Virginia Tech
Friday, February 6, 2009

BLACKSBURG, Va. (Feb. 6, 2009) - Less than a week after turning in the NCAAs ninth fastest time in the mile at the Niswonger Invitational, senior transfer Heidi Dahl (Orem, Utah) impressed the fans on day one of the Virginia Tech Invitational on Friday evening, as the talented runner finished with the eighth fastest time in the 800 meters inside the Rector Field House.


Dahl, who has all ready set a NCAA Provisional Mark in the mile, did the same thing on Friday night by beating out the 25-woman field with a blazing time of 2:07.21 - which jumped her past Indiana's Molly Beckwith for eighth on the NCAA top performance chart.


"Heidi really showed great race savvy tonight," commented associate head coach Michelle Byrne, who saw Dahl run a lifetime best in the indoor 800m. "This was an extremely fast race at the start, but Heidi didn't panic and her maturity showed through in the end. She was less aggressive at the 400 and 600 mark but finished strong in the end. The fast pace at the beginning made her a little timid, but she adjusted and managed the race well by running away from the field."    


While Dahl was making noise in the 800m, senior sprinter Judy Johnson (Knoxville) highlighted the Bucs in the 60 and 200-meter events.


For the second straight weekend, Johnson battled Georgia's Odeika Bent in the 200m, but the Knoxville native came through with another win in the event. Last Saturday Johnson beat out the Bulldog sprinter in the finals of the 200m in Johnson City, and again on Friday night, she accomplished the same feat by posting an impressive time of 24.31. Bent finished second with a mark of 24.52.


In the 60-meter dash, Johnson enjoyed her fastest time of the season, as she qualified for the finals with a mark of 7.67. The time also ties her with Belmont's Lynette Rives for the quickest in the Atlantic Sun; however, Johnson was held out in the finals due to tightness in her hamstring.


"Judy posted stellar performances in both the 60 and 200m events tonight," added Byrne. "She faced some really tough competition in both areas and finished with a her second straight title in the 200m. It is nice to her win back-to-back meets in the 200, and hopefully she can carry this momentum through the conference championships."


In the men's 3000 meters, junior Kenneth Rotich (Nairobi, Kenya) won his section with a season and conference best time of 8:32.67. Overall, Rotich placed ninth in the event.


Sophomore Manny Gonzalez (Maryville, Tenn.) ran tough in 800 meters, as he turned in a season best time of 1:58.81.


Along with Dahl's outstanding time in the 800m, sophomore Ashton Bishop (Gate City, Va.) came through with a strong mark of 2:20.99 and finished 10th overall.


"Both Manny and Ashton ran very well tonight," added Byrne. "Both runners have shown a lot of fight the last couple weeks and hopefully this is something they can use to their advantage in a few weeks at the conference championships."


In the field events, senior Josh Cloyd (Telford, Tenn.) and freshman thrower Lili Barboza (Oxford, Ala.) finished with lifetime bests in their respective events.


Cloyd advanced to the finals in the long jump and turned in a fourth place finish with a conference-best leap of 24-05.75 (7.46m). The mark was also just short of setting the 7.50m provisional standard.


Then, in the throws, Barboza posted her best collegiate throw - finishing eighth overall with a heave of 45-09 (13.94m) in the weight.


The Bucs, who are going head-to-head with some of the toughest ACC and SEC programs, wrap up the second and final day of competition on Saturday.


For a full recap of events and results make sure to visit, www.ETSUBucs.com or http://www.flashresults.com/2009_Meets/indoor/VTElite/.