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After strong indoor season, Bucs kick off outdoor events
CHARLOTTE (March 16, 2011) - After winning their fourth A-Sun indoor men's championship in the last six years, ETSU Track & Field takes their marks at Charlotte's Irwin Belk Center tomorrow for the starting gun of the outdoor season.
In the Bucs' last visit to the 49er in 2008, former standout Nic Chernikow (Seymour, Tenn.) finished fifth in the heptathlon with 5,360 total points. ETSU's last event at the Irwin Belk Center was the April 17, 2010 Charlotte Invitational, where they captured four titles spread evenly between track and field events. Last year's A-Sun Athlete of the Year Duronal Monal (Belle Glade, Fla.) ran a then-personal-best 10.27 in the 100m, topping the 27-man field. In addition, returning Buccaneers Ben Ronoh (Sotik, Kenya), Jarrod Burton (Bastian, Va.) and Jasmine Foster (Johnson City, Tenn.) took gold in their respective events. Ronoh ran away with the steeplechase, finishing in 9:35.92. Burton heaved the hammer 172-10, more than 11 feet beyond the nearest challenger. Foster's 4-11.50 (12.79m) finish in the shot put moved her up in the conference standings as she beat out Campbell's Jessica Dunston, this year's A-Sun runner-up in the event.
Among the top Bucs to watch at this year's 49er, Burton recently earned Most Valuable Field Performer honors at the A-Sun indoor championships Feb. 19 inside the ETSU-MSHA Center, finishing first in the shot put and second in the weight throw. Joining Burton in the winner's circle, Mike James (Palm Bay, Fla.) took home the title in the 60m hurdles in a meet-record 8.02, while Jesse Aliaga-Jacob (Nice, France) overcame nagging injury to win and set a meet record of 4,750 points in the heptathlon.
On women's side, several Buccaneers placed at the conference championships. Emani Harrison (Columbia, S.C.) fell three-tenths of a second short of gold in the 60m dash with a lifetime best 7.62, while fellow sprinter Jasmine Ingram (Frederick, Md.) came in third at 24.71 in the 200m. ETSU put two in the top three in the triple jump, as Lexie Burley (Johnson City, Tenn.) and Bethany Lender (Altoona, Penn.) leapt 38-10.25 and 38-08.75, finishing second and third respectively.
Both the men's and women's 4x400m teams made the final stand on the podium for ETSU at the indoor finals, both finishing third to round out the meet. Transitioning to the outdoor season, the men's team hopes to follow this year's indoor title with a repeat of the 2009 campaign when they won both the indoor and outdoor A-Sun championships.