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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (May 15, 2011) - And then there were three. As the outdoor track and field season crosses the finish line, a three ETSU athletes look to qualify for the NCAA East Regional May 27 in Bloomington, Ind.
With three sprinters already safely within the top 48 in their respective events, Ben Ronoh (Sotik, Kenya) also grabbed one more solid finish for the road in his final event as a senior. He took third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase for the top Buc finish at the Clemson Final Qualifier on Saturday. His 9:21.02 is a new lifetime best, a fitting way to end a stellar career at ETSU.
In the regional sprint pool, both Ifrish Alberg (Paramaribo, Suriname) and Mike James (Palm Bay, Fla.) logged their best times at the Atlantic Sun Championships in Jacksonville, Fla., April 16, as Alberg continued his dominance in the 100-meter dash with a conference-best time of 10.42 and James took second in the 110-meter hurdles in 13.92, ranking No. 14 in the region. Alberg is No. 36 in the 100, well within the cut line.
At Clemson, Robert Purcell (Raeford, N.C.) tossed his hat into the regional ring as he set a new season best in the 400 hurdles, a 52.84 mark that would have tied him for No. 48 in the East. However, Purcell finished fourth in the event behind three more regional opponents, which bumps him out of the running for Bloomington.
ETSU's lone top-48 finish on the women's side still stands from the Charlotte Invitational. Jasmine Ingram (Frederick, Md.) ran a personal best 54.15 in the 400 on April 23, which is No. 34 in the region. Ingram finished fourth at Clemson in 54.45.
Freshman sensation Emani Harrison (Columbia, S.C.) came close with her season-best 11.67 in the 100 at Charlotte, but that time has since dropped out of the top 50 in the region. On Friday at Clemson, she qualified in an astounding 11.63, which forces an immediate four-way tie for No. 45 in the East - and leaves an outside chance to qualify, pending the rest of the weekend's regional results.
While Harrison awaits her fate, teammates Alberg, James and Ingram have two weeks to train for a trip to Bloomington. To keep tabs on their progress, visit ETSUBucs.com.