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ETSU men and women clutter podium with 12 top-three finishes
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 19, 2013) – ETSU’s men’s and women’s track and field teams closed the door on the 35th annual Niswonger Invitational/KYA High School Invitational on Saturday inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center, as junior Tyler Stepp (Dandridge, Tenn.) won the men’s high jump and sophomore Filip Jalovy (Modrice, Czech Republic) led a one-two finish for the Buccaneers in the men’s mile run.
Stepp was the first to take a victory, clearing a height of 2.08m on his first attempt and watching on as Lipscomb’s Gemikal Prude and Kennesaw State’s Andre Dorsey were unable to do the same. Upon clinching the victory, Stepp raised the bar to 2.11m in an attempt to break the ETSU indoor record, but barely clipped the bar on his third and final attempt. Freshman Blake Isom (Knoxville, Tenn.) and sophomore K’Vonte Scott (Virginia Beach, Va.) finished the event in a tie for fifth place, clearing 1.93m.
“Today was a great day for all three of our jumpers,” Stepp said. “I went for the school record and was close, but didn’t get it. We’re still looking forward to the weeks to come. I’m really proud of everybody and I know Coach Watts is pleased.”
Director of ETSU Track & Field/Cross Country George Watts said he was very pleased with performances on both the men’s and women’s sides, and the meet overall.
“The meet operations went very well,” said Watts, who is in his first season at ETSU. “I appreciate all the help we had from the officials, our administration and all the volunteers. We had a fraternity here to help us out and some ROTC people as well.
“In terms of competing, I thought we had another really fine day. It was a great track and field meet and we made a lot of improvements from last week. We’ve got next weekend off, so we’ll get some training in and head to Winston-Salem the following week.”
Jalovy added to his win total after taking the 800m on Friday, beating teammate Angus Baldwin (Tumbi Umbi, Australia) to the stripe down the home stretch with a time of 4:14.98. Baldwin took second place in his first collegiate mile, clocking a time of 4:15.29.
“It was a great race,” said Jalovy, the reigning A-Sun Track Athlete of the Week. “For Angus and I to finish in first and second place is a great sign for our program and shows that we are strong in this event.”
“It was a battle,” Baldwin said. “I lost contact early on but managed to get back on. I gave it everything, but the line just didn’t come soon enough and Filip was the better man.”
Mateo Mitchell – 2012 Summer Olympics silver medalist in the 4x400m relay – was competing at the meet, running for Nike, and squared off with ETSU sprinter Ifrish Alberg (Paramaribo, Suriname) in the men’s 60m dash. Both Mitchell and Alberg earned the No. 1 qualifying time of 6.82 on Friday, but it was Mitchell who took the final with a time of 6.80 on Saturday to edge Alberg’s second-place effort of 6.85.
Three other men took silver on day two, with senior Tim O’Dell (Palm Coast, Fla.) earning his in the final of the men’s 400m dash after qualifying No. 1 during Friday’s prelims. In the pole vault, it was sophomore Chris Winkle (Gray, Tenn.) shining through, clearing a personal-best height of 4.60m – over 15 feet – to snag second place. Landon Milhorn (The Woodlands, Texas) competed in the men’s unseeded mile and finished runner-up with a time of 4:26.32. Milhorn later ran in the men’s 3000m, earning another podium finish of third at 8:45.44.
ETSU local Sean Duffy (Jonesborough, Tenn.) rounded out ETSU’s podium finishers, earning bronze in the men’s 5000m with a mark of 15:49.08.
Freshman Jessica Palmer (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) kicked off day two with the best finish of the day on the women’s side, earning silver in the women’s 5K by timing a personal-best of 19:05.99. She was joined by two other ETSU women who finished top-three in their respective events, including reigning A-Sun Women’s Track Athlete of the Week Chelsea Clark (Fairmont, W.V.) earning bronze by knocking seven seconds off her collegiate best in the mile and clocking in at 5:10.75. Clark also assisted the women’s DMR team of Katie Hirko (Oley, Pa.), Nicole Alexander (Rock Hill, S.C.) and Melissa Peters (Mesa, Ariz.) to a third-place finish and a time of 12:11.99.
Opening day women’s preliminary qualifiers Karissa Bertling (New Port Richey, Fla.), Keturah Williams (Alpharetta, Ga.) and Alexander took their shots in Saturday’s finals. Bertling timed a 58.61 to earn fourth in the 400m, Williams came in at 24.87 to take fifth in the 200m, followed by Alexander’s 9.16 in the 60m hurdles for a ninth-place finish.
Friday’s women’s triple jump winner, senior Kelly Monteleone (Pittsburgh, Pa.), was back in action Saturday as well, and had another solid performance in the long jump to make the finals. Monteleone’s effort ultimately earned her eighth place in the event at 5.46m.
NotablesMenTyler Stepp – High Jump – 2.08m – 1st PlaceFilip Jalovy – Mile Run (Seeded) – 4:14.98 – 1st PlaceAngus Baldwin – Mile Run – 4:15.98 (PR) – 2nd PlaceIfrish Alberg – 60m Dash – 6.85 – 2nd PlaceTim O’Dell – 400m – 48.97 – 2nd PlaceChris Winkle – Pole Vault – 4.60m (PR) – 2nd PlaceLandon Milhorn – Mile (Unseeded) – 4:26.32 – 2nd Place; 3000m – 8:45.44 – 3rd PlaceSean Duffy – 5000m – 15:49.08 – 3rd PlaceJames Miller – Mile (Unseeded) – 4:33.29 (PR) – 11th Place WomenJessica Palmer – 5000m – 19:05.99 (PR) – 2nd PlaceChelsea Clark – Mile (Seeded) – 5:10.75 (PR) – 3rd PlaceHirko/Alexander/Peters/Clark – DMR – 12:11.99 – 3rd PlaceKarissa Bertling – 400m Dash – 58.61 – 4th PlaceKeturah Williams – 200m – 24.87 – 5th PlaceKelly Monteleone – Long Jump – 5.46m – 8th PlaceNicole Alexander – 60mH – 9.16 – 9th Place
The Buccanner track and field teams next compete two weeks from the Niswonger, heading to the Hilton Garden Invitational in Winston-Salem, N.C., Feb. 1-2.
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For more information on ETSU men’s and women’s track & field, please visit www.ETSUBucs.com.