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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 5, 2016) – In its final home meet of the indoor season, the ETSU track and field program turned in a strong first day at the Buccaneer Invitational. ETSU posted a total of seven top five finishes in their respective events with five of the seven finishes allowing the Bucs to advance to the final running of those events Saturday.
“We had a very solid first day at the Buccaneer Track and Field Invitational,” ETSU Director of Track & Field/Cross Country George Watts. “We challenged the team to be prepared to have our strongest meet of the season and we are half way to accomplishing our goals. It's very important to follow up today’s results with another strong performance tomorrow. It's very good preparation for the conference championship.”
ETSU’s top finish of the day came from freshman Kyra Atkins (Greer, S.C). Atkins finished first in the 60m hurdles in both the preliminaries and the semifinals with times of 8.69 and 8.49. The second mark was just 0.20 seconds away from tying the indoor record in the 60m hurdles. By virtue of finishing in the top eight, Atkins will try to capture her first victory of her collegiate career Saturday at 2 p.m.
On the men’s side, the Buccaneers received a strong outing from junior Matthew Moore (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) in the 60m dash with times of 6.82 and 6.77 in the first two rounds the event. Like Atkins earlier, Moore was very close to tying the program record as the school record in the 60m dash is 6.68. Moore will compete in the finals at 3:13 p.m. Saturday.
In addition to Atkins and Moore, Vicki Franse (Clinton, Tenn.), Keturah Williams (Alpharetta, Ga.) and Kiana Davis (Ooltewah, Tenn.) also advance to the finals of the 400m Dash, 60m Dash and 200m Dash Saturday.
“I was very pleased with the majority of the team and we had some very outstanding marks with four ladies advance to tomorrow's final,” said Watts.
Rounding out the top performances for the Bucs Friday were a pair of third place finishes in in the Men’s Heptathlon and the Men’s 5000m run. In the heptathlon, Nathan Rivera (Knoxville, Tenn.) currently sits in third place after three events with 2788 points. Rivera has three events to try and catch the current leader, which is Mike Morrison with 2906 points. In the 5000m run, which was the final event Friday, Carl Oberfeitinger (Kingsport, Tenn.) ran a time of 15:04.50 to seal the Bucs’ day with another top five finish.
“As is the case in most meets there are a lot of hidden performances where kids had a strong race or event or set personal bests along the way,” remarked Watts. “That happened today and as a result our teams are much improved. I'm excited to see how we perform tomorrow.”
Saturday’s events are scheduled to get underway at 8:30 a.m. and will wrap up around 5:45 p.m. Live results will be available tomorrow at timinginc.com and by clicking on the “Live Results” link. Tickets for tomorrow are $5 and available on the west side/third level of the Mini Dome. Parking is available for fans on campus in Lot 22.
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