Kyra Atkins wins long jump, Simeon Robers earns victory in 3000m steeplechase
CULLOWHEE, N.C. (May 12, 2016) – It was a terrific day one of the 2016 Southern Conference Championships for the ETSU Track and Field program, highlighted by freshman Kyra Atkins (Greer, S.C.) becoming the SoCon Champion in the women's long jump and junior Simeon Roberts (Greeneville, Tenn.) coming away victorious in the 3000m steeplechase.
On day one ETSU saw a total of 13 Bucs advance to their event finals tomorrow afternoon in Cullowhee. As a team, the men are in third place with 40 points while the women are in third with 33 points.
"We had a very solid day and I'm pleased with the competitive efforrt of the team," said director of track & field George Watts. "We qualified very well for tomorrow's finals and look forward to a good day."
Atkins was crowned SoCon Champion in the women's long jump after recording a collegiate best mark of 5.64 meters. The mark set by Atkins ranks third in the SoCon this season.
The Greer, S.C., native will look for her second SoCon Individual Championship tomorrow after recording a collegiate best time of 13.51 in the 100 meter hurdles to have the fastest qualifying time
The second SoCon Individual champion was crowned near the end of the day as Roberts won the mens 3,000-meter steeplechase with a collegiate best time of 9:18.36. It was the fourth straight year ETSU has won the mens steeplechase event.
"Today's highlights start with Kyra and Simeon's great wins along wiht five other podium finishes," said Watts. "One of hte nice surprises was Macy Carrier's second place finish in the steeplechase."
Junior Michael Williams (Mt.Laurel, N.J.) had a big day on the track on day one of the SoCon Championships, advancing to the finals in both the mens 100 and 400 meter hurdles with the fastest time. Williams recorded a collegiate best time of 14.51 in the 110mH and backed up that performance with a time of 53.15 in the 400mH.
In the 400mH on the women's side sophomore Nicki Smith (Urbandale, Iowa) posted a time of 1:04.24 to finish third overall and advance to the finals Friday. Smith solidified her spot in the finals by placing second in her preliminary heat and was just three seconds away from setting the ETSU school record.
Defending Pole Vault Champion senior Ashley Kessler (Knoxville, Tenn.) was unable to go back-to-back as she finished second with a mark of 3.66 meters. Kessler has now recorded 17 straight top five finishes in pole vault.
"Ashley is dissapointed with her runner-up spot but she has been a champion throughout her career and I appreciate her competitiveness at our conference meets," said Watts. "Brett Squibbs mark in the pole vault gives him a shot at moving on to the east regional preliminaries in two weeks."
Junior Matthew Moore (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) will head to the finals in the 100 meter dash as the fastest qualifier recording a collegiate best time of 10.58. Moore was just .29 seconds away from breaking the school record set back in 2013. In the women's 100 meter dash senior Keturah Williams (Alpharetta, Ga.) heads to the event final in the womens 100 meter dash, recording the second fastest time at 11.95. Freshman Kiana Davis (Ooltewah, Tenn.) also qualified for the final with a collegiate best time of 12.05.
After recording a collegiate best time of 24.70 in the womens 200 meter dash, Davis will head to her second event final with the third fastest time. Junior Patrick Taylor (Chattanooga, Tenn.) earned the last spot in the mens 200 meter dash as he recorded a time of 22.22. In the field Taylor finished third in the long jump with a mark of 6.89 meters.
"Taylor has proven to be a clutch performer and proved it again with his third place finish in the long jump," said Watts. "Finally Ben Johnson has made a tremendous comeback from a very tough injury and show how talented he is with a 200 foot throw in javelin. He has a bright future in throwing events."
The day started off with ETSU earning three qualifiers for tomorrows men's 1500 meter as junior Simeon Roberts (Greeneville, Tenn.) clinched a spot in the finals with the fourth fastest time of 4:06.95. Right behind Roberts was junior Matthew Warriner (Maryville, Tenn.) who had the sixth fastest time of 4:07.06. Rounding out the trio for the Bucs was freshman Nick Horne (Blountville, Tenn.) who qualified with a collegiate best time of 4:05.57.
Day two of the SoCon Championships gets started tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. with the decathlon. The first field event begins at 1:00 p.m. with the mens shot put final.
Men's All-Freshman - Day 1
Aaron Templeton, Furman
Frank Lara, Furman
Ben Bryant, Samford
Danny Andrews, The Citadel
Ben Johnson, ETSU
Charlie Hatler, The Citadel
Brian Donna, VMI
Andrew Arlint, VMI
Jamie Brown, Western Carolina
Tyrie Adams, Western Carolina
Jordan Williams, The Citadel
Jordan Bostian, Western Carolina
Women's All-Freshman - Day 1
Anna Long, Samford
Tatiana Taylor, Samford
Ruby Caldwell, Samford
Alex King, Wofford
Sarah Lee, Samford
Rebecca Pfitzer, Samford
Kennedy Williams, Western Carolina
Kyra Atkins, ETSU
Tamilia Wright, Western Carolina
Alexandra Burgess, Wofford
Emily Armstrong, ETSU
Kameron Cass, The Citadel
Kennedy Williams, Western Carolina
Anna Long, Samford
Haley Morris, Chattanooga
- Sophomore Ben Johnson (Nashville, Tenn.) finished second in mens javelin with collegiate best mark of 61.17 meters.
- Bucs place three in top 15 in mens 10,000 meter
Carl Oberfeitinger - 10th - 32:27.30
Skyler Winchester - 12th - 32:37.93
James Garst - 13th - 33:13.70
-Senior Thomas Miller (Lithonia, Ga.) qualifies for mens 800 meter final with time of 1:53.22
- In the field, junior Brett Squibbs (Rock Hill, S.C.) placed second in the pole vault with a mark of 5.11 meters.
- Sophomore Marabeth Clark (Maryville, Tenn.) is in seventh place in the women's heptathlon, totaling 2,508 points after day one.
- Junior Sahara Fletcher (College Park, Ga.) ran the sixth fastest time of 2:21.25 to qualify for the womens 800 meter final
- In the womens 1500 meter run, senior Katie Hirko (Oley, Pa.) qualified for the final with a time of 4:49.07.
- Sophomore Macy Carrier (Bluff City, Tenn.) earned a second place finish in the 3000m steeplechase with a collegiate best time of 11:12.35.
For more information on Buccaneer Track and field, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the track and field pages.