HIGH POINT, N.C. (April 6, 2018) -- The day began and ended well, and wasn’t too bad the rest of the time, for ETSU’s track and field teams at the VertKlasse Meeting on Friday.
The Bucs claimed outright victories in two events, turned in the best collegiate performance in another, and produced more than 20 top-ten results overall on an overcast, mostly calm, 67-degree day in High Point, N.C.
The Bucs’ first victory came in the first event of the day – the women’s javelin. Alyssa Whipkey (Pennsville, N.J.) claimed the win by crushing her career best with a throw of 149’ 9” (45.64m), more than 16 feet better than anyone else in the field and seven feet longer than her old mark set at the Weems Baskin Invitational on March 23.
Freshman Sydney Hawks (Pearisburg, Va.) was 4th in the javelin with a throw of 110’ 8” (33.75m). Hawks would later finish 22nd in the hammer throw, where Jaden Finch (Glen Aubrey, N.Y.) was 18th, Margaret Hayden (Ballymore Eustace, Kildare, Ireland) 20th and Atlantis Warren (Memphis, Tenn.) was 24th.
Later Friday, Finch came in 6th in the discus, at 134’ 3” (40.93m), with Warren in 8th at 130’ 2” (39.69m). Finch would be 10th in the shot put with a distance of 39’ 4½“. Symphony Buxton (Knoxville, Tenn.) was 12th.
ETSU’s second victory came in the last collegiate track event on the schedule, the men’s 5000. Senior Carl Oberfeitinger (Kingsport, Tenn.) broke the tape in 15:05.04, nearly eight seconds ahead of the rest of the field and more than six seconds faster than his previous best this season. Nathan Longfellow (Cookeville, Tenn.) was 4th at 15:16.57.
Ben Johnson (Nashville, Tenn.) was the top college athlete in the men’s hammer with a throw of 184’ 5” (56.21m), more than 15 feet longer than the next-best collegiate. Nathaniel Padfield, a former Gardner-Webb athlete who was competing unattached, won the event.
Johnson, who on Friday was named the Southern Conference Men’s Field Athlete of the Month for March, finished 7th in the shot put earlier at the VertKlasse with a distance of 44’ 8” (13.61m). He would also be 8th in the discus – the last event of day – at 138’ 1” (42.10m).
The Bucs placed two in the top four in a competitive women’s 400 meter hurdles, where the top seven were separated by just 1.19 seconds. Nicki Smith (Urbandale, Iowa) was 2nd in 1:04.00, with Lamisha Simmons (Hollywood, Fla.) in 4th at 1:04.33.
Earlier in the day, Simmons ran the 100 meters for the first time in her career and crossed the line 8th out of 33 with a time of :12.29.
Another Buccaneer making a first-ever event appearance was freshman Aliyah Hill (Snell, Ga.), in the triple jump. Hill’s effort of 37’ 1¼“was good for 5th out of a field of 21 entrants.
The Bucs got a podium finish in the men’s 800, where senior Haydn Borghetti-Metz (Rogersville, Tenn.) was 3rd in 1:56.89. Ashton Wilson (Gray, Tenn.) was 14th and Zackery Summerall (Sarasota, Fla.) was 22nd. Later Friday, Wilson was 40th in the 1500 meters.
Nathan Rivera (Knoxville, Tenn.) turned in two top ten performances. He set a personal best in finishing 7th out of 16 in the men’s 110 meter hurdles. His time of :15.39 was .03 quicker than his prior mark, set at the Charlotte 49er Classic on March 19, 2016. Later Friday, Rivera was 6th in the high jump with a leap of 6’ 1¼“ and would finish 19th in the 100.
ETSU’s other top ten results included:
Freshman Gia Faoro (Knoxville, Tenn.) was 8th in the women’s 400 meters at 1:00.02.
Colbie Williamson (Clyde, N.C.) 8th in the women’s 800 at 2:20.88
Makayla Shaw (Jonesborough, Tenn.) crossed the line 9th in the women’s 5000. Her time of 18:39.29 was a new personal best by 1.15 seconds. Mia DePillo (Fort Wayne, Ind.) was 21st and Lindsay Bruce (Knoxville, Tenn.) 24th.
The women’s 4 x 400 relay team was 3rd out of 11 squads with a season-best time of 3:54.32
In other results: Lindsay Stallworth (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Kaitlyn Lay (Knoxville, Tenn.) were 11th and 13th, respectively, out of 45 entrants in the women’s 1500 meters … Vicki Franse (Clinton, Tenn.) was 12th, Faoro 29th, and Fanta Sanoe (Knoxville, Tenn.) 32nd in the women’s 200 meters … Kendra Whitehurst (Atlanta, Ga.) was 16th in the women’s long jump … Jazmin Lacy (Smyrna, Ga.) was 17th in the women’s 100 meter hurdles … and Tate Overbay (Johnson City, Tenn.) finished 23rd in the men’s 400 meter hurdles.
The VertKlasse Meeting was originally scheduled for two days, Friday and Saturday. But forecasts of inclement weather on Saturday led organizers to stage every event on Friday. The Bucs’ next meet is the Benyon Sports Catamount Classic in Cullowhee, N.C., April 13-14.
Would you like to get Buccaneer news, score updates, in-game promotions -- and more -- sent to your mobile device? Click here to sign up for “Buc Updates!”