Bucs win five golds at SoCon Indoor Championships
Bucs win five golds at SoCon Indoor Championships
Sunday, February 24, 2019

ETSU Track and Field’s women finish third, men place fourth

LEXINGTON, Va. (Feb. 24, 2019) – The ETSU Track and Field team wrapped up the Southern Conference Indoor Championships on Sunday, tacking on one more championship victory on the final day of the meet.

The Bucs finished third place on the women’s side with 104 points, while the men placed fourth with 89 points — missing third place Furman by only one point.

ETSU’s lone title on Sunday came from redshirt senior Ben Johnson (Nashville). Johnson earned another conference championship in his final indoor meet, winning the men’s weight throw with a season-best mark of 21.60 meters. Johnson swept the throwing events for the Southern Conference.

“I'm mostly pleased with the final outcome of the conference championships,” said ETSU Director of Track and Field George Watts. “We came away with five individual championships led by Ben Johnson's two wins, a fair number of podium finishes and personal bests.

“Freshman Khiara White winning the women's long jump on her last attempt was arguably the most dramatic and exciting performance of the meet for the Bucs. It was fun to watch Ben Varghese in the 3K and the men's DMR team win the last two events of Saturday evening. Most impressively, the men won all three events they contested that day.”


Track Highlights from Day One

  • Senior Lamisha Simmons (Hollywood, Fla.) took second place in the women’s 60 meter hurdles event with a time of 8.75. She later added six more points in the 200 meter dash with a third place finish.
  • In the women’s 60 meter dash, senior Kiana Davis (Ooltewah) finished one second off the top time at 7.53, settling for silver. Freshman Lanaya Martin (Columbia, S.C.) placed fourth, doubling to score in the dash and hurdles.
  • Junior Khayvonn Benson (Marietta, Ga.) placed second in the men’s 800 meter dash, scoring eight points with a time of 1:53.61 to miss first place by just over 0.4 seconds. 
  • Senior Lamisha Simmons (Hollywood, Fla.) took second place in the women’s 60 meter hurdles event with a time of 8.75. She later added six more points in the 200 meter dash with a third place finish.
  • ETSU saw another silver medalist when junior Adam Bradtmueller (Sarasota, Fla.) placed second in the men’s 5000m run at 14:30.69.
  • ETSU took four of the top eight sports in the men’s mile, led by Ben Varghese (Kingsport) in fourth place with a time of 4:21.35. 
  • After having the fastest qualifying time on Saturday, redshirt sophomore Vicki Franse (Clinton) picked up the bronze in the women’s 400 meter with a time of 56.67 — missing first place by less than a second.
  • Sophomore Jessica Lord (Morristown) competed in the women’s 800 meter final and placed fifth for four points.
  • Redshirt freshman Kashif Warren (Knoxville) turned in a solid showing during the 60 meter dash finals to place fifth in the event.


Field Highlights from Day One

  • Johnson’s men’s weight mark was a season best and won the event by nearly three meters. He currently ranks No. 17 in the TFRRS national rankings with the throw of 21.60m.
  • Scoring in both throwing events, sophomore Symphony Buxton (Knoxville) had a second place finish in the women’s weight throw at 18.49 meters. Her throw set the school record at ETSU and missed the top mark by only 0.03m.
  • The women’s triple jump saw three Bucs score, led by true freshman Mekayla Brown (Elgin, S.C.) in second place at 11.89 meters and redshirt freshman Aliyah Hill (Snellville, Ga.) in third with a new personal best of 11.77m.
  • Senior Yohana Koko (Alcoa) had a podium finish in his final indoor conference meet, placing third with his season-best triple jump mark of 14.27 meters.
  • In the men’s high jump, freshman Noah Shelton (Gray) debuted on the conference stage and scored a pair of points with a clearance of 1.90m on his first attempt.


ETSU’s SoCon All-Freshmen

  • Khiara White — Women’s long jump and triple jump
  • Mekayla Brown — Women’s long jump, triple jump and 60 meter hurdles
  • Aliyah Hill — Women’s triple jump
  • Lindsey Stallworth — Women’s 3000m
  • Shila Kapaya — Women’s 3000m and women’s 5000m
  • Lanaya Martin — women’s 60 meter hurdles and 60 meter dash
  • Kolin Miller — Men’s weight throw



Men’s results

  1. Western Carolina – 165.5 points
  1. Samford – 138.5 
  1. Furman – 90
  1. ETSU – 89
  1. The Citadel – 75 
  1. Wofford – 48
  1. VMI – 44 
  1. UNCG – 11


Women’s results

  1. Samford – 172 points
  1. Western Carolina – 140
  1. ETSU – 104
  1. Furman – 91
  1. Wofford – 78
  1. VMI – 46
  1. Chattanooga – 27
  1. The Citadel – 5
  1. UNCG – 0


Quotes from Coach Watts

On the women’s finish: “Although we went into the meet somewhat banged up on the women's side, we still managed to exceed the form charts to finish third. Two thirds of our women's team at the meet were freshmen and sophomores, so I'm excited about the future.”

On the men’s finish: "Our men's team is somewhat shorthanded in numbers, and even so just missed out on a 3rd place finish by two points. Although we had several opportunities to get a two-point swing, I can't fault them too much for their performance.”

On getting to the next level: “We had 14 of 16 men score and 17 of 23 women score. That's slightly better than 75 percent of the combined teams. That's a good percentage, but in order to win a championship, we need close to 100 percent for both teams and a chance to field a larger contingent of men.”

Words of gratitude: “I was really pleased with the team unity and show of support from the team members not competing in the meet. We had quite a few kids make the trip up to Lexington to cheer on their teammates. We had parents and alum in attendance, and I can't thank them enough for their constant support of our athletes.”


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For more information on ETSU track and field, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the track and field pages. Also, follow the program on Twitter @ETSU_TF_XC and on Instagram at the handle @etsuxctf.