Bucs Primed for Second Day Push at SoCon Indoor Championships
Bucs Primed for Second Day Push at SoCon Indoor Championships
Saturday, February 27, 2021

Matt Scarr paces the men with a first-place finish in the 3000m, Lindsay Cooper and Nicole Johnson set for productive day two with two finals 

LEXINGTON, Va. (Feb. 27, 2021) – Matt Scarr (Wamberal, NSW, Australia) grabbed the headlines for the Buccaneers in the opening day of the Southern Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday from VMI’s Corps Physical Training Facility. 

Scarr captured his first individual SoCon Championship gold medal by taking down the powerful Furman quintet en route to becoming the 11th different Buccaneer to win the SoCon 3000m run. Scarr, who was on ETSU’s championship DMR team at the 2018 conference meet, won Saturday’s race with a time of 8:24.38, with a group of five Furman runners following behind – the nearest competitor crossing the line in second-place at 8:27.77.  

With ETSU having a rich history of 3,000m SoCon champions, including three-time winner Seamus Power holding the SoCon record of 8:05.37, Scarr also joins the likes of Adrian Leek, Brian Dunne, Thomas O’Gara, James Hynes, Dennis Barry, Declan Fahy and Brad Yewer to win gold in the event. The Bucs, who won the even for seven straight years from 1988-94, have now captured gold in the 3,000m twice in the last three championships. 

“We had some solid highlights from today's competition, led by Matt Scarr's win in the 3000m run,” said Director of Track & Field George Watts. “It was a tactical race and Matt made the right move at the right time to win convincingly.” 

As a team after the opening day of competition, both the ETSU men and women sit fifth overall. The men totaled 16 points and the women accumulated 31.5 points. Western Carolina holds the men’s team lead with 58.5 points and Samford sits atop the women’s leaderboard, also at 58.5 points. 

“A conference track and field meet has its ups and downs throughout the two-day competition,” said Watts. “Things don't always go your way, but hopefully more good things happen than not. I felt that was the case for the Bucs today. Both teams competed hard and that's all we as coaches can ask of our student-athletes. We have a lot to look forward to tomorrow and all we can do is line up and go for it.”

Sophomore Nicole Johnson (Chattanooga, Tenn.) had a powerful day as she advanced into the finals of two events. Johnson will go for gold in both the 60m and 200m on Sunday. She won the prelims in the 60m with a time of 7.41, and also won the prelims in the 200m with a time of 24.58. The Chattanooga native will have company in the 60m as teammate Mekayla Brown (Elgin, S.C.) finished second in the prelims at 7.53.

Freshman Lindsay Cooper (Charlotte, N.C.) is also enjoying her first conference championship meet as she won the prelims in the 60mH, clocking in at 8.63, while also advancing to Sunday’s finals of the 400m with a time of 57.74. 

“We had the fastest qualifiers in three events as Nicole Johnson led the way in the 60 and 200 and freshman Lindsay Cooper ran a personal best to lead the way in the 60m Hurdles,” added Watts. “Lindsay came back and qualified in the 400m, and Jessica Lord and Julia Karsten advanced in the 800m. We have an opportunity to score in 10 of the 11 finals scheduled for tomorrow.”   

Podium Finish

Champion – Matthew Scarr, 3,000m run (8:24.38)

3rd – Women’s DMR (11:57.50) – Colbie Williamson (3:45.22), Johnaida Eliscar (58.597), Jessica Lord (2:17.83) and Genevieve Schwarz (4:55.86)

3rd – Men’s DMR (10:15.67) – Evan Guzman (3:08.75), Isaiah Mills (50.390), Phelani Maduwa (1:54.33) and Gavin Cooper (4:22.20) 


60m (Women) – Nicole Johnson, Mekayla Brown

60mH (Women) – Lindsay Cooper, Kennedi Johnson, Kameron Walsh

60mH (Men) – Kameron Walsh

200m (Women) – Nicole Johnson

400m (Women) – Lindsay Cooper

800m (Women) – Jessica Lord, Julia Karsten, Miguel Parrilla, Phelani Maduwa

800m (Men) – Miguel Parrilla, Phelani Maduwa

Mile (Men) – Josh Krafsur, Evan Guzman

Personal Bests

Women – Kendra Whitehurst (Long Jump, 5.74m), Molly Rhudy (Long Jump, 5.53m), Lindsay Cooper (60mH, 8.63s; 400m, 57.74), Kennedi Johnson (200m, 26.05s), Makayla Shaw (3000m, 10:03.34).

Men – Noah Shelton (Shot Put, 13.28m), Josh Krasfur (Mile, 4:36.98), Kameron Walsh (60mH, 8.52s), Isaac Lockhart (60m, 7.46s), Isaiah Mills (400m, 49.87s), Marcus Evans (Long Jump, 6.76m. 

Track Highlights

  • In his collegiate debut in the mile, Josh Krafsur was one of two Buccaneers to qualify for Sunday’s finals. His 4:36.98 time was just .04s off the lead for second place, Evan Guzman also qualifying with a seventh-place time of 4:37.41.
  • Lindsay Cooper began her stellar afternoon with a first-place finish in the 60m hurdles, the rookie finishing in 8.63s. Kennedi Johnson makes a return to the finals, finishing seventh with a 9.07s time.
  • Kameron Walsh is guaranteed to score for the Bucs in tomorrow’s finals after securing a spot with an eighth-place, 8.52s time.
  • In no real surprise, Nicole Johnson again stole the headlines in the 60m dash in the prelims, finishing with a time of 7.41s. Mekayla Brown joins Nicole Johnson, her blistering time of 7.53s good for second as well as tying her personal record, set in last year’s preliminaries of the conference tournament.
  • Cooper gave herself a second finals appearance tomorrow, grabbing a third-place finish in the 400m dash with a time of 57.74s.
  • Jessica Lord and Julia Karsten qualified for the 800m run on Sunday, finishing third and sixth. Lord crossed the line at 2:18.32 while Karsten finished with a 2:21.01 time.
  • Miguel Parrilla joins his Buccaneer counterparts on the men’s side of the 800m finals tomorrow, cruising to a first-place finish of 1:54.89. Phelani Maduwa joins the sophomore with a seventh-place finish.
  • Johnson scored her second top-mark in the 200m dash, racing for a 24.58s finish to take the top spot heading into tomorrow’s finals.
  • Lindsey Stallworth and Makayla Shaw finished fourth and fifth in the 3,000m with times of 9:34.43 and 10:03.44 respectively. The two combined add nine points to the women’s score.
  • In the final individual event of the evening, the Bucs finished with a bang as Matthew Scarr finished with a gold medal in the men’s 3000m. His time of 8:24.38 proved more than three seconds better than the second place time.
  • Both the Buccaneer men’s and women’s DMR teams provided podium finishes as they each placed third.

Field Highlights

  • Kendra Whitehurst led a trio of Bucs who placed in the women’s long jump with a fourth-place, 5.74m leap. Brown’s 5.66m jump and Molly Rhudy’s 5.53 jump were good for sixth and eighth, giving the Bucs nine points in the event.
  • With a toss of 11.71m, Atlantis Warren scored four points with her fifth-place finish in the shot put.
  • Marcus Evans added three points to the men’s team, scoring sixth in the long jump with a longest leap of 6.76m.


Coach Watts on the men's performances...

Our DMR team garnered a podium finish with freshmen Isaiah Mills (400m), Evan Guzman (1200m) soph Gavin Cooper (1600m) and junior Phelani Maduwa (800m). Marcus Evans (Long Jump) and Noah Shelton (Shot Put) made their final with personal best indoor marks.  They just missed out on scoring but competed well today.   

Despite our limited squad size, we came close to qualifying just about everyone to tomorrow's final that we realistically could and have a chance to score in seven events. Leading the way were Miguel Parrilla and Phelani Maduwa in the 800 and Matt Scarr, Evan Guzman, and Josh Krafsur in the Mile Run. Kameron Walsh overcame a bad start but still advanced in the 60m Hurdles.  Our other scoring possibilities include the triple jump, 5000m and 4x400m relay. 

The one area I'm most pleased with is the competitiveness of the men's team.  They have a seriousness about them and care about doing well for each other and ETSU.

Coach Watts on the women's performances...

The women's team had a very good day of competition both in scoring events and qualifying races. The scoring highlights include a podium finish by the DMR team of Colbie Williamson (1200m), Johnaida Eliscar (400), Jessica Lord (800) and Genevieve Schwarz (1600).  Other scorers included Kendra Whitehurst, Mekayla Brown and Molly Rhudy in the long jump. Its Kendra's highest finish in a conference meet and a first-time scorer in Molly Rhudy. Patra Williams had her highest finish ever in the high jump and Atlantis Warren made a move from eighth to fifth late in the shot put competition for a clutch performance on her part. 

Our pentathletes didn't score but had a solid day in their first ever competition in that event. Britney Griffith finished ninth and won the 800m portion of the pent and her overall total would've scored last year. Both she and Marissa have a chance to be scorers in the future. 

Like the men, the women qualified about as close to everyone as we could. We had the fastest qualifiers in three events as Nicole Johnson led the way in the 60 and 200 and freshman Lindsay Cooper ran a personal best to lead the way in the 60m Hurdles. Lindsay came back and qualified in the 400m and Jessica Lord and Julia Karsten advanced in the 800m. We have an opportunity to score in ten of the 11 finals scheduled for tomorrow. Overall, we did as well as could be expected and  I look forward to another good day tomorrow.          

For a full list of results of the opening day of the SoCon Indoor Championships, use the link on the right side of this page.

Be sure to follow day two’s events by following the ESPN+ stream and live stats.

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