Johnson Dominates as Bucs Charge Up Final Standings of SoCon Indoors
Johnson Dominates as Bucs Charge Up Final Standings of SoCon Indoors
Sunday, February 28, 2021

Nicole Johnson retains her crown in the 60m dash, sets personal record on way to gold in 200m dash; Schwarz grabs second career win


LEXINGTON, Va. (Feb. 28, 2021) – Nicole Johnson (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Genevieve Schwarz (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) took the plaudits with three individual gold medals at the Southern Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships on Sunday inside VMI’s Corps Physical Training Facility.

Becoming the first Buccaneer to win the mile since 2009 when Heidi Dahl captured gold, Genevieve Schwarz led the way for the Bucs in the opening track event of Sunday as the junior secured top marks in a 5:01.46 finish. The win marked only her second individual win of her career, also winning the mile last year at the VMI Team Challenge.

"Genevieve Schwarz was our first champion as she won a very tactical Mile with a strong last 440 yards," stated Director of Track and Field George Watts. "Gen has continued to show improvement throughout her career and winning is the next step in her progression."

With the momentum, her teammate Nicole Johnson also put herself in the record books. Nearly topping her meet-setting mark of 7.40s in the 60m dash a year ago, Johnson again cruised en route to a first-place finish to be crowned the fastest woman in the Southern Conference. The sophomore doubled up on the accolades after again dominating in her field, this time earning a pole spot in the 200m dash, her time of 24.37s over .25s faster than second. Johnson becomes the second Buccaneer in history to record wins in both the 60m and 200m dash in the same year, joining Katrina Seymour who achieved the feat in 2017, also winning the 400m that year. Johnson's 22 points on the weekend also ranked joint-most amongst an individual with her two wins in the 60m and 200m and her finish in the 4x400m relay.

"Nicole Johnson led the way with two great wins," said Watts. "I'm proud of how she defended her 60m title and won the 200m for the first time as well as contributing a leg on the runner-up 4x400m relay team."

The men's 4x400m relay team trimmed more than five seconds off their best time of the season, using a youthful side of three sophomores and a freshman to generate their best performance of the year with a fourth-place finish in a competitive conference finals run. Less than two seconds decided the top four teams, ETSU grabbing its fastest split in the anchor spot from Kameron Walsh.

Making the second-biggest jump of the second day behind Samford, the Buccaneer women’s team scored 94 points on Sunday to vault them into a third-place effort, the 125.5 points trailing just Wofford (131) and favorites Samford (155.5).

This marks the fourth straight year that VMI hosted the SoCon Indoor Championships inside their new facility. Since the return to the SoCon, the finish marks the fourth time the women have placed third, adding last season’s silver medal as well.  

Podium Finish

Champion – Genevieve Schwarz (Mile, 5:01.46); Nicole Johnson (60m Dash, 7.43s; 200m, 24.37s)

Runner-Up – Mekayla Brown (60m Dash, 7.62s; Triple Jump, 12.16m);

Third – Lindsay Cooper (60mH, 8.55s; 400m, 57.29s), Phelani Maduwa (800m, 1:51.92)



Fourth - Noah Shelton (Weight Throw, 15.65m), Jessica Lord (800m, 2:13.99), Miguel Parrilla (800m, 1:51.93), Lindsey Stallworth (5000m, 16:57.18), Matthew Scarr (5000m, 14:27.04)

Fifth - Paige Peterson (Triple Jump, 11.67m), Julia Karsten (800m, 2:18.51)

Sixth - Mary Brown (Weight Throw, 14.25m), Matthew Scarr (Mile, 4:11.78), Kendra Whitehurst (Triple Jump, 11.34m), Kameron Walsh (60mH, 8.43s)

Seventh - Atlantis Warren (Weight Throw, 13.90m), Evan Guzman (Mile, 4:13.63), Malachi Thomas (High Jump, 1.90m)

Eighth - Alyssa Ceja-Pena (Weight Throw, 13.88m), Kennedi Johnson (60mH, 9.11s)


Personal Bests

Women- Anna Moore (Weight Throw, 12.82m), Lindsay Cooper (60mH, 8.55s; 400m, 57.29s), Marissa Schalk (Triple Jump, 10.71m), Molly Rhudy (Triple Jump, 10.62m), Nicole Johnson (200m, 24.37s)

Men- Josh Krafsur (Mile, 4:22.24), Kameron Walsh (60mH, 8.43s), Noah Shelton (15.65m), Phelani Maduwa (800m, 1:51.92), Miguel Parrilla (800m, 1:51.93), Matthew Scarr (5,000m, 14:27.04) 


All-Freshman Team

Men - Evan Guzman, Isaac Lockhart, Isaiah Mills, Malachi Thomas

Women - Anna Moore, Lindsay Cooper


Track Highlights

  • The second day’s track events opened with the women’s mile run. The lone competitor representing ETSU, Genevieve Schwarz had everyone looking up to her after the junior took to the top of the podium after a 5:01.46 finish. Schwarz grabbed the first gold for the Buccaneer women after finishing nearly a second ahead of Furman’s Beth Donnelly.
  • Becoming the 11th Buccaneer to win the 3000m in Saturday’s event, Matthew Scarr followed his performance with a sixth place, 4:11.78 finish in the mile. Freshman counterpart Evan Guzman followed right behind Scarr, his seventh-place, 4:13.63 time giving the Bucs five points.
  • Lindsay Cooper began her SoCon debut with two finals, the first coming in the 60m hurdles. The freshman secured a bronze with an 8.55s finish. Kennedi Johnson secured a point for the Bucs, finishing eighth with a 9.11s time.
  • On the men’s side, Kameron Walsh placed sixth with a time of 8.43s in the 60m hurdles, improving his prelim time by almost a tenth of a second.
  • After breaking the record in last year’s 60m dash in the SoCon Indoor Championships, Nicole Johnson flirted with her own record as the sophomore made it two-in-two to retain the title as fastest woman in the SoCon. Her time of 7.43s was two-tenths faster than the next competitor, who also donned the Blue and Gold in Mekayla Brown. Johnson finished the prelims yesterday with a 7.41s mark, making it twice in two days that she nearly broke her own 7.40s record.
  • Cooper grabbed her second bronze of the day, grabbing a personal-record in the 400m dash on the way to her 57.74s podium finish.
  • Jessica Lord and Julia Karsten paced each other for a fourth-fifth finish in the women’s 800m, finishing with times of 2:13.99 and 2:18.51.
  • Phelani Maduwa narrowly grabbed himself a third-place performance in the men’s 800m run. The junior’s time of 1:51.92 was just .01 seconds faster than teammate Miguel Parrilla who had to settle for fourth.
  • Lindsey Stallworth finished fourth in the 5,000m race, finishing with a time of 16:57.18 in her first race of the season in the 5,000m. 
  • Scarr made it back-to-back fourth-place finishes on the men's version of the 5,000m, duplicating Stallworth's placement with a 14:27.04 time. Despite the fourth-place finish, Scarr set his new personal record by more than 40 seconds.
  • The 4x400m relay team of Cooper, Johnson, Lord and Johnaida Eliscar nearly managed to grab a gold medal in the event, Eliscar using her fastest split on the team to narrowly miss out on the top podium finish with a time of 3:53.13.

Field Highlights

  • Seven points awaited the women’s team in the opening event of the second day of the SoCon Championships. The trio of Mary Brown, Atlantis Warren and Alyssa Ceja-Pena finished sixth-seventh-eighth, scoring with marks of 14.25m, 13.90m and 13.88m respectively.
  • With three people grabbing a place in the women’s triple jump, the Blue and Gold were led by MeKayla Brown’s 12.16m leap for second place. Paige Peterson and Kendra Whitehurst also finished in the top-eight with a fifth-place 11.67m leap and a sixth-place jump of 11.34m.
  • Noah Shelton added five points to the men’s side in the weight throw. His final toss of 15.65m set a new personal-best of over eight feet, securing a fourth-place finish.
  • In his conference debut, freshman Malachi Thomas finished with a split for 7th in the high jump, clearing the bar at 1.90m to share spoils with Western Carolina’s Khadevis Snead.


On the women's team performance

"I thought our women had a very good meet as they battled throughout the day with a very fine team effort.  We had eight podium finishes with three wins, to go along with five other top-three medalists. In addition, we had eight other scorers and numerous personal bests."

On the men's team performance

"I think the men scored as well as could be expected with the limited number of athletes on our squad. Going into the meet I thought 50 points was a reasonable and fair expectation and we accomplished that goal."

"Matt Scarr led the way today in points scored with a sixth in the mile run and completed a very difficult triple with a strong fourth-place finish in the 5k."

"Phelani Maduwa was our lone podium finisher with a third in the 800m while Miguel Parrilla closed hard to grab fourth place with both running indoor personal-bests. Kameron Walsh ran a personal best in the 60yd Hurdles to earn a sixth place."

"Probably the biggest surprise of the day was Noah Shelton finishing fourth setting a personal-best in the weight on his final throw of the competition."

"We had two freshmen score in their first Southern Conference Championship with Malachi Thomas in the high jump and Evan Guzman in the mile run. Evan was also the leadoff leg of our third-place DMR last night. The guys finished off the meet with a season-best and solid fourth in the 4x400m relay with a team of Miguel, Isaiah Mills, Bryce Turnbow and Kameron."

On freshman Lindsay Cooper

"Lindsay is already showing great promise as she earned two bronze medals in the 60 Hurdles and 400m dash and running a strong leadoff leg in the 4x400."

On Co-Captain Mekayla Brown

"Mekayla should be very happy with her performance as she earned runner-up finishes in the 60m and triple jump. Mekayla has a whole lot more she can accomplish, and I look forward to seeing what comes next for her."

On the last race of the day (4x400m relay)

"The 4x400m relay was possibly the most exciting race of the meet as there was .25 seconds separating second through fifth. Lindsay, Nicole, Jessica Lord and Johnaida Eliscar found a way to earn the silver medal in a spirited race to end the meet."


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

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