Three Bucs win gold medals Sunday at SoCon Championships
Three Bucs win gold medals Sunday at SoCon Championships
Sunday, February 26, 2023

ETSU men and women finish third at conference meet  

LEXINGTON, Va. (Feb. 26, 2023) – Three Buccaneers turned in gold-medal performances, while the ETSU men’s and women’s track and field programs finished in third-place, as the final day of the Southern Conference Indoor Championships concluded on Sunday inside VMI Corps Physical Training Facility.

Genevieve Schwarz (Oak Ridge, Tenn.), Tya Blake (Lynchburg, Va.) and Phelani Maduwa (Parys, Free State, South Africa) all won conference championships on Sunday.

Schwarz made history on Sunday as she became the first female runner to win three straight SoCon titles in the mile. The Oak Ridge, Tenn. native finished with a time of 4:46.22 en route to becoming just the fourth SoCon student-athlete to win three golds in the event. Schwarz joined Furman’s Heather VandeBrake (1993, 1995, 1996), Chattanooga’s Shannon Wommack (2003, 2004, 2006) and Samford’s Lauren D’Alessio (2011, 2012, 2013) to accomplish the feat.

Maduwa led wire-to-wire to capture his first SoCon title in the 800m as he edged out teammate Miguel Parrilla (Knoxville, Tenn.) for gold. Maduwa won with a time of 1:50.12 and Parrilla finished in second with a time of 1:50.52. Maduwa became the third men’s runner to win gold in the 800m at the SoCon championship and the first since Zach Whitmarsh won four straight titles from 1996-99. Mark Scruton won the first-ever SoCon 800m event in 1981 with a time of 1:54.6.  

In the field events, Blake won her first gold medal in the triple jump as she posted a mark of 11.68m. Blake became the third female Buccaneer to win the triple jump in the SoCon meet – joining Mekayla Brown (2020) and two-time champion Taneisha Robinson. Robinson won in 1998 and set the conference mark in 1999 with a leap of 13.30m.


First Place – Genevieve Schwarz (Mile); Tya Blake (Triple Jump); Phelani Maduwa (800m)

Second Place – Josh Krafsur (Mile); Jessica Lord (800m); Miguel Parrilla (800m); Malachi Thomas (High Jump)

Third Place – Evan Guzman (Mile); Brayden Hamblen (5000m); Women’s 4x400m (Jessica Lord, Hannah Burkhart, McKenna Boykin, Julia Karsten)


Both the Buccaneer men and women finished third in the team scoring. The men collected 102.5 points, finishing behind champion Samford (174.5 points) and Western Carolina (122.33). The women totaled 84 points to finish behind champion Samford (183.33 points) and Wofford (120).


  • ETSU registered 15 points in the women’s mile as Schwarz bagged 10 points with her gold-medal race, while Chanelle Kruger (Johannesburg, South Africa) – fresh off a fifth-place showing in Saturday’s 3000m – finished fifth in the mile on Sunday (4:56.51). Rebekah Howard (Ashland, Ky.) – who ran a leg in the DMR that placed third on Saturday – finished eighth in 5:04.99. 
  • In the men’s mile, the Bucs collected 21 points as Josh Krafsur (Fort Collins, Colo.), Evan Guzman (Franklin, Tenn.) and Myles Stoots (Mobile, Ala.) went second, third and fourth, while Nate Hillis (Knoxville, Tenn.) placed seventh in 4:13.55. 
  • The Blue and Gold totaled 17 points in the women’s 800m behind Jessica Lord’s (Morristown, Tenn.) second-place showing as she clocked in at 2:08.67. Schwarz added more points to her total as she placed fourth (2:13.02) and Julia Karsten (Old Hickory, Tenn.) was right behind in fifth (2:15.27). 
  • The men’s 800m group also generated a plethora of points, registering 25 in total. The Bucs went first and second in the event thanks to Maduwa and Parrilla battling it out for gold, while Krafsur finished fifth (1:53.21) and Conner Overly (Maryville, Tenn.) placed seventh (1:56.67). 
  • Kiera Snyder (Clyde, Mich.) scored two points in the women’s 5000m as she clocked in with a personal best time of 17:06.28 – 21 seconds faster than her previous PR. On the men’s side, the Bucs posted nine points as Brayden Hamblen (Rock Falls, Ill.) finished third (14:22.30), Guzman was seventh (14:50.45) and Xian Campbell (Chattanooga, Tenn.) came in eighth (14:59.00). All three Bucs set PRs in the men’s 5000m. 
  • For the second straight day, Anna Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.) put together a scoring performance in the throws as she placed fifth in the weight throw with a mark of 14.16m, while teammate Alyssa Ceja-Pena (Salinas, Calif.) earned a point by placing eighth (13.39m). 
  • With Blake winning gold in the triple jump, ETSU totaled 11 points in the event as Anaya Young (Lumberton, N.J.) placed eighth (9.98m). 
  • Like Young, freshman D’Shawn Fletcher (Locust Grove, Ga.) scored in his first SoCon championship as he finished eighth in the 60m (6.96). 
  • In the high jump, Malachi Thomas (Chilhowie, Va.) won silver with a mark of 2.00m. 
  • Starting off the final day of competition, freshman Ethan Fulford (Knoxville, Tenn.) put together a scoring effort in the heptathlon as he finished sixth with a personal best 4,464 points. 
  • The Buccaneer 4x400m relay teams wrapped up the championship with the women winning bronze with a time of 3:52.80, while the men earned five points by placing fourth (3:19.75). 


Eight Buccaneers earned all-freshman honors following their events on Sunday. Below is the list of ETSU athletes who received the accolade: 

Xian Campbell – 5000m (14:59.00)*

D’Shawn Fletcher – 60m (6.96)

Ethan Fulford – Heptathlon (4,464 Points)*

Nate Hillis – Mile (4:13.55)*

Ben Kenner – Mile (4:25.09)*

Treven McGhee – 60mH (8.75)*

Conner Overly – 800m (1:56.67)

Anaya Young – Triple Jump (9.98)* 

*Personal Best   

For more information on Buccaneer men’s and women’s track and field, visit