Bucs bag three gold medals in Columbia
Bucs bag three gold medals in Columbia
Saturday, April 22, 2023

Hartig, Maduwa, Guzman capture wins at USC Open; ETSU totals 10 podium finishes

COLUMBIA, S.C. (April 22, 2023) – Making its final tune up before next month’s Southern Conference Championships, the ETSU men’s and women’s track and field teams had a productive showing at the USC Open, which was held on Saturday from the Sheila and Morris Cregger Track in Columbia, S.C.

The Blue & Gold totaled 10 podium finishes – highlighted by gold-medal performances from Phelani Maduwa (Parys, Free State, South Africa), Evan Guzman (Franklin, Tenn.) and William Hartig (Radford, Va.).

Hartig captured his first collegiate win on Saturday as he won the 5000m with a time of 14:55.90, which was nearly 10 seconds faster than his nearest competitor – teammate Xian Campbell (Chattanooga, Tenn.) – who crossed the line of 15:06.31.

With Hartig garnering his first gold medal, Maduwa made it back-to-back weeks with wins in the 800m. Maduwa, who collected his sixth career gold medal in the event, edged out Clemson’s Victor Ndiwa by the slimmest of margin. Maduwa clocked in at 1:50.67, while Ndiwa finished in 1:50.71. Miguel Parrilla (Knoxville, Tenn.) finished fifth in the event with a time of 1:51.18.

Guzman continued his winning streak on Saturday. Guzman took home gold for the third straight weekend as he won the 1500m fast section by finishing in 3:50.88. Guzman – who won the 5000m two weeks ago in Knoxville and the 1500m last week at Western Carolina – beat Prince Mcabelo by five seconds and South Carolina’s George Luke by over 10 seconds.

To go with the three gold medals, the Bucs totaled four silver and three bronze medals on Saturday.

Campbell earned his first collegiate podium finish by finishing runner-up in the 5000m, while Jessica Lord (Morristown, Tenn.), Jaclyn Wright (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and Abdul-Rahman Jaber (Alcoa, Tenn.) also won silver medals in their respective events.

Lord earned her silver in the 800m as she crossed the line in 2:09.41, while Wright turned in a second-place finish in the high jump with a leap of 1.58m, marking her second career podium finish in the event.

Jaber earned a podium spot for the second straight week in the steeplechase on the men’s side. Jaber, who placed second last week in Cullowhee, N.C., earned a silver medal tonight with a time of 8:52.54. Jaber also ran in the 1500m fast section where he finished sixth with a time of 4:09.38. Ben Kenner (Maryville, Tenn.) joined Jaber in both the 1500m fast section and steeplechase. Kenner placed seventh in the 1500m (4:13.04) and fifth in the steeplechase (9:09.20).

Genevieve Schwarz (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) earned bronze in the fast section of the women’s 1500m, as she posted a time of 4:33.52 and Rebekah Howard (Ashland, Ky.) finished fifth in 4:36.44.

Izelle Kruger (Johannesburg, South Africa) earned her first career podium finish as she placed third in the steeplechase with a time of 11:07.87, while Diana Romero-Barba (Tepatitlan de Morelos, Jalisco, Mexico) posted her second straight podium finish in the pole vault. Romero-Barba – coming off a win in the event last week at the Catamount Classic – finished third on Saturday after clearing 3.56m in the invite section.

For the second straight meet, Mary Brown (Radford, Va.) set personal bests in the hammer and discus. Brown made the finals in the hammer where she finished eighth with a mark of 51.18m on her third attempt. Later on, Brown also made the finals in the discus where she placed fifth with a mark of 44.93m on her third attempt.

ETSU now turns its attention to the Southern Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which will be held May 8-9 in Cullowhee, N.C.

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