BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (May 1, 2022) – It was a historic day for ETSU track and field.
Four gold-medal performances, a first-ever conference champion in the women’s 400m hurdles, 13 podium finishes, and a runner-up finish by the Buccaneer women highlighted a thrilling Sunday at the Southern Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships as the final events were contested from Shauna Yelton Field, located on the campus of Samford University.
BUCCANEER WOMEN POST BEST CONFERENCE FINISH SINCE 1996
Coming off a runner-up finish at the conference indoor championship in February, the Buccaneer women repeated the performance this outdoor campaign by totaling 138 points. The second-place finish was ETSU’s best since the Blue and Gold won the 1996 SoCon Outdoor Championship. In addition, the 138 points were the most by the Buccaneer women since finishing with 150 during that 1996 championship.
Samford won for the third straight season after collecting 224 points, while Western Carolina finished with 133 points, Wofford at 117 and Furman with 94.
ETSU MEN FINISH FIFTH
After finishing seventh a year ago with 41 points, the Bucs doubled that point production en route to finishing fifth with 87 points. In total, 10 different ETSU athletes earned points for the Blue and Gold on Sunday with 51 of those points coming via the 800m, 1500m and 5000m.
COOPER HURDLES TO HISTORY
Lindsay Cooper (Charlotte, N.C.) made history on Sunday as she became the first-ever ETSU female student-athlete to win a conference championship in the 400m hurdles. In what was one of the most exciting finishes of the weekend, Cooper won by a nose over Mercer’s Ariel Raggs with a personal best time of 1:00.33. Raggs finished second in 1:00.36.
Cooper also earned a silver medal in the 100m hurdles when she clocked a personal best time of 13.74, while the Charlotte, N.C. native also ran a leg on the champion 4x400m relay.
𝗖𝗼𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝗠𝗮𝗸𝗲𝘀 𝗛𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝗶𝗻 𝗪𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗻'𝘀 𝟰𝟬𝟬𝗺 𝗛𝘂𝗿𝗱𝗹𝗲𝘀— ETSU Track and Field — Cross Country (@ETSU_TF_XC) May 1, 2022
Lindsay Cooper becomes the first ETSU female student-athlete to win the @SoConChamps in the 400m hurdles as she sneaks by for 🥇 with a PR of 1:00.33! #ETSUTough pic.twitter.com/J3XiuIz4kE
BRADTMUELLER MAKES LATE CHARGE IN 1500
Adam Bradtmueller (Sarasota, Fla.) was the first Buccaneer to win gold on Sunday as he charged Furman’s Carson Williams down the stretch to secure his first career individual win at the outdoor championships. Bradtmueller, who won gold in the 5000m at the indoor meet back in February, set a facility record and PR in the event by crossing the tape in 3:44.55 – marking the Bucs’ first SoCon gold medal in the event since Brad Yewer won gold in 2003. Overall, Bradtmueller is just the fourth ETSU runner to win the 1500m at the SoCon meet and the eighth Buccaneer to accomplish the feat in program history.
𝗔𝗱𝗮𝗺 𝗕𝗿𝗮𝗱𝘁𝗺𝘂𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗿 𝗪𝗶𝗻𝘀 𝟭𝟱𝟬𝟬𝗺!— ETSU Track and Field — Cross Country (@ETSU_TF_XC) May 1, 2022
What a finish by the Buccaneer veteran in the men's 1500m as he kicked it into another gear down the stretch to pass Furman for the 🥇!
Bradtmueller sets a PR & facility record (3:44.55)! #ETSUTough pic.twitter.com/J4DE4UTj33
JOHNSON ENJOYS FIRST OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Making her first appearance at the SoCon Outdoor Championships, Nicole Johnson (Chattanooga, Tenn.) wasted little time making a name for herself. The Buccaneer sprinter, coming off her third straight gold medal win in the 60m at the indoor meet, secured gold in the 100m on Sunday with a PR of 11.66. Johnson just missed breaking Jenny Knox’s school record of 11.63, while the Chattanooga, Tenn. native joined Leisa Moulton (1996) as the only two Buccaneers to win gold in the event at the SoCon Championships. Johnson, Knox (2007 ASUN) and Moulton are the only three Buccaneers to ever win the 100m at a conference meet.
Johnson was busy on Sunday as she also ran a leg in the 4x400m relay that won gold as well as in the silver-medal winning 4x100m relay. The Buccaneer sprinter also qualified for the finals in the 200m.
𝗡𝗶𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗲 𝗝𝗼𝗵𝗻𝘀𝗼𝗻 𝗦𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗚𝗼𝗹𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝟭𝟬𝟬𝗺!— ETSU Track and Field — Cross Country (@ETSU_TF_XC) May 1, 2022
Johnson sets a PR and nearly breaks the school record en route to capturing 🥇 in the 100m with a time of 11.66!
She's the second Buc to win the @SoConChamps in the 100m and first since 1996! #ETSUTough pic.twitter.com/nA9DGelQov
WOMEN’S 4X400M RELAY BRINGS GOLD BACK TO JC
For the first time since 2018, the Buccaneer women’s 4x400m relay team won gold. The group of Jessica Lord (Morristown, Tenn.), Nicole Johnson, Hannah Burkhart (Knoxville, Tenn.), Lindsay Cooper clocked a time 3:48.68, which was nearly two seconds faster than runner-up Wofford.
Lord got the Bucs off to a first-place start in 53.93 seconds, but Wofford took the lead on the second leg, before Burkhart closed the gap with a time of 57.41 on the third leg. From there, Cooper closed in fury as she passed Wofford and finished with a time of 55.98 on the final leg, marking ETSU’s fifth all-time win in the event at the SoCon meet.
𝗪𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗻'𝘀 𝟰𝘅𝟰𝟬𝟬𝗺 𝗥𝗲𝗹𝗮𝘆 𝗪𝗶𝗻𝘀 𝗚𝗼𝗹𝗱!— ETSU Track and Field — Cross Country (@ETSU_TF_XC) May 1, 2022
For the first time since 2018, the Bucs have won 🥇 in the women's 4x400m relay at the @SoConChamps as Lindsay Cooper had a strong closing finish ... The Bucs posted a time of 3:48.68! #ETSUTough pic.twitter.com/P1e1rVFGsI
SUNDAY SCORING EFFORTS
Mary Brown – Discus (2nd, 41.39m*)
Mekayla Brown – 4x100m (2nd), Triple Jump (3rd, 12.17m), High Jump (7th, 1.55m*)
Hannah Burkhart – 400m (8th, 58.64), 4x400m (1st)
Lindsay Cooper – 400m hurdles (1st, 1:00.33*), 100m hurdles (2nd, 13.74*), 4x400m (1st)
Johnaida Eliscar – 400m hurdles (6th, 1:06.64)
Britney Griffith – Heptathlon (4th, 3991 points*), 400m hurdles (7th, 1:08.11)
Ja’Ciya Guthrie – 4x100m (2nd), 100m (7th, 12.05*)
Rebekah Howard – 800m (7th, 2:19.41)
Nicole Johnson – 100m (1st, 11.66*), 4x400m (1st), 4x100m (2nd)
Julia Karsten – 800m (6th, 2:16.16)
Abbey King – Heptathlon (8th, 3515 points*)
Jessica Lord – 800m (2nd, 2:09.66*), 4x400m (1st)
LaNaya Martin – 4x100m (2nd), 100m (8th, 12.09*)
Anna Moore – Shot Put (8th, 11.67m*), Discus (8th, 33.32m)
Genevieve Schwarz – 1500m (3rd, 4:22.72*), 800m (4th, 2:13.86)
Kiera Snyder – 1500m (8th, 4:40.96)
Jaclyn Wright – High Jump (8th, 1.50m)
Adam Bradtmueller – 1500m (1st, 3:44.55*), 5000m (7th, 15:24.21)
Gavin Cooper – 5000m (8th, 15:25.01)
Evan Guzman – 1500m (5th, 3:48.66), 800m (7th, 1:52.73), 4x400m (4th)
Nolan Johnson – 100m (4th, 10.59), 200m (6th, 21.81*)
Josh Krafsur – 800m (5th, 1:52.41), 4x400m (4th)
Phelani Maduwa – 800m (3rd, 1:50.57), 4x400m (4th)
Miguel Parrilla – 800m (2nd, 1:48.84*), 4x400m (4th)
Matt Scarr – 1500m (3rd, 3:46.10), 5000m (4th, 15:19.78)
Noah Shelton – Discus (8th, 38.54)
Myles Stoots – 5000m (6th, 15:23.71)
QUOTES FROM COACH WATTS
ON THE WOMEN
The women battled throughout the two days of competition and earned their second-place finish. We had so many highlights it's hard to single out any one performance or individual. But our conference champions should be talked about first, and all three were impressive wins. Nicole Johnson solidified her position as the top short sprint champion by adding her 100-meter win to her indoor title. Lindsay Cooper has made great improvement competitively over the past two meets and was not to be denied in a hard-fought battle in the 400-meter hurdles. Added to that was her silver medal in the 100m hurdles. The 4x400m relay team won an exciting race to finish off a very successful meet.
The story behind the scenes can be highlighted by so many other podiums and scorers that I really don't want to leave anyone out. Four places in the 800m led by Jessica Lord's second-place finish garnered 18 points. Genevieve Schwarz finished third in the 1500 with a big personal best and added a fourth-place in the 800. Makayla Shaw earned her first ever podium finish in the steeple, which she just started to do this year. Although, not a top three finish, Julia Foote started the scoring with a seventh in the 10k. What's most impressive is it was her third race of the school year and her first 10k ever. She has fought through some injuries this year and showed a lot of maturity in embracing a difficult challenge and succeeding. Our relays did well, and we were close in the 4x1 and made a lot of progress.
In the field we were equally impressive with some breakthrough performances. Mary Brown had a great meet with her two runner-up finishes. Mekayla Brown earned two podium finishes in the long and triple jumps and surprisingly scored in the high jump without having competed in that event in two years. Anna Moore made some real progress by earning two very valuable eighth place finishes as she continues to get better.
ON THE MEN
The men's team overachieved and had some fantastic performances. We only had 16 men compete and weren't too far out of fourth-place. Every person who scored performed beyond expectations.
Adam Bradtmueller claimed a conference championship in what's considered his “second” event, the 1500m. He ran a very nice strategic race and won convincingly. He was able add two valuable team points in the 5000m.
Last year, Matt Scarr just missed getting on the podium in the 1500m and struggled in the 5000m. This year he made the podium in the 1500 and just missed the podium in the 5k. What a difference a year can make. He's always performed well in Southern Conference Championships and he will be missed.
Myles Stoots and Gavin Cooper are quite possibly the two most improved athletes we have. Both had nice personal bests to earn podium finishes and then came back and scored in the 5k.
It was nice to get half the places in the 800m, led by Miguel Parrilla's runner-up finish, where he had a huge jump bypassing 1:49 dropping into the 1:48's. Phelani has made the podium in every conference 800m he has contested. I can always count on him giving his best competitive effort. Evan Guzman was one of the few guys in the meet doing the 1500/800 double. He ran some gutsy races to score in both and then run his fastest 4x4 split of his career. Josh Krafsur, ran a personal best to make the final to then finish fifth and anchored the 4x4 teaming up with Miguel, Phelani, and Evan to finish fourth.
Nolan Johnson was as nice a surprise as anyone in the meet. He's struggled with injuries a good part of the year but saved his best for the most important meet of the season to score in the 100m and 200m.
Zach Fejeran and Noah Shelton found a way to score in three of the throwing events, and as seniors had their best conference championship of their careers.
ETSU will now prepare for the Lee University Last Chance Meet, which is scheduled for Saturday, May 14 and the Aggie Twilight, scheduled for Sunday, May 15.
For more information on Buccaneer track and field, visit ETSUBucs.com.