Blackburn, Knox set school records at Liberty Twilight Invitational; Rotich wins 5000m

Thursday, May 01, 2008

LYNCHBURG, Va. (May 1, 2008) - It was a record breaking night for the ETSU women's track and field team Thursday as sophomore Zachlynn Blackburn (Tazewell, Va.) and red-shirt senior Jenny Knox (Connelly Springs, N.C.) were busy rewriting ETSU history books at the Liberty Twilight Invitational on the Matthes-Hopkins Track.


Blackburn - who already broke her own school record in the hammer last month at Furman - rewrote the books again with her heave of 156-09 (47.79m). The Tazewell, Va. native finished second in the event and the mark was almost three feet longer than her previous best. Blackburn also recorded a third-place finish in the discus with a toss of 120-02 (36.63m).


While Blackburn was busy making noise in the field events, Knox was tearing it up on the track. Knox set a new ETSU record in the 100m as she blazed her way to a title with a time of 11.79; however, the speedster was four-hundredths of a second shy of setting a Regional Qualifying Mark. The Connelly Springs, N.C. native was also busy sprinting in the 200m. Knox finished fourth with a time of 24.21 in her season debut of the event.


On the men's side, sophomore Kenneth Rotich (Nairobi, Kenya) blew away the 11-man field in the 5000m as his time of 14:40.51 was 11 seconds faster than Virginia Tech's Zach Thomas. Rotich's mark places him third amongst the Atlantic Sun leaders as he shaved 40 seconds off his time set last month's Sea Relays.


Junior Josh Cloyd (Telford, Tenn.) had an impressive showing in the 200m. Cloyd finished seventh overall with a mark of 21.67, but more importantly, the time was a lifetime best and places him first amongst A-Sun foes.


Rounding out the Buccaneer attack on the men's side was freshman Mike James (Palm Bay, Fla.). James turned in a season best time of 14.66 in the 110-meter hurdles - which placed him fourth overall.


On the women's side a trio of freshman finished with season best performances in their respective events. Ashton Bishop (Gate City, Va.) ended the 100-meter hurdles in 15.50; while the Haggard twins of Terra and Tesha (Morristown, Tenn.) had respectable times in the 5000m. Terra finished in 19:14.23 and Tesha wrapped up in 19:45.12. 


"I am very pleased with our all-around effort today," commented associate head coach Michelle Byrne. "We faced some good competition today and our athletes stepped up and got it done."


The ETSU track and field team hopes to carry this momentum into the Atlantic Sun Championships - which is two weeks away. The championships will be held in Clemson, S.C. from May 16-17.

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