Blackburn shatters school record in the hammer, Bucs win nine titles at Furman

Sunday, April 13, 2008

GREENVILLE, S.C. (April 12, 2008) - Sophomore Zachlynn Blackburn (Tazewell, Va.) and the ETSU track and field team enjoyed a spectacular day at the 10th annual Furman Blue Shoes Invitational on Saturday at the Irwin Belk Complex.


Blackburn - who entered Saturday's meet holding the school record in the hammer - rewrote the history books again with her dominating toss in the event. The Tazewell, Va. native finished second overall with her mark of 153-11 (46.67m), smashing her previous best of 151-02 set a year ago.


Overall, the men and women combined to win nine titles on the day as well as post 25 top-three finishes.


On the women's side, freshman Ashton Bishop (Gate City, Va.) and the 4x100-meter relay team notched gold medal efforts. Bishop crushed the field as her leap of 5-04 (1.62m) was four inches better than USC Upstate's Kelly Westfield's second-place mark. The impressive collection of Nae-Nae Bailey (Statesville, N.C.), Jenny Knox (Connelly Springs, N.C.), Judy Johnson (Knoxville) and Jasmine Ingram (Frederick, Md.) blew away the competition in the 4x100. The speedsters mounted a time of 49 seconds, beating out the Spartans - who posted finished in 53.16.


While the women were bagging top performances, seven different Buccaneer athletes were busy making noise on the men's side. The middle/long distance crew of Josh Hicks (Riceville, Tenn.), Jeff Crane (Taylors, S.C.) and Mike Deren (Blasdell, N.Y.) notched gold in their respective events. Hicks won the 800 meters with a respectable time of 1:57.40. The mark places him second among conference foes on the year. Crane and Deren went head-to-head in the 1500m and Crane just clipped his running mate, finishing the race in 4:03.29. Deren - the 5000m champion at Furman - finished second in the 1500m at 4:03.32, while his time of 15:39.88 beat out Charles McGoogan from host Furman in the 5000. Sophomore Nic Chernikow (Seymour, Tenn.) rounded out the attack on the track side of things. Chernikow finished first in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 16.03.


The Buccaneer men showcased their skills in the field events as Jordan Briggs (Erwin, Tenn.), Andrew Houston (Crossville, Tenn.) and Gavin Proffit (Boone, N.C.) turned in top finishes on Saturday. Briggs was the leader in the pole vault as he edged out teammate Dave Thomas (Maryville, Tenn.) with a mark of 14-00 (4.26m). In total, ETSU took the top four spots in the event. Houston gave the Bucs a lift in the high jump by beating Upstate's Perrish Googans for gold. The Crossville, Tenn. native flew over the bar that was raised at 6-06 (1.98m).  Rounding out the fun was Gavin Proffit's toss of 133-10 (40.80m) in the hammer - which bettered teammate Stuart Bowen (Crossville, Tenn.) for the crown.


The meet was held on Saturday; however, results were not posted until early Sunday morning.


ETSU looks to carry its positive momentum into next weekend's Lenny Lyles/Clark Wood Invitational in Louisville, Ky.


For more information on Buccaneer track and field, visit

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