Saturday, February 07, 2004CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (Feb. 7, 2004) - East Tennessee State's James Rainer (Alcoa, Tenn.) placed fifth in the 60 meter dash Saturday when the Buccaneers competed at the Carolina Classic hosted by UNC Chapel Hill. The sophomore, Rainer, had a consistent showing at the meet beating his previous best time with a mark of 6.85 in the preliminaries to qualify. In the finals, Rainer then went on to improve to another level with a new personal best of 6.82, which tied him for fifth place. Freshman Johnny Tucker (Spartanburg, S.C.) also had a solid performance for the Bucs with his performances in the 60 meters, 200 meters, and 400 meters. In the 200 meters, Tucker placed 10th with a time of 22.59. The women's sprinters also showed success at the Carolina Classic with the performances of Nichola Cornish (Spartanburg, S.C.), Kim Simmons (Knoxville, Tenn.), and Chantelle Vernon (Markham, Ontario). Cornish showed significant improvement with her seventh place finish of 57.86 in the 400 meters, Simmons took fifth in the 800 meters with a time of 2:17.63, and Vernon recorded a time of 25.94 in the 200 meters. Senior David Haefner (Hamburg, N.Y.) also provided a sound performance for the Bucs with his fourth place finish in the 800 meter run. Haefner then joined David Cabbler (Roanoke, Va.), Joshua Hicks (Riceville, Tenn.), and James Grufferty (Glanmire, Ireland) in the distance medley relay. The team finished second to Southern Conference opponent Davidson College. "It was a great meet for our sprint group and they had some solid performances," said assistant coach Michelle Byrne. "Overall, the team made a good effort, but we still have areas we need to improve upon." The Buccaneers have their next opportunity to showcase their improvement in running events at the Valentines Meet hosted by Appalachian State in Boone, N.C. on Feb. 14, and overall at the Virginia Tech Challenge in Blacksburg, Va. on Feb. 13 and 14.
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