ETSU's wraps up first day of SoCon Outdoor Championships

Saturday, April 30, 2005

            CULLOWHEE, N.C. (April 30, 2005) - After a three-hour rain delay Saturday morning, the ETSU track and field Buccanneers finally began competition at the 2005 Southern Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the new Track and Field complex on the campus of Western Carolina University.

            Again, the women sprinters had a strong day of competition. In the women's 400-meter trials, East Tennessee State senior Nichola Cornish (Spartanburg, S.C.) lead the field in qualification for the finals. Cornish recorded a time of 55.15 in the event.

In the 100-meter trials two sprinters advanced for the Bucs, Chantelle Vernon (Markham, Ontario) placed fourth with a time of 12.06, while Jenny Knox (Connelly Springs, N.C.) placed eighth with a time of 12.33. Knox also advanced to the finals in the 200-meters placing sixth in the prelims with 24.69. She will be joined in the finals by teammate Ebonie Jones (Richmond, Va.), who finished eighth in the prelims with a time of 24.76. Jones also represented the Bucs in the long jump placing ninth with a mark of 5.45m.

            In the women's 800 meters, the Bucs saw seniors Jennifer Habbestad (Tampa, Fla.) and Tiffany Collier (Atlanta, Ga.) compete and qualify for tomorrow's finals. Habbestad (2:17.45) placed fourth, while Collier placed seventh (2:17.11).

            In the men's 800 meters, the Bucs also saw success as Josh Hicks (Riceville, Tenn.) advanced to the finals with a fifth-place finish and time of 1:55.34.

            Michael Wright (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Tyler Woodruff (Sevierville, Tenn.) represented ETSU in the men's hurdles. Wright competed in the 110-meter hurdles and placed sixth in the qualifying rounds with 15.22 to move on to the finals, while Woodruff competed in the 400-meter hurdles and placed eighth with 56.96 and also moved on to finals.

            Wright also competed in the long jump alongside teammates Nathan Strickland (Morganton, N.C.) and Adan Blevins (Greeneville, Tenn.). Wright placed seventh with a mark of 6.54m, Strickland eighth with a mark of 6.53m and Blevins 11th with 6.46m.

            The Southern Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships will culminate for the Bucs on Sunday, May 1 at 9:00 a.m. Competition will begin with the completion of the decathlon and pentathlon, followed by finals in the 400, 800, 1,500, and 5,000 meters. Field event finals will be held in the shot put, high jump, and triple jump. The final day will conclude with the 4x400 meter men's and women's relay, followed by presentation of the men's and women's championship trophies.

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