Rotich, Burton and Dahl wrap up successful Buccaneer track and field weekend at Clemson
Kenneth Rotich won the 5000m title on Friday and followed that up with first-place finish in the 3000m on Saturday.
Kenneth Rotich won the 5000m title on Friday and followed that up with first-place finish in the 3000m on Saturday.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

CLEMSON, S.C. (Jan. 10, 2009) - The ETSU track and field team had a successful opening weekend to its 2009 year, as juniors Kenneth Rotich (Nairobi, Kenya) and Jarrod Burton (Bastian, Va.), along with newcomer Heidi Dahl (Provo, Utah) each won their respective events in the final day of competition at the Clemson Invitational on Saturday.


In the field event, Burton and Kennesaw State's Joshua McNair battled neck-and-neck in the shot put. Burton - who won the weight throw with a new school record last night - finished second behind McNair in the prelims of the shot put; however, when it came down to the finals, Burton stepped up his effort. In the finals, the junior thrower came through with yet another school-record-setting toss of 53-00 (16.15m) - which broke his previous mark of 52-08.75. McNair finished second with a heave of 52-08 (16.05m).


Rotich - who was fresh off his 5,000-meter title on Friday - made it two-for-two after claiming the 3,000m crown on Saturday. The Kenyan sensation finished with a top time of 8:35.85. Meanwhile, as a team, the Bucs made it a clean 1-2-3 sweep in the event, as Michael Deren (Blasdell, N.Y.) and Ben Ronoh (Sotik, Kenya) finished behind Rotich in second and third, respectively. Deren crossed the line in second with a mark of 8:45.13, and Ronoh was right there in 8:45.87.


Dahl made her ETSU debut in the 300m on Friday night, but made some noise in the 800m run on Saturday. The BYU transfer took the crown as she blew away the field of 25 competitors - finishing with an impressive time of 2:10.80. Brandy Swann of Georgia State ended behind Dahl, but crossed the line 10 seconds later (2:20.20).


Other ETSU notables included Judy Johnson's (Knoxville) third-place finish in the 60-meter finals. Johnson advanced to the finals on Saturday and finished with a final time of 7.70. Johnson and fellow sprinter Nae-Nae Bailey (Statesville, N.C.) also had solid performances in the 200m. Bailey edged out her teammate for third in the event by finishing with a time of 25.38. Johnson came in fourth with a mark of 25.47. After setting the new track record in the 300m on Friday, freshman Quentin Greenlee (Morristown, Tenn.) ended the weekend with a fifth-place showing in the 400m (50.47). Sophomore Mike James (Palm Bay, Fla.) flew his way into the 60-meter hurdle finals and came out fourth (8.24).


The Bucs will be back in action next weekend when they make their second trip over the mountain to Boone. ETSU will compete in the ASU Limited Open on Saturday, Jan. 17.


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