Track & field to compete six at NCAA Championship

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

A pair of men’s jumpers and a women’s relay team will vie for national championships

EUGENE, Ore. (June 5, 2013) – The ETSU men’s and women’s track & field teams will be represented by six student-athletes in multiple quests for national titles at the NCAA Division I 2013 Outdoor Track & Field Championship, June 5-8, at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

“I am proud of the group we have competing at the NCAA Championship this week and I look forward to a great meet,” said ETSU Director of Track & Field/Cross Country George Watts. “As always, we need to elevate our level of competitiveness in order to be successful.”

Highlighting the competitors for the Buccaneers is junior Tyler Stepp (Dandridge, Tenn.) who advanced to the Championship by recording a second-place mark of 7.79 meters two weeks ago at the NCAA East Region Preliminaries. His personal best mark of 7.80m set at the Sea Ray Relays earlier this outdoor season continues to place him in the top-10 in the East Region in the event. The First Team All-Atlantic Sun performer and A-Sun gold medalist continues to inch closer to the ETSU school record of 7.93m set in 1977 by Mike Halim. Reaching this record mark would put him in prime position to contend for an event title.

Senior Jason Johnson (Philadelphia, Pa.) looks to end his final season at ETSU with a strong showing in the men’s triple jump. At the NCAA East Region Prelims, the veteran notched a ninth-place mark of 15.40m to advance to the Championship this weekend. This solid score was not even Johnson’s best after recording a personal-record mark of 15.48m to earn silver at the A-Sun Championships in May. The opportunity now remains for the Second Team All-Conference selection to show his best on the biggest stage he has ever been on.

The women’s 4x100 meter relay team enters the Championship as the dark horse who barely managed to sneak into the qualifying field. The quartet of Courtney Kinlaw (Myrtle Beach, S.C.), Keturah Williams (Alpharetta, Ga.), Karissa Bertling (New Port Richey, Fla.) and Emani Harrison (Columbia, S.C.) are confident following their ETSU school record time of 44.75 at the Prelims which allowed them to advance. The foursome is accustomed to performing well on big stages after earning silver at the A-Sun Championships back in May.

Competing first at the Championship will be the ladies’ relay team in semifinal action at 4 p.m. PST on Wednesday, June 5. Following, on Thursday, Stepp will compete in the long jump at 4:30 p.m. No Bucs will compete on Friday which leaves Johnson to contend in the triple jump on Saturday at 12:30 p.m., and if necessary, the women’s 4x100m relay final at 2:05 p.m.

“I expect our student-athletes to approach this meet like any other,” said Watts, “and do what they’ve done all season.”

Meet information, events schedule and tickets for the NCAA Championship can be accessed by visiting NCAA.com. Live results will be available through FlashResults.com. TV broadcasts can be accessed by visiting ESPN3.com  and the ESPNU channel, while live streams for select portions of the Championship will be available through Pac-12.com. Complete recaps of ETSU’s performances will be available following Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday’s events at ETSUBucs.com.

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