ETSU track and field finish strong at Walker Open
Freshman MacKenzie LaBonte recorded a personal best in the 800 meters at the Walker Open.
Freshman MacKenzie LaBonte recorded a personal best in the 800 meters at the Walker Open.

Friday, April 01, 2005

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 1, 2005) - Despite the windy weather on Friday night, the East Tennessee State University track and field team had a strong performance at the Walker Open held at Liberty Bell. The Bucs competed against teams from Brevard College, King College, Lees-McRae, Milligan College and Virginia Intermont and had 13 first place finishes on the day.

The women's distance runners continued to show improvement at today's meet. Freshman MacKenzie LaBonte (Port Charlotte, Fla.) recorded a personal best in the 800 meters of 2:19.09 for first place.

"MacKenzie took advantage of the meet and ran smart," stated volunteer assistant coach Catherine Berry. "Every race she learns a little more about race distribution and she will continue to improve in future meets."

Also having strong performances were Maggie Hunter (Roanoke, Va.), Christine Ward (Candler, N.C.), and Ali Carney (Sevierville, Tenn.). Hunter finished first in the 1500 meters with a time of 5:06.91, while Ward and Carney ran in the 3000 meters and finished in first (10:38.64) and third (11:06.48) respectively.

In the women's sprints, Chantelle Vernon (Markham, Ontario) made a strong performance in the 100 meters. Running into strong head wins, Vernon managed to finish with a time of 12.22 for first place. In the 200 meters, Ebonie Jones (Richmond, Va.) finished first with a time of 25.05.

"Because of the conditions today, it was important that our student-athletes focused on competing and executing the game plan to stay in the race," commented assistant coach Michelle Byrne.

On the men's side, Brad Osborne (Watauga, Tenn.) took first place in the shot put with a personal best distance of 11.17m.

 "I'm really proud of Brad's progress," said throws coach Kassandra Harrell. "He's making great strides toward reaching his full potential as a multi-event athlete."

The Bucs continue weekend action with a one-day meet at Western Carolina on Saturday, April 2.

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