ETSU on Track for first A-Sun Trifecta

Friday, May 15, 2009

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - ETSU's men moved to within one day of completing a sweep of this year's running championships, tallying 54 points after the first day of the 2009 Atlantic Sun Outdoor Track and Field Championship at Hodges Stadium on the campus of UNF. Day two continues tomorrow with the men's decathlon at 9:00 a.m.

The Buccaneers' power move to first came after finishing one-two-three in the 10,000-meter run. The 2008 champion, Kenneth Rotich, set an A-Sun record finishing 30:53.20. Teammates Ben Ronoh and Micahel Deren finished second and third, respectively. After winning the Cross Country Championship in November and the Indoor Championship in February, a win tomorrow would give ETSU a sweep for the academic year, a feat never accomplished in the conference.

USC Upstate sits in second with 36 points while Kennesaw State, the defending champions, closed day one in third with 22 points. Belmont and Campbell land in fourth and fifth with 19 and 16 points, respectively. UNF and Lipscomb round out the list in sixth and seventh places.

USC Upstate started off the day right with a first-place finish from Perrish Goggins in the long jump, posting a 7.04 meter mark. Campbell's duo of Robert Brunson and Allen Brown jumped 7.03m and 6.72m, respectively.

In the pole vault, Upstate's Justin Crawford set the bar high by soaring 4.60m to take first place. ETSU's Jordan Briggs fell behind Crawford on attempts reaching 4.60m on his third attempt. UNF's Noah Thompson took the bronze with a vault of 4.45m.

The Owls earned a first-place finish in the shot put off Aymerick Kolokilagi's heave of 15.92m. The toss landed him in second in the A-Sun record book. His teammate Casey Strickland earned silver with his throw of 15.05m. ETSU's Justin Burton landed third with a distance of 13.63m.

Justin's brother, Jarrod, pulled out the win for the Buccaneers in the hammer throw with a toss of 47.97 meters. Tyler Howell landed second with his mark of 47.75m and Mark Wartenberger of USC Upstate finished third, tossing the weight 47.34m.

After five events in the men's decathlon, ETSU's Nic Chenikow, the 2007 event champion, leads with 3257 points. He finished first in three out of five events - the 100-meter dash, shot put and 400-meter run. USC Upstate's Reggie Thompson sits in second with 3129 points. He finished first in the high jump with a mark of 1.89 meters. ETSU teammates Jordan Briggs and Will Shackleford wrap up the decathlon list sitting in third and fourth. Briggs landed a first place finish in the long jump, posting a 6.20 meter jump. Briggs has 2922 points while Shackleford has 2762.

The Atlantic Sun Conference is an 11-member league committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun stands for achievement with integrity in both the academic and athletic arenas, with a focus on the balance between the two for our student-athletes. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Belmont University, Campbell University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.