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Bucs, Buffs get boost from youth on final day of ETSU Invitational

Dave Ongie • Jan 16, 2016 at 9:56 PM

The ETSU Track & Field program received a hefty boost from its underclassmen on the final day of the ETSU Invitational at the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center on Saturday as four freshmen or sophomores posted top-five finishes.

The same was true for Milligan, which got significant contributions from several freshmen making their collegiate track debuts.

“This year’s ETSU Track & Field Invitational was the best-run meet we've had in the four years I've been the head coach,” said ETSU coach George Watts. “Hats off to the staff and the 75 plus people that worked as officials and volunteers. You can't put on a great meet without the caring individuals that give their time and energy to help the many student-athletes perform at their very best.”

The high point for the Buccaneers on Saturday came in the Men’s Distance Medley Relay where the team of Angus Baldwin, Nathan Rivera, Ashton Wilson and Simeon Roberts won the event with a time of 10:16.84. Roberts also notched his second consecutive meet finishing in the top five in a solo running event as he was fourth in the men’s one-mile run.

“We had a solid day of competition with a victory in the Men's Distance Medley Relay to lead the way for the Bucs,” Watts said. “I was very pleased with many of our younger kids as they improved their performances from last week’s meet.”

Patrick Taylor, Nick Horne and Jordan Scott nabbed the other three top-five finishes on the men’s side for the Bucs as the trio concluded their events in fifth place.

Meanwhile on the women’s side, senior Ashley Kessler finished third in the pole vault, while freshman Kyra Atkins finished up third in the 60m hurdles. Fellow freshman Kiana Davis earned her first collegiate top-five as she finished fifth in the 60m dash with a time of 7.78.

For Milligan, a total of 13 athletes were either competing in their first collegiate meet or making their debut in an event they hadn’t previously competed in. Milligan coach Chris Layne was pleased with what he saw on Saturday as freshman Mark Stair and junior Hannah Seagrave both posted national-qualifying times in their respective events.

“Today was a quality day," said Layne. "We picked up two national standards and I think our team really competed. There is a ton of fight in this young bunch.”

Stair finished third in the high jump with a height of 2.03 meters while Seagrave also came home third in the mile with a personal best time of 5:06.23. 

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