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Johnson and Varghese garner SoCon Athletes of the Month

Staff Reports • Feb 4, 2019 at 4:51 PM

The honors keep rolling in for East Tennessee State track and field athletes Ben Johnson and Ben Varghese.

On Monday, the Southern Conference office released the Athletes of the Month for January and the duo swept the honors for both the track and field events.

Redshirt senior Johnson is undefeated in the men’s weight throw through three meets this season and has one victory in the shot put.

All of Johnson’s weight marks have won by at least two meters.

The 2018 All-American thrower won the men’s weight at the Gamecock Inaugural on Jan. 18 with a mark of 21.13 meters — setting the standard for an early facility record at the newly opened South Carolina Track and Field Complex.

Johnson’s mark currently ranks 13th and would make him a national qualifier if it stands.

In his second-best event — the shot put — Johnson tossed a personal record 16.32 meters to garner the victory at the VMI Team Challenge on Jan. 26. The win was Johnson’s first shot put victory in his five-year career, while also marking his first time winning both indoor throwing events at one meet.

Varghese wasn’t too shabby himself in the first month of 2019, setting a personal best in the 3,000 meters on Jan. 12 with a finishing time of 8:16.53. That time was the fifth-fastest time on the weekend for the sophomore from Daniel Boone.

He remained undefeated on the season as well with a victory at home last Saturday in the one mile run, where he clocked a 4:07.30, a personal best by more than four seconds. He bested the previous meet record of 4:09.27 set by ETSU alum Simeon Roberts.

The Buccaneers have one more meet this weekend at the Music City Challenge in Nashville before the SoCon Championships at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va. on Feb. 23-24.

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