“Right before they walked out, I was talking to the group in front of their parents and families and explained how big of a deal this was,” ETSU head coach George Watts said after Saturday’s slate of events. “This is the last opportunity for them to compete in front of a home crowd. Rightfully so, student-athletes that have been with the program for three or four years should be recognized. Their parents have been with them the whole time and they’re surely proud of them, too. They’re all great students and great people.”
Kennedi Johnson was one of the big winners on the day for the Bucs, taking home gold in the women’s 60-meter hurdles with a final time of 8.84 seconds.
“We had a really good meet last weekend and to follow it up with another good one this weekend shows the potential of the team,” Watts said. “The women’s team is young and we’re getting better. We have four female sprinters that made the 60-meter finals. That’s going to be a good 4x100 relay team with three freshman and a sophomore.”
Jataya Wilson won the women’s shot put, throwing a season-best mark of 13.05 meters.
Miguel Parrilla captured the men’s 800 meters with a lean at the line, coming in eight one-thousandths of a second ahead of second, running 1:55.162.
Lindsey Stallworth has come back strong from injury after cross country, evidenced by her women’s mile win (5:02.44) on Saturday. Daniel Boone alum Makayla Shaw had a massive personal-best, clocking 5:08.16 for second place.
“(Stallworth) had that freak injury in the fall and missed two or three months of running,” Watts said. “She’s starting to get back to where she was and she’ll be there by the time spring comes around.”
Matthew Scarr performed well in the one mile as well for the Bucs, nabbing second in 4:10.05 on the men’s side. Malick Gemechu ran strong for second in the 3,000 meters, finishing in 8:37.84. Josh Routh was directly behind him with an 8:38.06.
Kennedie Carithers nabbed runner-up honors in the women’s 200, clocking 25.22. Johnaida Eliscar posted a 59.54 time to earn bronze in the women’s 400.
The 4x400 women’s relay team of Julia Karsten, Neyasha Honorable, Aliyah Hill and Britney Griffith capped off the day with a first-place finish (3:54.24).
The Bucs have four weeks until the Southern Conference championships at VMI at the end of February and Watts believes his teams have the potential to make some noise.
“I’m very pleased and we’re halfway there,” Watts said. “We’re right where we need to be and now we have to take care of ourselves.”