The men’s and women’s track and field teams have been preparing all season long and finally made it to Birmingham, Alabama, for the Indoor SoCon Championship on Friday and Saturday.
After day one, the Bucs had a solid hold in the finals on day two. The women were ranked third in the tournament with 34.5 points after day one, and the men were ranked fourth with 23 points.
The women qualified in five final events for day two, with the men qualifying for all events except for the 800m.
“It gives good scoring opportunity, and that’s what we’re trying to do is get more points,” coach George Watts said about the performances of both the men’s and women’s teams.
The highlight of day one according to Watts was senior Ashley Kessler (Knoxville, Tenn.) beating out twin sister Lindsey Kessler of Samford University for first place in the pole vault women’s competition.
There was also a show of multiple medal (top three) performances by the men and women on day one.
Tyesha Jones (Nashville, Tenn.) finished third in the women’s shot put. Both the women’s and men’s distance medleys finished third.
Simeon Roberts (Greeneville, Tenn.) finished third in the men’s 3000m race, and Patrick Taylor (Chattanooga, Tenn.) finished third in the men’s long jump.
“There were a lot of young kinds that came through tonight in their first championship,” Watts said.
Freshman Kyra Atkins (Greer, S.C.) was one of many young athletes that contributed to the Bucs’ placing. Atkins finished second in the 60m hurdles on day two, making it one of three events that she scored in.
Kiana Davis (Ooltewah, Tenn.) was another freshman who finished third in the 60m dash and second in the 200m dash on day two.
Some of the most notable victories on the men’s side were those of Mike Williams (Mt. Laurel, N.J.), who won both the 60m hurdles and 400m dash.
In the end, the women’s team finished third overall with 84.5 points, and the men’s team finished fourth with 101 points in the Indoor SoCon Championship.
The NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship will be also be held in Birmingham, Alabama, on March 11-12. Many Bucs will advance and have high expectations for their turnout.