The men’s and women’s track and field teams headed to Cullowhee, North Carolina, to compete in the Beynon Sports Catamount Classic two-day outdoor meet.
Looking back on the indoor season, senior Ashley Kessler (Knoxville, Tenn.) was the indoor pole vault champion after winning against her twin sister Lindsey of Samford University.
“Overall, it was fun and exciting,” Kessler said. “I hope it is just as competitive outdoor as it was indoor.
The Bucs had not competed in an outdoor meet since the first of the month at the Florida Relays and the Vertklasse Meet, which both had successful outcomes for individuals and teams.
Freshman Kyra Atkins (Greer, S.C.) topped her personal best time in the 100m hurdle race with a time of 13.58, giving her the 11th-fastest time in the NCAA East Region. This performance also secured her a qualifying spot in the NCAA regional meet in late May.
Junior Michael Williams (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) also had a personal best time at the Florida Relays with 51.61 in the 400m hurdles. This gave him the fastest time in the 400m hurdles for the Southern Conference.
At the Catamount Classic, the Bucs had a few debut athletes competing for the first time, as well as expectations for the reigning athletes.
“This is where the conference championship will be held,” coach George Watts said. “So it’s really important for us to get on the track and get familiar with the facility.”
Watts said this was the first time the majority of the team was competing together at the same meet, so the “team unity” had to be going in order to be successful.
Day one at the Catamount Classic left the men’s team in third place and the women’s team in sixth place, with five athletes ranking in the top five. ETSU was ranked eighth in the top ten.
On the final day of the meet, the men excelled and locked in the second place spot, with the women coming in at sixth.
Matthew Moore (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) came out with the most victories with a win in the 4×100 meter relay as well as the 100m dash. Nicki Smith (Urbandale, Iowa) was the only woman with a victory, which was in the 400m hurdles.
“That’s what I love about it [track],” Kessler said. “I can win individually and then try to cheer everyone on to win as a team.”
The Bucs’ next meet will be at the Georgia Tech Invitational on April 22-23. Then they will have only two more meets until the SoCon Outdoor Championship.