JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 15, 2015) – Hannah Segrave debuted in the 1500-meter event and Joey Watson continued his outstanding freshman season in the shot put, both breaking the Milligan College and Appalachian Athletic Conference records to top off the first day of the AAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships during a rainy Wednesday evening.
Segrave’s time of 4:33.63 beat the previous AAC record by eight seconds (4:41.95) and the Milligan record by just under three seconds (4:36.62). Both records were held by Jacklyn Talbert who ran for Milligan College and set the records in 2008 and 2009.
“We’re really proud of Hannah’s composure tonight,” expressed Head Coach Chris Layne. “To debut in an event and step up like she did is really impressive.”
For Watson, his throw of 16.60 meters broke his own record that he set earlier this season while also breaking Shaka Andrew’s record of 14.65 by close to two full meters. Andrew was a part of Milligan’s field team during the 2012 and 2013 seasons, during which he set the AAC record.
“Watson is a student of his event, and he steps up every time he gets to the big stage,” commented Layne. “It’s exciting to see his growth, and he and Coach Daniel Corriher deserve a ton of credit.”
The 1500-meter event was one of the first events not to experience the light drizzle that covered the Johnson City area for most of the day, but the rain faded away with perfect timing just as the championships really started to get underway.
“We dodged a bullet with the weather system moving out just in time,” noted Layne, “but of course the wind and cool temps weren’t ideal. (However) I saw a lot of athletes competing across the board regardless of the weather.”
And that is exactly what the Buffs did.
Emily Holtsclaw got Milligan moving with a quick first-place finish in the pole vault, and Elise Espy followed her with a fourth place finish in the 100-meter hurdles.
Counting Segrave, who won the 1500 by more than 100 meters, the Buffs placed five runners in the top 10 in the 1500, as Mackenzie Patten, JJ Robinson, Cassie St. John and Amber Grello nabbed fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth respectively.
Immediately following the women, Christian Brewer overtook Chad Whitehead of Tennessee Wesleyan in the final turn of the 1500 to take second overall with a time of 3:57.88.
“Brewer is just a fighter,” said Layne. “He’s a talented young man who knows how to compete and that’s a variable you can’t coach.”
When the lights came on, Peter Mermilliod and Stephen Murphey ran to a second and fourth place finish in the 24-lap 10k event, finishing with times of 34:07.22 and 35:10.97 respectively.
While the runners heated up the track, Katie May took sixth in the long jump with 4.54 meters.
Janie Smith (10.18m) and Haley Cox (9.21m) grabbed third and eighth in the shot put, and Joey Evans followed Watson with a fifth-place finish with a throw of 12.22 meters. Smith and Evans both record personal best with their events.
The Buffs will return to the Sidney Smallwood Track & Field Complex on Thursday, April 16, for the final series of events for the championships. Action is slated to start at 12:30.