From staff reports
The Clayton College & State University men's team dominated the running events Saturday at the Oglethorpe University Track & Field Opener winning six of the seven contested events and setting three school records in the process. Meantime, the women's team nabbed three firsts and established one team mark in their season-opening outdoor meet finishing third out of four teams.
The Lakers swept the relays, winning the 4x100, 4x200, 4x400, 4x800 and distance medley relays to take home the meet's Track Events Champion and Relay Champion awards. The Lakers finished ahead of Johnson C. Smith, Kennesaw State University and host Oglethorpe.
Brian Etelman (freshman, Marietta) had a hand in all three team records, winning the 100m in a time of 10.64 and running legs on the record-setting 4x200 (1:29.33) and 4x400 (3:19.68) relays. The Lakers also got first place finishes from Carlos Guyton (junior, Thomasville) in the high jump and Elijah Ajayi (senior, Riverdale) in the long jump. Guyton and Eric Simmons (freshman, Carrollton) also ran on the 4x200 and 4x400 relays.
"This was a nice start to a promising season," said Lakers head coach Mike Mead. "Combined, our men and women won 11 events and set four school records. Brian was the class of the sprint field today. We have not been known for our sprints, but we're going to turn some heads this season, particularly in the 4 x 400 relay. Carlos and Eric averaged 48.6 on their legs and this is just our first meet! I'm really looking forward to the coming meets when everyone is competing in their specialty events."
Brandon Barnett (sophomore, Decatur) ran on the record 4x400 relay, was a member on the winning 4x100 and teamed with Tony Juarez (senior, East Hazel Crest, Ill.), Stephen Hughes (senior, Hampton) and Adil Berkhedle (junior, Scarborough, Ontario) on the winning distance medley relay. Berkhedle, Hughes, Juarez and Simmons teamed up to win the 4x800 relay in 7:55.62 which was less than a second off the school mark set in 2002.
On the women's side, Heather Krehbiel (sophomore, Peachtree City) was the standout performer winning the 3,000m and anchored the winning 4x800m relay team.
Krehbiel's winning time of 10:48.29 was less than a second off the team record set last season by teammate Kim Daniel (junior, Macon). Running with Krehbiel on the 4x800 were Daniel, Penny Tinker (senior, Mesa, Ariz.) and Stephanie Gilbert (junior, Jonesboro).
Gilbert claimed the third win of the day for the lady Lakers in the 1,600m run.
The lone record for the Clayton State women was established in the 4x200 with Daniel, Tinker, Chioma Mbonu (freshman, Nnewi, Nigeria) and Beatrice Wade (junior, Fairburn) running 2:00.33. Daniel, Krehbiel, Tinker and Wade teamed up to finish second in the distance medley relay.
"Our women's team held their own, though we are pretty banged up," said Mead. "Kim and Beatrice competed though both are nursing injuries. We picked up some solid points from our throwers."
Aletha Binion (senior, Bowdon) and newcomers Lindsey Huether (junior, Smyrna) and Judith Chimes (sophomore, Enugu, Nigeria) picked up points in the shot put, javelin and discus. Binion had the highest finish with a second in the discus. The lady Lakers also got some depth with top four finishes in the 1,600 and 3,000m from Brittany Precht (junior, Smyrna) and Kristy Young (freshman, Conyers).
Both Clayton State teams regroup for their next scheduled meet, the Morehouse Relays, on March 20 that will feature some of the top NCAA Division II teams in the South Region.