Heard, Etelman turn in record-breaking performances

From staff reports

The Clayton College & State University men's track & field team won four events and had two athletes provisionally qualify for nationals, en route to a third place finish out of 15 teams Saturday at the Emory Classic in Atlanta.

Sophomore Rother Heard and freshman Brian Etelman provisionally qualified for nationals in the triple jump and in the 200m events, respectively, with record-setting performances.

As a team, the Lakers finished with 61.5 points, trailing winner Calvin University and Emory University, two of the top NCAA Division III track & field programs in the country. Calvin won the meet with 85.5 points, followed by Emory with 77.5 points. Slowed by injuries, the women's squad also had several top performances.

"The men came up with our highest finish at Emory and our ladies improved over last season's team finish," said head coach Mike Mead. "Our guys did it with only eight healthy bodies and six of them scored the points. Had we been healthy, I think we would have been in the team title hunt."

In addition to Etelman and Heard's performances, the Lakers also got record-setting and top efforts from senior Tony Juarez and freshman Eric Simmons.

"Another incredible day for Clayton State track and field," said Mead. "We came away with six team records, two NCAA provisional qualifiers, four firsts and a slew of personal bests."

Heard won the triple jump competition with a leap of 48-feet-1 ? inches, provisionally qualifying for the national meet and setting a new school record. He also placed second in the long jump at 22-1 ?, also setting a new school record. Etelman placed third in the 200m with a time of 21.47, provisionally qualifying for nationals and setting a new school mark in the process.

Juarez came 12-hundredths of a second from provisionally qualifying for nationals in the 1500m, winning the race with a season best time of 3:54.12. Simmons finished third in the 400m race, setting a new school with a time of 48.25. The 4x400m relay team of Etelman, Juarez, Simmons and junior Carlos Guyton also set a new team record, winning the race with a time of 3:15.87.

On the women's side, senior Penny Tinker had the top finishes for the Lakers placing fourth in the 800m race with a time of 2:20.94 and fifth in the 1500m with a time of 4:56.86.

Sophomore Heather Krehbiel broke school record in the 5000m, placing fifth with a time of 19:04.19.

Lady Lakers fall to Valdosta

A short-handed, eighth-ranked Clayton College & State University women's tennis team fell 7-2 to 11th-ranked Valdosta State University at the Clayton State Tennis Complex Saturday.

Without second-seeded Nathalia Collantes, CCSU's all-time winningest singles player who is out with an injury, the Lakers dropped all three doubles matches and lost four of the six singles matches. Clayton State will return to action on Wednesday, traveling to face Emory University in a 2 p.m. match. The loss drops the Clayton State record to 8-5 on the season.

In doubles, the top-seeded singles team of Jackeline Nieto and Kim Lennartsson lost 8-1 to Eva Petschnig and Iris Staub, while the second-seeded Laker team Elizabeth Syrova and Natalia Koulechova fell 8-5 to Annika Biro and Marina Galey. The third-seeded CCSU team of Daniela Petkova and Michelle Zulu fell 8-3 to Natalia Drabova and Claudia Hesse.

CCSU seniors Nieto and Koulechova won the only two matches of the day for the Lakers at the top two singles seeds. Nieto won at No. 1 in a third set super tiebreaker 10-3 after splitting the first two sets 6-4 and 5-7 to Petschnig. Koulechova won at the second seed 6-2 and 6-3 over Drabova.

Third-seeded freshman Syrova lost 6-2 and 6-1 to Biro, while fourth-seeded freshman Petkova fell 6-0 and 7-5 to Galey. Fifth-seeded freshman Lennartsson lost 6-0 and 6-0 to Staub and sixth-seeded freshman Zulu fell 6-0 and 6-0 to Hesse.