JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – East Tennessee State took the 2012 Atlantic Sun Championships down to the final event with Kennesaw State, and prevailed by combining for 223 total points to slip past the Owls mark of 220.5 to win its third outdoor conference title.
Leading the Owls by one half of a point entering the 4x400m relay, ETSU’s team of Tim O’Dell, Ryan Jones, Errol Cash and anchor Desmond Pierce finished the final event in second place, beating Kennesaw across the finish line by less than a half second with a time of 3:14.81 to KSU’s mark of 3:15.22.
The 2.5-point margin of victory is the closest in the A-Sun’s 17-year history of the event, as the Buccaneers put an end to KSU’s streak of two-consecutive outdoor titles. The two track and field rivals have now combined to win the last six outdoor conference championships, with each side splitting the glory 3-3.
Freshman K’Vonte Scott made A-Sun history along the way, setting the conference championship’s new record in the decathlon at 6,662 points. Kennesaw State’s Brian Graham — who edged Scott by one point in the heptathlon of this year’s A-Sun Indoor Championships — also broke the previous meet record, but finished well behind Scott with 6,541 points.
Perhaps the biggest performance of the meet came from ETSU’s throwers, who immensely helped the Buccaneers to the title by combining for 64 points. Assistant coach Eli Sunquist heavily applauded the crew’s senior class.
“The men’s win was a complete team effort,” Sunquist said. “We scored very well across all disciplines, and it was a true team win.
“I would especially like to commend our men’s throwers, as they were able to score 64 points which is by far the most we have ever scored in the throws at a conference meet. The senior leadership of Cornell Sneed and Justin Burton was a huge help for our team.”