VMI Men's Track and Field Finishes Second in Big South Championships

Obuon and Brickner Named Conference MVP's, head coach Mike Bozeman selected as co-coach of the year

Blacksburg, Va. – The VMI men's track and field team took second place in the Big South Championships on Saturday at Virginia Tech's Rector Fieldhouse.

Liberty University took first place overall, but seven different Keydets grabbed first place finishes including freshman Paulvince Obuon (Kisumu, Kenya / Chianda High School) and junior Garrett Brickner (Fairfax Station, Va. / Lake Braddock) who were named Men's Outstanding Track Performer and Field Performer, respectively.

The VMI women's team finished eighth overall in the meet.

Once again Obuon was sensational as he set the conference record in the men's 200-meter dash (21.42 seconds). He also won the 400-meter dash (48.84 seconds) and missed winning the 60-meter dash by one one-hundredth of a second (finishing second at 6.73 seconds).

Brickner took first place in the high jump (6'-11.5"), second place in the triple jump (46'6") and third place in the long jump (23'8"). Brickner's mark in the high jump was a Big South record and his mark in the long jump qualified him for the IC4A's to be held March 5-6.

Other first place finishes for VMI included junior Austin Wakefield (Wake Forest, N.C. / Wake Forest H.S.), who also set a conference record with a mark of 52'8" in the men's shot put(a career best).

Junior JB Rosson (Keezletown, Va. / Spotswood) placed first in the men's pole vault with a mark of 15'9".

The men's 4 x 400-meter relay team also took first place with a time of 3:20.98. Junior Johnny Johnson (Merritt Island, Fla. / Merritt Island), Sophomore Derek Behney (Behtel, Pa. / Tupehocken), senior Michael Kirk (Rock Hill, S.C. / Rock Hill) and junior Larry Williams (Elizabethtown, Ky. / Central Hardin) all combined in on the victory. Johnson also recorded a third place finish in 800-meter dash (1:54.29).

Junior Mildred Cooper (Gretna, Va. / Gretna) took the only women's title for VMI, as she finished first in the shot put (47'1-1/4") for her second straight conference crown in the event. She also finished fourth in the weight throw.

Sophomore Shelly Mackall (Baltimore, Md. / Poly)finished fifth in the women's 60-meter dash with a time of 7.82 seconds, a VMI record.

Other second place finishes for the Keydets belonged to junior Ty Denby (Scottsville, Va. / Fluvanna County) in the men's pole vault (15'3") and DeAngello Plather (Augusta, Ga. / Hepzibah) in the men's 60-meter hurdle (8:47 seconds).

Denby was also named men's Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the Big South.

The VMI women's distance medley relay team set an Institute record with a time of 12:39.71. Sophomore Amber Blain (Chesapeake, Va. / Western Branch), senior Aarika Johnson (Hampton, Va. / Bethel), freshman Carrie McAtee (Loogootee, Ind. / Loogootee) and junior Emily Naslund (Bloomington, Minn. / Jefferson) were all apart of the record-breaking run.

VMI track and field head coach Mike Bozeman was selected, along with Liberty's Brant Tolsma, as the Big South Conference Co-Coach of the Year, marking the 12th time in his 19 seasons at VMI he has been named as conference coach of the year.

Overall, Liberty's men won with 200.83 points, followed by VMI (139.66), Radford (96.50), High Point (63), Charleston Southern (47), UNC Asheville (43) and Winthrop (30).

Coastal's women took first with 175.50 points, while Liberty placed second with 125.50 points. Winthrop finished third (80), followed by UNC Asheville (60), Charleston Southern (53), Radford (53), High Point (47) and VMI (28).