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Milligan CC shines in home meet

Milligan College, Tenn. (Sept. 6, 2013) --- The Milligan College cross country team opened the 2013 season in style at the inaugural Buffalo Valley Stampede at Buffalo Valley Golf Course in Erwin, Tenn. Cassie St. John (Jonesborough, Tenn.) took top honors as she paced the No. 19 women's squad to victory, while freshman Tayler Tafelski (Hudsonville, Mich.) led the men to a second place finish.

On the women's side, St. John recorded a time of 18:39 on the three-mile course to take the victory in her first race since October 2012. Lauren Grindstaff (Kingsport, Tenn.) finished third with a time of 18:54 in her return to the program, while Meagan Wright (Florence, S.C.) recorded a time of 19:01 to finish in fourth. Senior Natalia Rivas (Johnson City, Tenn.) rounded out the top five with a time of 19:05.

Mackenzie Patten (Kingsport, Tenn.) and freshman Amber Grello (Nazareth, Pa.) earned top 10 finishes as they finished seventh and eighth, respectively. As a team, the Buffaloes earned the victory with 20 points as they captured six of the top eight runners.

On the men's side, Tafelski ran to a sixth place finish in his collegiate debut with a time of 19:46 on the 6K course. Nathan Meeuwenburg (Hudsonville, Mich.) recorded a time of 19:50 to finish in ninth, while Christian Brewer (Knoxville, Tenn.) finished in ninth with a mark of 19:54. Ayden Farmer (Kingsport, Tenn.) and Brandon Ellis (South Sapulpa, Okla.) ran to 19th and 20th place finishes, respectively.

As a team, the Buffaloes finished second with a total of 58 points. Tennessee Wesleyan, who received votes in the NAIA Men's Cross Country Preseason Coaches' Poll, won the event with a total of 29 points.

"The atmosphere today was awesome," Head Coach Chris Layne said. "The support we received from our student body and administration goes a long way. It's early and we expect to look like two different teams come November, but I am pleased with both programs this afternoon. We'll continue to look to our leadership in hopes we can keep developing the young talent in our program."

The Buffaloes return to action on Oct. 4, as they travel to the Mountaineer Open hosted by Appalachian State in Boone, N.C.
Posted by Matt Laws on 09-09-2013

Milligan CC/T&F adds Pickett as assistant

Milligan College, Tenn. (Aug. 6, 2013) --- The Milligan College cross country and track and field program has announced the addition of David Pickett as an assistant coach. Head Coach Chris Layne made the announcement.

"David brings to the table a great deal of passion and energy for our sport," Layne said. "I hope Milligan is an opportunity for David to bridge the gap between where he is now as a young coach and ultimately where we think he'll be down the road."

Pickett comes to Milligan from East Tennessee State University where he served as a volunteer assistant. At ETSU, he helped with the men's and women's sprints, hurdles and relays, and worked with two Atlantic Sun Champions in Ifrish Alberg and Emani Harrison. Under the direction of Pickett, Alberg set Suriname National records in the 60-meter dash and 100-meter dash.

"I am very eager and honored to have the opportunity to work under the tutelage of Coach Layne," Pickett said. "We share the same values in wanting our student-athletes to succeed academically, athletically, and professionally. Milligan College is a great place to be and I'm excited to continue my coaching career in Johnson City."

Prior to ETSU, Pickett was a private coach and president of the Western North Carolina Track Club. The WNC Track Club men's team recorded a 21st and 23rd place finishes at the USATF National Club Track and Field Championships during his tenure. As a private coach, Pickett coached former Howard University standout Christopher Harrison to a seventh place finish in the 400-meter dash at the USA Indoor Championships in 2013.

Pickett graduated from the University of North Carolina at Asheville in 2010 where he was a top-five all-time performer in the 55-meters and 60-meters. He also served as an athletic communications assistant for the Bulldogs. Pickett also has a Masters of Arts in Kinesiology and Sport Studies from ETSU. He also holds his USA Track and Field coaching certificate.

Since their inception in 1999, the Milligan programs boast 14 top 25 national championship finishes, 42 All-Americans and over 200 national qualifiers. During the recent cross country season, the women's cross country team captured their 10th straight AAC title and ran to a 19th place finish at the 2012 NAIA Cross Country National Championships.
Posted by Matt Laws on 09-09-2013

Milligan Buffaloes secure national marks at Strawberry Plains

Milligan College, Tenn. (Feb. 12, 2011) --- The Milligan College track and field program saw four members of the team hit the NAIA national “A” standard on Saturday in Knoxville, Tenn. It was the half-marathon debut for all members of the Milligan squad.

Austin Ellis (Charlottesville, Va.) captured the men’s division with a time of 1:11.33. In addition to qualifying for the NAIA National Championships, Ellis also set the school record with his time.

Seth Grindstaff (Elizabethton, Tenn.) also recorded a notable performance on the men’s side with a time of 1:21.41.

On the women’s side, Danielle Mitchell (Johnson City, Tenn.) led a trio of Buffaloes to the NAIA National “A” Standard. Mitchell captured the women’s division with a time of 1:30.33.

Amanda Loughlin (Kingsport, Tenn.) finished in second with a time of 1:31.21, while Janey Robinson (Elizabethton, Tenn.) came in third with a time of 1:32.46.

“Austin has been on track to make this move, but these three women came from very modest running backgrounds so it’s really special to see them accomplish what they did today,” Head Coach Chris Layne said. “I know this group put a tremendous amount of pressure on themselves to get the standard out of the way, and I couldn't be happier with how the race turned out.”

The qualifying participants will participate in the 2011 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships in Marion, Ind., on May 26-28.
Posted by Matt Laws, 2-12-2011 on 03-07-2011

Hubbard finishes top ten at NAIA nationals

Geneva, Ohio (Mar. 5, 2011) --- Milligan College sophomore Lauren Hubbard (Kingsport, Tenn.) grabbed a top ten finish at the 2011 NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships in the 5K on Saturday afternoon in Geneva, Ohio.

The former Dobyns-Bennett standout, who was seeded 33rd out of 36 runners entering the event, ran to a time of 17:53.21. The time was Hubbard’s second fastest time of the season, with her fastest time of 17:40.29 coming during Thursday’s qualifying round.

"For a girl that never broke 18:19 before Thursday’s prelim, I'd say she handled herself like a professional this weekend,” Head Coach Chris Layne said. “She went after it in the final going through the mile in 5:21, so we know she's ready to raise the bar. I'm extremely proud of what she accomplished this weekend."

The Buffaloes saw three athletes compete over the course of three days at the event. Yolando Migoyo (Kissimee, Fla.) missed the finals in the 400-meter sprint by a spot, while Chelsea Leavell (Springfield, Tenn.) competed in the weight throw competition. Tanner Payne (Georgetown, Tenn.) and Gillian Giffen (Knoxville, Tenn.) qualified for nations, but were forced to withdraw due to injury.
Posted by Matt Laws on 03-07-2011

Crockett's St. John signs with Lady Buffs

Milligan College, Tenn. (Feb. 1, 2011) --- The Milligan College Lady Buffs track and field and cross country programs have added David Crockett senior Cassie St. John to the 2011-12 signing class. Head Coach Chris Layne made the announcement. St. John will participate in both track and field and cross country for Milligan.

St. John finished 46th at the 2010 TSSAA State Cross Country Championships and ninth at the Region I Cross Country Championships. She also grabbed top ten finishes at both the Trailblazer Invitational and the Bristol Cross Country Invitational. She also recorded an impressive 17th place finish at the Furman Invitational.

On the track, St. John earned top ten finishes at the Times-News Relays, The Big 8 Meet, the Dan Crowe Relays, and the Frank Carver Invitational. She boasts a mile personal best of 5:34.

"Cassie is a student of the sport, she's talented, and she takes care of business in the classroom,” Layne said. “She is a very good fit for our system."

St. John, who owns a 5k best of 20:44, joins an already solid recruiting class that includes Mackenzie Patten from Sullivan South, New Jersey standout Christine McMahon, Indiana's Paxton Stephenson, and newly committed junior college transfer Ashley Hansen from Florida. They join a Lady Buffs squad that has won eight straight AAC titles and finished in the nation’s top 25 the last eight seasons.
Posted by Matt Laws, SID on 02-02-2011

Milligan and Science Hill to host Johnson City Invitational

Milligan College, Tenn. (Jan. 18, 2011) --- Milligan College has teamed up with Science Hill High School to host the inaugural Johnson City Invitational track and field event on April 15-16. The event will be hosted at Science Hill’s Kermit Tipton Stadium.

“We are pleased to be teaming up with Science Hill to bring such an excellent event to our area,” Milligan Vice President of Student Development Mark Fox said. “The event will feature some of the top local athletes, and we hope we can continue to grow it into one of the premier track events in the area.”

The event will feature many of the area’s top high school and collegiate teams. Both groups will compete in a full slate of traditional outdoor events.

In addition, Kermit Tipton Stadium will also host the Appalachian Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships this season. The state of the art facility is in its first year of use.

“These types of events are exactly what we envisioned when we were pushing for the facility,” Science Hill Athletic Director Keith Turner said. “We feel that with such a wonderful facility and the city's reputation for hosting athletic events that this particular event will continue to grow in the future and help attract other track events for our city.”

Johnson City has a storied history in hosting track and field events. The MSHA/Athletic Center is home to the Niswonger Invitational, which has featured many Olympians and world class athletes over the course of its 33 year history. Milligan also hosted the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Nationals for 10 consecutive years inside the venue.

In addition to the success of hosting track and field events, Johnson City is also home to several other popular running events. The city, which was named the number one running city in America during the 1980s, and the surrounding region is host to the world-renowned Crazy 8’s road race, Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot and has been host to the AAC Cross Country Conference Championships. The Tri-Cities area is also home to two nationally known collegiate programs in East Tennessee State University and Milligan College.

Steven Wilson with Genworth Financial has joined the event as a major sponsor. Other sponsors for the event include FootRX, Johnson City Power Board, Courtyard by Marriott and Doubletree.

For more information on Milligan athletics, visit

For more information on Science Hill High School, visit

For more information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact Mark Fox ( or Keith Turner (
Posted by Matt Laws, SID on 01-25-2011

Ellis leads Milligan T & F at App State

Boone, N.C. (Jan. 22, 2011) --- Austin Ellis (Charlottesville, Va.) captured a victory in the 5000-meter run to lead the Milligan track and field program during this weekend’s Appalachian Open hosted by Appalachian State in Boone, N.C.

“We were competing on very tired legs so it was good to see some solid performances across the board,” Head Coach Chris Layne said.

Ellis ran a solid time of 15:45.70 in the 5000-meters on Friday night to take the victory. Ellis finished nearly 30 seconds ahead of a solid NCAA Division I field.

In the 800-meters, Brendan Hawkins (Limestone, Tenn.) recorded a personal best time of 2:01.61 to nab a 12th place finish. Kevin Mowatt (Montego Bay, Jamaica) narrowly missed the finals of the 55-meter dash as he finished 12th with a 6.56, while Matt Murphy (Greeneville, Tenn.) finished seventh in the mile run.

Tanner Payne (Georgetown, Tenn.) recorded a top five finish in the weight throw with his toss of 16.18-meters.

The Lady Buffs recorded two top ten finishes in the weight throw competition as Chelsea Leavell (Springfield, Tenn.) finished fifth with a throw of 14.92-meters and Elise King (Midlothian, Va.) finished ninth with a throw of 13.75-meters.

Danielle Mitchell (Johnson City, Tenn.) recorded a personal best time in the 5000-meter run as she finished sixth with a time of 19:20.19. Gillian Giffen (Knoxville, Tenn.) finished fifth in the 3000-meter run in her first indoor race since her freshman year with a time of 10:42.

Yolanda Migoyo (Kissimmee, Fla.) barely missed the school record time of 26.16 in the 200-meter sprint with a time of 26.18. Migoyo finished eighth in the event.

Milligan returns to action on Feb. 4, when they travel across town to the Niswonger Invitational hosted by East Tennessee State University.
Posted by Matt Laws, SID on 01-25-2011

Migoyo sprints to national qualifier at App State

Boone, N.C. (Jan. 15, 2011) --- Yolanda Migoyo (Kissimmee, Fla.) led the Milligan College track and field program as they opened 2011 portion of their schedule with an impressive showing at the Mountaineer Open hosted by Appalachian State on Saturday in Boone, N.C. In all, Milligan notched nine top-tens.

“I really thought we did a good job today considering classes started three days ago,” Head Coach Chris Layne said. “We were rusty in spots, but we’ll take this and move on.”

Migoyo qualified for the 2011 NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championship in the 400-meter dash with a time of 58.60. That time placed her second in the event. Migoyo also recorded a personal best and a school record time of 7.52 in the 55-meter dash.

Catie McMahon (Lanoka Harbor, N.J.) participated in the mile run, and came away with a seventh place finish with a time of 5:28.69. Former Daniel Boone standout Danielle Mitchell (Johnson City, Tenn.) notched an eighth place finish with a personal best time of 11:03.64 in the 3K.

Chelsea Leavell (Springfield, Tenn.) drew a pair of top ten finishes in the weight throw and the shot put. In the weight throw, Leavell finished fourth with a distance of 14.94 meters, while she finished the shot put in eighth with a throw of 11.33 meters.

Elsie King (Midloathian, Va.) also participated in the weight throws and shot put and finished in the top ten in both events. King finished ninth in the weight throw with a throw of 11.33-meters and 10th in the shot put with a throw of 11.25-meters.

On the men’s side, Kevin Mowatt (Jamaica) finished eighth in the 55-meter dash with a time of 6.53 in his second race as a Buff. Tanner Payne (Georgetown, Tenn.) recorded a throw of 16.04-meters in the weight throw event.

Milligan will return to Boone on Saturday, Jan. 22, when they participate in the Appalachian Open.
Posted by Matt Laws on 01-19-2011

Milligan bolsters sprint line-up with addition of international standouts

Milligan College, Tenn. (Jan. 6, 2010) --- The Milligan College track and field program has added Fitzroy Harris and Eurenna “Slick” Semper to their sprint lineup for the current season. Head Coach Chris Layne made the announcement.

"Fitzroy comes from a rich tradition at Herbert Morrison Tech and Slick has an incredible story, so we're extremely excited to add these young men to our roster,” Layne said. “I don't think either have even scratched the surface when it comes to their potential."

Semper enters Milligan with a 100-meter sprint personal best of 11.2 and a 200-meter sprint best of 22.9. He captured the 100-meter crown and finished second in the prestigious Frank Carver Invitational in 2010. Semper, originally from Manchester, England, graduated from Tri-Cities Christian School, and attended Virginia Highlands during the fall semester.

Harris comes to Milligan from Jamaica powerhouse Herbert Morrison Technical High School. In the 200-meter sprint, he has recorded a personal best of 22.3, while recording a best of 48.5 in the 400-meter sprint.

Both Semper and Harris will be available for the current indoor season.
Posted by Milligan Sports Information on 01-12-2011

Milligan Track and Field Competes at App State

Boone, N.C. (Dec. 4, 2010) --- The Milligan College track and field opened the 2010-11 indoor season with seven top 10 finishes at the Appalachian Collegiate Invitational in Boone, N.C., on Saturday.

“This meet was a great opportunity to switch gears, and kick off the indoor season for our crew,” Head Coach Chris Layne said. “I know Coach Derek Nave saw some positive in the throws, and overall we competed pretty hard today.”

Milligan was led Chelsea Leavell (Springfield, Tenn.), who finished third in the weight throw event. Leavell’s throw of 15.80 meters qualified her for the 2011 NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships.

Leavell also competed in the shot put where she placed eighth in the field of 38. Her throw of 12.25 meters was Leavell’s farthest throw since her sophomore year.

In the women’s mile, Lauren Hubbard (Kingsport, Tenn.) finished second with a time of 5:20.63, while Catie McMahon (Lanoka Harbor, N.J.) ended the event in fifth with a time of 5:33.38. Yolanda Migoyo (Kissimmee, Fla.) competed in two events as she finished the 200-meter sprint in 13th with a time of 26.22, and finished the 60-meter sprint with a time of 7.57 for a 23rd finish.

The Buffs were led by Matt Murphy (Greeneville, Tenn.), who set a new personal best in the mile run with a time of 4:34.01. Murphy finished the event in sixth place. Tanner Payne (Georgetown, Tenn.) finished the men’s weight throw in seventh plce with a throw of 16.04 meters. In the men’s 400-meters, Dwayne Jordan (Kissimmee, Fla.) finished 10th with a time of 51.25.

Kevin Mowatt (Jamaica) had an impressive showing in his first race as a Buff as he finished just outside the top ten in the men’s 60-meter sprint as his time of 6.52 placed him 11th in the field of 35.

The Milligan track and field program returns to action on Jan. 15, 2011, when they return to Boone, N.C., for the Mountaineer Open in the Holmes Center.
Posted by Milligan Sports Information on 01-12-2011