The area’s hospitality industry got a shot in the arm. Some area school children got lessons in perseverance and character from an Olympic champion. And Milligan College got its first NAIA national champion in 13 years as 800-meter runner Hannah Segrave blistered the track at East Tennessee State University’s mini-dome with a championship meet record 2:06.91.
It all happened as the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships returned to Johnson City after a five-year hiatus.
Segrave teammate Taylor Tafelsky finished third in the mile in 4:17.38 on the men’s side, while Milligan sophomore J.J. Robinson was eighth in the women’s 3000 meters in 10:13.43.
University of Tennessee graduate Tim Mack, who set an Olympic record (since broken) in winning the pole vault in 2004’s Sydney games, visited several schools and spoke to students about the importance of perseverance and character.
Visitors provided about $1 million of direct economic impact into the local economy. The meet returns next year.