Men, women earn runner-ups at SIU McDonald's
Feb. 5, 2011
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Memphis track and field had a multitude of strong performances, Saturday, on Day Two of the SIU McDonald's Invite, hosted by Southern Illinois. Both squads finished as runners-up to host Southern Illinois.
Memphis' track came alive today, earning multiple points for the Tigers and acclaim for athletes, particularly the sprinters. Freshman Taurean Nixon set a Tiger season-best with a 6.81 mark in the 60m dash, earning a runner-up mark.
Nixon was also runner-up in the 200m dash (22.37); freshman Jaz Davis was third in the 200 with a 22.66 mark.
"Taurean is quickly establishing himself as a premier athlete in this conference," said head coach Kevin Robinson. "He gets better every time out."
Junior Nick Harold returned to his home state of Illinois and came away with a runner-up in the 400m dash, with a 49.72 mark. Senior Guy Hudson was just behind him with a 50.36 mark that placed him third.
The Tigers also looked sharp in the middle distances, with three athletes contributing to the team score. Sophomore Trent Scott (fourth, 1:55.98) and freshman Brandon Williams (sixth, 1:56.44) each contributed in the 800m run, with Williams coming away with a personal-best.
Freshman James Maglasang also had a nice mid-distance run, with a fifth-place showing in the mile run after a personal-best 4:19.18 run.
The 4x400m relay team of Stephan Ender, Williams, Harold and Hudson earned the victory for Memphis, with a 3:20.45 run. That run was the second-best relay mark for Memphis this season.
Junior Robert Jackson continued his strong season with an 8.22 run in the finals, earning a third-place finish in the 60m hurdles. Jackson has yet to finish lower than seventh in four hurdles competitions this season.
Continuing yesterday's field action was senior Knut Syversen, who followed up his runner-up weight throw performance with a third-place shot put (16.76m). Sophomore Andrew Miller was second in the shot with a career-best 17.28m toss. Miller's shot put places it as the best mark in Conference USA this season, based on numbers entering Friday's competition.
"We had a chance to win this meet," said Robinson. "After SIU swept the podium in the 3000m run, we just couldn't recover and get back ahead. We improved, but we lost a couple we should have won and it made the difference in the end."
The women's squad was spearheaded by the high jumpers. Sophomore Kirsten Berding won the high jump with a 1.73m leap, a season-best and her second victory in the high jump this season.
Freshman Laura Toldy also had a good high jump, finishing sixth with a 1.58m height.
"I was impressed with all our women's performances, particularly Kirsten Berding," said Robinson. "I'm very pleased with where they are at after this weekend and want to use it as a starting point for better things."
Senior Holland Thomas had her season's first top-five finish, with a third-place, 9.10 mark. The women's 4x400m relay team of Quaniqua Jones, Vivian Haynes, Lingley and Thomas was fourth with a 4:06.76 leg.
Three throwers earned points for the Lady Tigers today in the shot put. Redshirt freshman Britta Jaarats was third with a 13.82 toss, while true freshmen Anna Bischof (13.49m) and Allison Hotz (12.63m) were fourth and sixth, respectively, following career-best shot put tosses.
In the final indoor meet that would be team scored prior to the C-USA Indoor Championships, the men's squad finished just four points out of first place.
"For the most part, we have continued to improve and get great performances," said Robinson. "We have the makings of a high-quality team."
Next week, the Tigers will travel to a one-day meet that will take place, Friday, at the Hoosier Hills Invite in Bloomington, Ind.
"This will be a different kind of week for us," said Robinson. "With the meet beginning on Friday, we lose Thursday as a training day. On the plus side, we get to run on a banked track for the first time this season, so we're excited to see what happens for our runners there."