With Final Tune-Up Over, Track and Field Turns Eyes Towards Conference Championships
Feb. 18, 2011
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – With the end of the indoor season in sight, Memphis track and field finished its run prior to the Conference USA Indoor meet at the SEMO Invite, Friday, with several strong performances.
The men’s squad got its usual round of excellent showings out of the throwers, led by senior Knut Syversen. Syversen won the weight throw with a 19.21m (63’ 0.25”) toss while coming in second in the shot put with a 16.68m (54’ 8.75”) throw. The victory in the weight throw was Syversen’s third of his senior indoor campaign.
Junior pole vaulter Karlis Pujats won his event for the fourth week in a row with a 5.10m (16’ 8.75”) height. In those victories, Pujats’ average vault height has been 5.16m (16’ 11”); to put that in perspective, only 39 other collegiate pole vaulter's have even one mark that high this indoor season.
Freshman high jumper Darius Lynwood tied his career-best with a 2.05m (6’ 8.75”) runner-up leap.
In a very limited track session, Memphis took home victories in the 55m hurdles from junior Robert Jackson’s personal-best 7.46 mark, while freshmen Taurean Nixon (6.27) and Jaz Davis (6.48) finished first and second, respectively, in the 55m dash. Nixon’s run was a mere seven hundredths of a second behind Ed Hammonds school record, set in 1973.
The women’s squad, without its strong mid-distance group, had several notable performances Friday as well. Senior Deneen Kirk had a season-best 5.73m (18’ 9.75”) long jump, winning the event. Sophomore Kirsten Berding also won the high jump, her season’s fourth victory, with a 1.70m (5’ 7”) leap.
Senior Vivian Haynes competed in the high jump for the first time this season at SEMO and came away with a runner-up 1.65m (5’ 5”) jump, her personal-best indoor mark.
Redshirt freshman Britta Jaarats continued a sensational first indoor campaign with runner-up finishes in the weight throw (16.60m; 54’ 5.50”) and the shot put (14.49m; 47’ 6.50”); the weight throw was her career-best.
Coach Kevin Robinson got to have an extended look at some competitors for the women’s team who ran unattached at SEMO and will be rejoining the squad during outdoor season. Senior Marina Vojinovic competed unattached and defeated Jaarats in the weight throw with a career-best 15.42m (50’ 7.25”) toss.
In hurdles action, senior Tayanna Simpson ran unattached and won the 55m hurdles with an 8.12 mark, defeating fellow Tigers in senior Holland Thomas (8.38) and sophomore Quaniqua Jones (8.42), who were second and third.
Track and field will travel to Houston, next weekend, for the Conference USA Indoor Track and Field Championships, hosted by Houston at Yeoman Fieldhouse. The meet is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m., Friday, with the multi-events. Track and field events will kick off Friday afternoon and continue Saturday. For a full list of events and scheduled times, click here.