Lee Claims Women's Weight Throw Title; Hits NCAA Provisional Qualifying Mark
Feb. 25, 2005
Houston, Texas - Junior Gail Lee got the University of Memphis track and field teams off to the best start they could have hoped for as she took home the women's weight throw title in the first event in which a Memphis athlete competed. Fellow junior J.D. Erickson then followed Lee's performance up with a second-place tally in the men's weight throw to lead the U of M men to a sixth-place standing after day one of the C-USA Indoor Championships at Yeoman Fieldhouse on the campus of the University of Houston.
Lee, who ranked first in the conference entering the indoor championships, proved early in the competition that she was the class of the field as she recorded a mark in her first throw that would have won the competition. However, in the last of her five throws, the Fort Worth, Texas native came up with a season-best effort of 61-07.00" (18.77m) that gave her the crown by a distance of over three feet and also provisionally qualified her for the NCAA Indoor Championships. Lee will now turn her attention to tomorrow's shot put competition where she again enters the event as a favorite.
Also in the women's weight throw, Freshman Annette Uzoh came up with a season and personal-best mark of her own as her toss of 51-01.00" (15.57m) topped her previous best by nearly six feet, allowing her to sneak into the eighth position and score one point for the U of M women. With Lee's 10 points for her victory and Uzoh's point for her eight place tally, the Lady Tigers currently sit in eleventh place as a team with an 11-point total.
The Tigers also saw Erickson get them off to a quick start with his second-place tally in the first event scored on the men's side. His season-best toss of 61-00.00" (18.59m) was outdistanced only by East Carolina's Eric Frasure, who has been just ahead of Erickson in the C-USA standing throughout the season, and gave the Memphis men their first eight points. Erickson will look reproduce or better today's performance in tomorrow's shot put where he again ranks second, this time behind Houston's Johnathan Reeves.
Beyond Erickson, the U of M men saw three other athletes, Janon Busby, Brandon Winbush and Daniel Bandy, record scoring performances on day one of the meet. Leading this group was Busby, who claimed a fourth-place finish and five points in the high jump with his personal-best leap of 6-09.75" (2.08m). Busby's height was equal to the second-place finisher, but he fell to fourth based on number of jumps. He is another Memphis athlete who has high hopes on day two of the meet, as he is the favorite to win his best event, the triple jump.
Winbush and Bandy registered seven more points for the Tigers as the pair claimed fifth and sixth place tallies, respectively, in the long jump. Winbush, who ranked eighth in the conference entering the meet, moved up three spots to claim four points, while Bandy who was competing in his first meet for the U of M, garnered three points.
The U of M men finished the day with a total of 20 points to leave them in sixth place entering the second day of competition.
In addition Memphis' point recording performances on day one, several other athletes also put themselves in scoring position by advancing through preliminaries to qualify for event finals. For the men, Daniel Kiss, a frontrunner in the 60m hurdles clocked a time of 7.88 seconds to qualify second, while Abraham Shaposhnik recorded a time of 1:56.95 in the 800m to qualify fourth. Austin Hunter won his heat in the 400m with a time of 49.07 seconds, qualifying seventh, and Willie Green also qualified seventh in the 60m with a time of 6.86 seconds.
On the women's side, Sheena Ohlig was the only Memphis athlete to qualify for finals, but she did so in grand fashion, setting a school record in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.72 seconds and qualifying sixth. The previous record of 8.84 seconds had been set by teammate Josetta Brooks just a week ago.
Each of the Memphis athletes who qualified for finals is assured of at least a scoring performance, as only eight runners advance to tomorrow's finals.
The second day of the C-USA Indoor Championships will begin Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. with the resumption of the men's heptathlon. The field events will follow at 11:00 a.m., with running events slated to begin at 1:00 p.m.
Live results for the C-USA Indoor Championships are available at the Flash Results Texas website, http://flashresults.com/flashtexas/cusaindoor05/, and final results and recaps will be posted at www.gotigersgo.com.