Busby and Erickson Claim Event Crowns on Day Two of C-USA Indoors
Feb. 26, 2005
Houston - The University of Memphis track and field teams showed a flare for the dramatic on day two of the Conference USA Indoor Championships as they saw their two individual titles and a runner-up finish come on final attempts in an event. Along with the three spectacular finishes, the Memphis teams claimed two other second-place finishes on the second day of the meet, which was held at the Yeoman Fieldhouse on the campus of the University of Houston.
Senior Janon Busby and junior J.D. Erickson took home crowns in the triple jump and shot put, respectively, but left the issue in doubt until the last possible moment, as both recorded their winning marks in their final attempts of the competition.
Busby had registered three fouls and two sub-par jumps in his first five attempts, but saved his best for last, logging a leap of 50-09.25" (15.47m) to win the men's triple jump, an event which he entered as a solid favorite. The tally was Busby's second scoring performance of the meet, as he recorded a fourth-place finish and five points with his personal-best leap of 6-09.75 (2.08) in Friday's high jump.
Erickson had faired slightly better in his first five throws in the men's shot put, notching two quality tosses, but solidified the victory in his final put with a personal-best mark of 57-03.50" (17.46m). The Memphis native also recorded his second scoring performance of the meet, as he previously placed second in Friday's weight throw with a season-best toss of 60-00.00" (18.59m).
The other Memphis athlete claiming honors on her final throw was Lady Tiger Gail Lee, who placed second in the women's shot put, becoming a third U of M athlete to score in two events. In what turned out to be a two horse race between Lee and South Florida's Chandra Brewer, the junior recorded an NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 50-10.75" (15.51m) with her final toss, but was edged out by Brewer's heave of 51-07.75" (15.74m). With today's performance, along with her winning toss of 61-07.00" (18.77m) in yesterday's weight throw, Lee recorded a total of 18 points for the Lady Tigers.
Also claiming runner-up tallies were two U of M men, senior Daniel Kiss and junior Willie Green, who logged eight points apiece for the Tigers. Kiss, who entered the meet in a neck-and-neck race with defending champion, Andrew Carruthers of Houston, clocked a time of 7.86 seconds in the 60m hurdles final, but fell just short of Carruthers winning mark of 7.81 seconds.
Green, on the other had, was a surprise to even be in the finals of the 60m, as he had not run the event in any meet leading up to C-USA Championships. However, he posted a time of 6.79 seconds in the finals, missing a personal best by just one one-hundredth of a second, and taking home runner-up honors.
Five additional Tiger athletes netted scoring performances on day two of the meet. Austin Hunter, Norbert Gulyas and Brandon Winbush each scored three points as Hunter was sixth in the 400m with a time of 48.90 seconds, Gulyas was sixth in the shot put with a season-best toss of 51-01.25" (15.27m) and Winbush was sixth in the triple jump with a season-best leap of 46-00.25" (14.03m). Winbush's tally was his second top-eight performance of the meet, as he also placed fifth in Friday's long jump.
The two remaining day two scorers for the U of M men were Abraham Shaposhnik and Jason Morgan. Shaposhnik placed seventh in the 800m with a time of 1:58.46 to record two points, while Morgan finished eighth in the men's heptathlon with a school-record total of 4,470 points to claim one point.
Daniel Bandy, who placed sixth and grabbed three points in Friday's long jump, was the only other individual scorer for the U of M men. The 4x400m relay team of Courtney Taylor, Abraham Shaposhnik, Sam James and Austin Hunter claimed one additional point for the Tigers, who ended the meet with a sixth-place total of 68 points. Houston won the men's team title with 156.50 points.
On the women's side, three Lady Tigers, outside of Lee netted scoring performances. The highest of these finishers was Sheena Ohlig, who placed fifth and scored four points in the 60m hurdles with a time 8.75 seconds. Ohlig had also previously run a time of 8.72 seconds in Friday's preliminaries to set a new school record in the event.
Also scoring for the Memphis women were Chen Edri and Annette Uzoh. Uzoh claimed one point for the Lady Tigers on Friday night as she finished eighth in the weight throw with a personal-best toss of 51-01.00" (15.57m).
Edri, who entered the meet ranked fifth in the conference in the high jump, had a somewhat disappointing performance, but still managed to log one-half point with a leap of 5-04.50" (1.64m).
The Lady Tigers ended the meet with a twelfth-place total of 23.50 points. Houston, with 117 points, also took home top honors for the women.
Upon completion of the C-USA Indoor meet three U of M athletes, Lee, Kiss and Busby, have provisionally qualified for NCAA Indoor Championships and turn their attention towards that meet, in hopes that their marks are good enough to make the field for the March 11-12 event.
The remainder of the Memphis track and field teams will now begin to prepare for the outdoor season, which will begin on March 19 with the Spring Opener, hosted by Rhodes College in Memphis.