Nerdal Captures Third-Straight C-USA Weight Throw Title
Feb. 26, 2010
Houston, Texas – The University of Memphis track and field teams entered day one of the 2010 Conference USA Indoor Championships hoping to challenge for a championship and have individuals qualify for the NCAA Championships.
Senior thrower Steffen Nerdal captured his third-straight C-USA Indoor weight throw championship with a C-USA Indoor Championship record toss of 22.74m (74-07.50). The two-time All-American posted his fifth automatic qualifying mark in as many meets and will turn his focus to the NCAA Championships after successfully defending his title.
“That was another outstanding performance for Steffen,” head track and field coach Kevin Robinson said. “Three C-USA titles in a row for him and that is something very few athletes have ever done. He remains unbeaten heading into the NCAA Championships and we are obviously looking forward to that competition.”
Junior Knut Syversen posted a second place toss of 19.63m (64-05.00), earning his second provisional qualifying mark in as many weeks. Syversen joined Nerdal on the podium and senior Harding Zills finished eighth with a mark of 16.44m (53-11.25) to give the Tigers three All-C-USA performers in the weight throw and 19 points toward the team scoring.
“Knut had a strong performance to solidify second place tonight,” Robinson said. “He was a little bit under the weather, but he dug deep to answer the call. I am extremely proud of these competitiors we have in the weight throw.”
Freshman pole vaulter Lauren Gale entered the C-USA Championships hoping to post a personal-best vault. The Gilbert, Ariz., native not only posted a personal-best mark of 3.55m (11-07.75)in the competition, she finished third to score six points for the Lady Tigers.
“That was phenomenal character displayed by a true freshman today,” Robinson said of Gale. “To set a lifetime best at her first championship is an outstanding accomplishment.”
Senior hurdler Tayanna Simpson posted a time of 8.49 seconds in the preliminaries of the 60m hurdles to qualify for the finals. With the mark, Simpson ranks third among qualifiers for the finals on Saturday and she is six-hundredths of a second shy of recording a provisional qualifying time for the NCAA Championships.
Junior Preston Williams and sophomore Robert Jackson posted the second and third ranked qualifying mark in the 60m hurdles. Williams posted a time of 8.15 seconds while Jackson crossed the finish line with a time of 8.17 seconds to give the Tigers two qualifiers in the finals on Saturday.
Freshman distance and middle distance athlete Breiuc Vandeleene qualified for the finals in the 800m run with a preliminary time of 1:55.64. The personal-best mark ranks sixth among the qualifiers for the finals on Saturday and Vandeleene will be joined by junior Guy Hudson who posted a qualifying time of 1:55.92 which ranks eighth.
Junior sprinter Richard Lowe qualified for the finals in the 400m dash with a time of 49.48 seconds. The mark ranks him fifth among qualifiers entering the finals of the 400m dash on Saturday. Lowe along with teammate Frashod Barlow narrowly missed qualifying for the finals in the 200m dash as each were tenths of a second away from the qualifying times.
The women’s 60m dash preliminaries featured some of C-USA’s most talented athletes including Lady Tiger LaShundra Kershaw. The junior posted a time of 7.53 seconds which ranked 11th, leaving her just short of qualifying for the finals among some of the best athletes in the conference.
In the men’s heptathlon, Williams finished day one in fourth place with three events remaining. He has totaled 2,710 points and will finish the heptathlon with competitions in the 60m hurdles, pole vault and 1,000m run on Saturday. Junior Darrell Lewis and senior Marvin Stewart are in 10th and 11th, respectively, entering the final day of heptathlon competition.
The men’s distance medley relay finished third with a time of 10:20.62. Junior Edwin Kipkorir, sophomore Alex Sweet, freshman Stephan Ender and Vandeleene raced to the third place finish to end the Tigers day of competition.
The Tigers end day one with a total of 25 points and sit in fifth place after scoring of five events have been scored. Host Houston leads with 40 points followed by Rice with 30.50 and both UTEP and Tulsa with 30 points each. The Lady Tigers finish day one with six points and 11th place in the standings.
For live results at the C-USA Indoor Championships visit www.conferenceusa.com or follow the Tigers on Facebook by searching University of Memphis Track and Field.