Tiger Track Performs Well Despite Tough Conditions
March 17, 2007
MEMPHIS - The Memphis track team battled windy conditions and cold weather Saturday at the Rhodes Open Meet but managed to come away with several solid marks, including six event titles and four-regional qualifications.
"I think we performed well given the conditions," said Memphis head coach Kevin Robinson. "We trained right through this meet. I think when we're a little more fresh we'll probably hit some better marks."
The men's throws group had exceptional day, highlighted by Steffen Nerdal's 202-04 in the hammer, which qualified him for the NCAA Regional and broke Coach Robinson's school record by over ten feet. Nerdal also won the men's discus with a regional qualifying throw of 178-11.
Glen Edwards also qualified for the NCAAs in his first meet of the outdoor season, throwing 55-01.5 to win the shot put. Senior Norbert Gulyas earned his third NCAA Regional trip with a qualifying throw in the men's discus of 171-04.
"I was excited that we were able to get some of our qualifications out of the way early in the season," Robinson said. "We have a really good group, and I think they performed pretty well today."
The women's middle distance group picked up right where it left off in the indoor season as Tina Sherratt, Anneli Uys and Emily Malinowski took first, third and fourth-places respectively in the 1500 meters.
The men's hurdles group also turned in strong performances. Stephon Greenlee, Larry Harris and Amaechi Oselukwue finished first, third and fourth in the 400-meter hurdles respectively. Greenlee and Oselukwue also took top-three finishes in the 110 hurdles.
Tough conditions kept the Tiger jumpers from reaching their personal bests, but Memphis still managed to finish near the top in all of the jumping events.
Andre Hicks won the men's high jump with a height of 6-0. Hicks' female counterpart Chen Edri tied for the highest clearance of the day at 5-03.75 in the women's high jump but finished second on number of attempts.
Ashton Baldwin and Whitney Bolton tied for third in the women's pole vault, and men's vaulter Brian Prackett finished in fourth-place. Brandon Winbush took third-place in the men's long jump at 22-05.
After competing in the NCAA Indoor Championships last weekend, senior Gail Lee took a break from the shot put this weekend, competing only in the hammer where she threw a distance of 170-05.
Multi-event athlete Eryka Morris took third place in the women's 110-meter hurdles and the long jump.
In the sprints, Lady Tiger LaShunda Flake finished third in the 100 meters and fourth in the 200 meters. Memphis 100-meter record holder Willie Green finished in fourth-place in the event Saturday. It was the first live competition of 2007 for Green, who could not compete in the indoor season.
Memphis will return to Rhodes next weekend for the Lynx Invitational on Saturday.
"Hopefully next week it will be a little bit warmer and less windy," Robinson said.