Throwers take the day for men's squad.
Dec. 4, 2010
JONESBORO, Ark. – Memphis’ track and field squads put together several strong performances to open the 2010-11 indoor season at the ASU Kickoff Klassic. Though no team score was kept at the early-season event, several Memphis athletes had strong individual performances that should translate into points during team-scoring events.
“Our newcomers really came through for us today,” said head coach Kevin Robinson. “We had some big-time performances from them, while some of our returnees didn’t step up to the challenge today.”
The women’s team was led by an unlikely duo in the high jump, with sophomore Kirsten Berding winning the event with a 1.70 meter jump. Freshman Laura Toldy, a Hungarian champion, was second with the same height as Berding, but lost the jump-off.
“Kirsten and Laura did awesome for us,” said Robinson. “We’re expecting big things from them.”
Redshirt freshman Britta Jaarats showed in her debut that last season’s knee injury is a thing of the past, winning the shot put with a 14.33 meter mark and coming in fourth in the women’s weight throw event with a 15.40 throw.
Freshman Anna Bischof was fourth in the shot put with a 13.22 meter toss, while classmate Cyarra Wells had a sixth-place, 14.56-meter throw in the weight.
The runners also got into the act in the opening chapter of indoor season. Senior Holland Thomas was fourth in the 55-meter hurdles with an 8.38 mark, while anchoring the 4x400-meter team that finished fifth with a 4:05.14 mark; Thomas was joined in the relay by sophomore Quaniqua Jones, junior Vivian Haynes and senior Deneen Kirk.
The men’s side of the coin was paced as it ever is by the throwers. Senior Knut Syversen won the weight throw with a 19.55 meter toss, while freshman Savvas Arestis (fourth, 16.43 meters) and redshirt freshman Tom Willcox (fifth, 15.97 meters) also had top-five showings in the weight throw.
Syversen did not record a score in the shot put, but the slack was picked up by a host of Tigers, with sophomore Andrew Miller pulling runner-up honors with a 16.27 toss. Arestis finished fourth with a 15.98 to earn two top-fives in his first collegiate competition.
“Knut had a nice throw in the weight to overcome his struggles in the shot,” said Robinson. “It was easy to see he was the best thrower there. I was proud of how Savvas, and Britta, did in their first meet with us.”
The throwers weren’t the only group of Tigers to have solid days, however. The 4x400-meter relay team of senior Richard Lowe, senior Alex Sweet, junior Nick Harold and sophomore Stephan Ender won the relay with a 3:19.27 mark.
Freshman Darius Lynwood performed admirably in his first collegiate meet, taking second in the high jump with a 2.05 meter mark. Last season’s NCAA Regional qualifiers looked to be in good returning form.
“Robert had a bad start, but he made up well,” said Robinson. “That’s a hard track to get good times on, so across the board we were a little slower today.”
While only managing a tie for fifth in the high jump with a 1.95 meter height, senior Jerome Leslie redeemed himself with a fourth-place triple jump of 14.32 meters.
“Jerome didn’t have his best day, but I’m proud of Darius,” said Robinson. “He was very nervous but had a great performance for us.”
The Tiger track squads will get an extended break over the Christmas holidays before returning to action, Jan. 23, at the EIU Early Bird.
“There’s still lots of work to be done,” said Robinson. “This meet will be a wake-up call to some and steer us in the right direction.”