Tigers Open Track and Field Season With 28 Top-Five Performances
Dec. 5, 2009
Jonesboro, Ark.- The University of Memphis track and field teams opened the 2009-10 indoor season at the Arkansas State University Kickoff Klassic on Saturday, posting 26 top-five performances which included five first place finishes.
“I know that we are a good solid team,” head coach Kevin Robinson said. “I think judging by the top-five performances we have a lot of depth. It is so early in the normal season schedule that is hard to come compete so hard and I have to hand it to the kids for competing so hard.”
Two-time All-American thrower Steffen Nerdal took home first-place honors in the weight throw with an NCAA Qualifying mark of 22.41m (73-06.25). The NCAA automatic qualifying standard is set at 21.50m (70-06.50). Nerdal qualifies for the NCAA Indoor Championships for the third-straight season.
“That was an unbelievable performance by Steffen today,” Robinson said. “His throw today would have made him the runner-up at the NCAAs last season. He is light years ahead of where he was at this time last year. Despite what he threw today, his throws could have been better. He is the man to beat in any meet he competes at and he could easily go undefeated and win every meet he enters through the National Championship.”
The women’s 4x400m relay team consisting of Monica Mason, Vivian Haynes, Keyona Neal and Deneen Kirk broke the school record with a time of 3:54.01 and finished first. The men’s 4x400m team consisting of Nick Harold, Guy Hudson, Richard Lowe and Alex Sweet finished second with a time of 3:18.39.
“We don’t have a senior on that women’s 4x400m relay team and for a group of underclassman to break the school record this early, is a good place to start for the rest of the indoor season. Three of the four are multi event athletes and that shows there athleticism and talent to run that well at the end of the day.”
Jerome Leslie collected a first-place finish in the triple jump with a personal-best leap of 14.84m (48.08.25). Leslie posted an eighth-place finish in the high jump with a mark of 1.90m (6-02.75).
“That is a great jump for Jerome to break his indoor best. It was a good time for him to step up. Aaron didn’t have a good day, but we can get that fixed. Jerome stepped up and filled the void.
Kyosha Yarbrough won the triple jump crown and set a new personal-best triple jump mark of 11.77m (38-07.50). Yarbrough finished fourth in the long jump with a leap of 5.73m (18-09.75).
“Kyosha had a nice day and picked up where she left off last season. Kyosha did what we expected her to do and that was nice to see. Overall, it was a good day for the long and triple jumpers.”
Syversen picked up a fourth-place finish in the shot put with a throw of 15.59m (51-01.75). Seth Major competed in his first meet since the 2007 outdoor season and finished fifth with a throw of 15.52m (50-11.00).
“Knut did a pretty good job in the weight,” Robinson said. “Harding had a lifetime best in the weight. In the shot put, we fell apart. Nobody threw the shot well, so we need to start fixing some of the technical issues we have and we will do that beginning Monday.”
In the women’s weight throw Karmyn Clarke and Angela Wigley finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Clarke posted a mark of 16.14m (52-11.50) for fourth-place while Wigley threw 16.10m (52-10.00) to finish fifth. Marina Vojinovic grabbed a third-place finish in the shot put with a throw of 13.16m (43-02.25). Clarke finished fourth in the shot put with a throw of 13.08m (42-11.00).
Aaron Whetstone posted a fourth-place finish in the men’s long jump with a leap of 6.97m (22-10.50). Preston Williams finished seventh and Jerome Leslie finished ninth to give the Tigers three finishers in the top-10.
LaShundra Kershaw finished second in the 55m dash with a time of 7.06.
Darius Anderson posted a third-place finish in the 55m hurdles with a personal-best time of 7.66. Williams (7.76) finished fifth and Robert Jackson (7.91) finished seventh to round out three top-10 55m hurdles performances for Memphis.
Deneen Kirk finished third in the long jump competition with a leap of 5.76m (18-10.75). Freshman Leonie Fiebig posted her first top-10 finish with a 10th-place finish in the long jump with a leap of 5.35m (17-06.75).
Freshmen Kirsten Berding had a strong high jump performance in her first meet wearing the blue and gray as she finished tied for third-place in the high jump with a 1.60m (5-3.00) mark. Fiebig also posted a 1.60m (5-3.00) mark, but finished fourth. Vivian Haynes finished sixth in the high jump with a leap of 1.55m (5-1.00).
Freshman Nate Arnold finished second among college competitors in the men’s pole vault with a vault of 15-06.00 (4.72m). Freshman vaulter Alyssa Northcutt was the high finisher for the women’s vaulters with a vault of 3.35m (10-09.00). Freshman Lauren Gale also topped ten feet with a vault of 3.35m (10-3.00).
Mason posted a fourth-place finish in the 400m dash with a time of 57.67. Keyona Neal finished fifth with a time of 58.00.
Deneen Kirk and Kershaw finished second and third, respectively, in the women’s 200m dash. Kirk posted a 25.28, followed by Kershaw’s 25.30. Simpson finished in sixth-place with a time of 25.58.
Junior distance runner Edwin Kipkorrir finished fourth in the 3000m run with a time of 8:50.28. Sophomore distance runner Kayleigh Brown grabbed fourth place in the women’s 3000m run with a time of 10:32.96.
“I am really proud of the way the team supported each other today,” Robinson said. “We rallied around each other today and gave each other encouragement. The whole team is getting more involved with each other and we are working hard to get that team spirit established.”