Tiger Track Back in Action, Saturday
Jan. 21, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Following a lengthy break during the Christmas holidays, the U of M track and field squads will shake off the rust and compete at this weekend's EIU Mega Meet, in Charleston, Ill. The meet will begin, Saturday, at 9 a.m.
This will be the Tigers second indoor meet, following a successful showing at the Arkansas State Kickoff Klassic, Dec. 3-4. Participating in this meet will be teams from Chicago State, Greenville, Murray State (women only), St. Xavier (men only) and the host Panther squads, in addition to the U of M.
"I'm excited to put my team back out on the track," said head coach Kevin Robinson. "It's exciting to see who will step up and perform well as we begin the season."
For the U of M, this meet will be a litmus test of who remained in shape over the break and provide another opportunity to move up the NCAA rankings. Currently, five Tigers are among the top-50 nationally in their respective events: senior Knut Syversen (15th, weight throw), junior Robert Jackson (47th, 60m hurdles), senior Desiree Blow (49th, pentathlon) and sophomore Kirsten Berding and freshman Laura Toldy (40th, high jump).
Around the conference, several Tiger athletes have marks that would currently earn all-C-USA awards. Senior Holland Thomas (60m hurdles), junior Janelle Mason (pole vault), sophomore Alyssa Northcutt (pole vault), freshman Britta Jaarats (weight throw and shot put) and freshman Anna Bischof (shot put) each rank in the top eight in the conference, in addition to those who rank nationally.
The men's team also has notable performances from the first meet to build on, including freshman Jaz Davis (200m dash), senior Nick Harold (400m dash), freshman Darius Lynwood (high jump), junior Karlis Pujats (pole vault), senior Jerome Leslie (triple jump), sophomore Andrew Miller (shot put), along with Syversen and Jackson, rank in the top-three in the conference in their respective disciplines.
The Tiger men's team will have to go without Syversen this week, who has been unable to train of late due to illness. Miller, along with classmate Tom Willcox and freshmen Savvas Arestis and Elijah Mahaley, will be asked to match his production as a group this weekend.
"The team as a whole is motivated and optimistic about this weekend," said Robinson. "We've been having outstanding practices in spite of the weather conditions and are very focused on improving our marks from the December meet."