Newcomers Shine and Veterans Come Through in Tigers' First Meet of 2009
Jan. 24, 2009
CHARLESTON, Ill. - The University of Memphis men's track and field team took to the indoor track for the first time in 2009 on Saturday at the Eastern Illinois University Mega Meet.
The meet was not a scored meet meaning there was no team score recorded. On the day, the Memphis men racked up three first place finishes, five second place finishes and five third place finishes highlighted by sweeping the medal stand in both the weight throw and the shot put. The Lady Tigers track and field team recorded three first place finishes, eight second place finishes and nine fourth place finishes. Memphis proved most dominant in the shot put where five Lady Tigers placed in the top six of the event. The Memphis pole vault athletes took home first, second, and third place.
"We had several very promising performances at this meet," said head coach Kevin Robinson. "This was obviously our first meet of the year and we're not quite where we want to be yet, but we had the individuals that were in positions to score points last year are still doing a good job and performing in our first meet this year and our newcomers were already stepping up and performing well."
2008 All-American Steffen Nerdal took home first place in the weight throw event with an NCAA qualifying mark of 20.23m (66-04.50). The runner up in the event was sophomore Knut Syversen who recorded a throw of 17.50m (57-05.00). Bringing home third place was junior Harding Zills with a toss of 15.69m (51-05.75).
"Steffen Nerdal did a great job today," said Robinson. "He is right where he left off last year. He qualified for the NCAA Regionals with his throw in the weight."
Syversen took home the event championship in the shot put with a first place toss of 16.85m (55-03.50). For the first time in his career, Nerdal competed in the shot put event and for the first time in his career he followed teammate Syversen with a second place shot put throw of 14.41m (47-3.50). The junior Zills grabbed his second third place finish of the afternoon in the shot put with a throw of 13.78m (45-02.50).
Freshman Robert Jackson made an immediate impact by taking home third place in the 60m hurdle finals with a time of 8.27.
"Our newcomers Robert Jackson and Aaron Evans did such a great job today. Robert finished second place in his heat and then took home third place in the finals and Aaron won his first 800m race," said Robinson.
In the middle distance events, sophomore Richard Lowe took home fourth place in the 400m dash with a time of 51.16. In the 800m run, freshman Aaron Evans grabbed first place with a time of 1:53.94 and sophomore Guy Hudson took home fifth place with a time of 2:00.98.
Sophomore Edwin Kipkorir ended his afternoon on the medal stand with a third place finish in the mile run. He logged a time of 4:25.67.
On the women's side, in the sprint and hurdle events, junior LaShundra Kershaw grabbed a fourth place finish in the 60m dash and newcomer junior transfer Tayanna Simpson added a sixth place finish with a time of 9.23.
Freshman Kayleigh Brown logged a second place finish in the mile run finishing with a time of 5:28.24. Senior distance specialist Emily Malinowski also recorded a second place finish with a time of 18:43.82 in the 5000m run.
Ashton Baldwin registered a pole vault height of 3.65m (11-11.75) to win the pole vault event while teammate Whitney Bolton finished in second place with a height of 3.35m (10-11.75). Freshman Brittiany Brewster logged a height of 2.90m (9-06.25) taking home third place.
Junior Angela Wigley took home second place in the weight throw with a toss of 16.19m (53-01.50) while newcomers Kristin Sundsteigen took home fourth place with a throw of 15.49m (50-10.00) and Karmyn Clark grabbed fifth place with a toss of 15.14m (49-08.25).
The most impressive results of the day for the Tigers may come from the shot put event. Senior Sivan Aballi launched a first place throw of 15.28m (50-01.75). Sundsteigen finished just behind her in second place with a toss of 14.52m (47-07.75).
"Sivan did a great job today. She is one of our senior leaders and we expect her to have a good final season," said Robinson. "Inger also did a phenomenal job today winning the triple jump and tied for first in the high jump."
Freshman Inger Anne Froyesdal won the triple jump in the first meet of her career. She set the bar high with a mark of 12.24m (40-02.00). She also tied for first place in the high jump with a height of 1.73m (5-08.00).
"This was overall a good start for us, but we still have a lot of work to do to in order for us to be where I want us to be at championship time," said Robinson. "I'm not quite satisfied yet, but we'll start back on Monday and go to work to get better."
The Tigers are in action again next weekend on Jan. 30-31 in Carbondale, Ill. for the SIU McDonalds Invitational meet.