Track Travels to Houston for C-USA Indoor Championships
Feb. 22, 2007
MEMPHIS - The University of Memphis men's and women's track and field teams will have a chance to showcase their incredible development as they travel to the Yeoman Field House in Houston this weekend to compete in the Conference USA Indoor Championships on Friday and Saturday.
"We're expecting some good results," said head coach Kevin Robinson. "I'd like to leave with a few individual titles and see us qualify a few more people for the NCAA. This is our chance to show how far we've come in such a short time, and I think we'll finish much better than we did last year."
All 12 C-USA members will be represented on the women's side. While two-time defending champion Houston is favored to take the title again this year, the Lady Tigers are looking to improve on their ninth-place finish from 2006 and to challenge the conference's elite.
The Lady Tigers have broken 12 school records this season, including two last week as junior Chen Edri bested her own mark in the high jump and Whitney Bolton and Ashton Baldwin reset Bolton's school-record in the pole vault at 11-5.75.
"The women's team has really come along faster than I thought it would," said Robinson. "We've had some people really improve, and we were able to pick up some good newcomers. They have a great chance to double their point total from last season and to break 100 points for the first time in the history of their program."
Memphis' Gail Lee holds top marks in the shot put 55-3 and the 20-lb. weight throw at 62-6. Lee won the women's weight throw in 2005 before redshirting the 2006 season. Lee is followed in the shot by teammate Sivan Aballi, who ranks second with a distance of 51-11.
The Lady Tigers' distance group should be among the best at the championships. Freshman Tina Sherratt ranks in the top five in both the 800 meters and the mile, and distance runner Emily Malinowski ranks in the top-three in both the 3000 and 5000 meters.
The Tiger men are coming off a fifth-place finish in the C-USA Indoors last season.
The men will also be led by their field group, headed by reigning C-USA Athlete of the Week Glen Edwards, who is the conference's leader in the shot put. Newcomer Steffen Nerdal ranks third among the C-USA weight throw competitors with a season-best distance of 61-1.25. Sophomore Greg Norrid is fifth in the shot with a mark of 53-7.
Brandon Winbush set a personal indoor best in the long jump last week at the Redhawk Invitational and should be a factor in the title competition this weekend.
"Several of our men's competitors have a great chance to come away with great performances this weekend, and I think we've got a good shot for at least one individual title," Robinson said.
Competition will open Friday with the pentathlon and heptathlon at 9 a.m. Results can be followed live at http://www.flashresults.com/flashtexas/cusaindoor07.