Seven Tiger Athletes Will Try For NCAA Qualifiers
March 3, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Seven University of Memphis track and field athletes will compete in the last weekend of meets before the 2011 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships field is set, each hoping to earn a bid to the Championships when they open in College Station, Texas, on March 11.
Four Tigers will compete at the LSU Last Chance, beginning Friday in Baton Rouge. C-USA Indoor individual champion juniors Karlis Pujats (pole vault) and Robert Jackson (60m hurdles) will be joined by freshman Taurean Nixon (60m dash) and senior Knut Syversen (weight throw) at the Carl Maddox Fieldhouse.
Pujats (14th) and Syversen (27th) are both on the cusp of attaining automatic qualifying marks, which head coach Kevin Robinson thinks both are capable of at LSU. Syversen’s 20.09m (65’ 11”) season-best mark is over two feet short of an automatic qualifier, but the powerful Norwegian is more than capable of such a toss.
Pujats is closer to the mark he needs for an automatic berth (at 17’ 7”, he needs just over five inches to qualify automatically), and is currently at a spot on the national rankings that could allow him to earn a bid without automatically qualifying.
Nixon ran the weekend’s fastest time nationally in the 60m dash two weeks ago at the SEMO Invite, a 6.27 mark. He stumbled to a fourth-place finish that was half a second slower at the C-USA Championships and will be looking for redemption in Baton Rouge.
Jackson was an outdoor 100m hurdles NCAA Qualifier during the 2010 outdoor season and easily won dispatched the competition at the C-USA Indoor Championships last week. He has some ground to make up on his season-best in order to earn an automatic qualifying mark, but his explosion and technique can allow Jackson to shave several tenths of a second off his mark.
Meanwhile, three Tigers will travel to Notre Dame for the Alex Wilson Invitational: middle distance runners Ida Fillingsnes, Ellen Kildal and Guy Hudson will represent the blue-and-gray in South Bend, with Fillingsnes and Hudson running the women’s and men’s 800m run and Kildal traversing the mile.