Nerdal Represents Memphis at 2010 NCAA Indoor Championships
March 11, 2010
Memphis, Tenn. – After capping an undefeated indoor season with his third-straight Conference USA weight throw championship, senior thrower Steffen Nerdal will compete for the national championship on Saturday at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships on the campus of the University of Arkansas.
“I am really excited to be in this position and I feel like I have done the right things leading up to this point,” Nerdal said. “Right now it is just taking care of your body and getting mentally prepared. There are no regrets at this point. It is just go out there and have fun competing at the highest level.”
Nerdal enters the meet as second seed among 15 throwers. The Norwegian native threw a career best toss in the weight throw of 22.81m (74-10.00) at the ASU Invitational on Jan. 24, breaking his own school record from 2009 in the event. Nerdal won the weight throw event at the 2010 C-USA Indoor Championships in Houston, Texas and earned the C-USA Indoor Championship Performance of the Meet award for his C-USA Championship record mark of 22.74m (74-07.25).
“Steffen has a history of performing his best when it matters the most,” Robinson said. “Last year he set his lifetime best at this very event, the NCAA Indoor Championships. I am confident that the pressure is not going to be an issue. I am confident he can handle if not thrive on that atmosphere. When it’s time to throw far Steffen will step up and be ready to go.”
“As Coach Robinson said, I have a history of competing well at the big meets,” Nerdal said. “The past national championships I hit my personal bests, both indoor and outdoor. Last year I was ranked seventh and finished second. A lot of guys will throw far during the year, but our focus is on this Saturday and that’s all we have trained for all year.”
With the history of performing at his best when it matters the most, Nerdal will look to top Walter Henning of LSU. Henning leads the nation with a mark of 23.80m (78-01.00). Henning is a familiar foe of Nerdal as each appeared in the NCAA Championships last season.
“Our goal is to go in and win this meet,” Robinson said. “I feel like Steffen is very capable, both mentally and physically, of winning this meet. The young man that is ahead of Steffen is somebody that Steffen beat handily at the championships last year. The performance from last year is irrelevant now and Steffen will have six throws to hit one big one and the best throw of the meet will walk away with the hardware.”
Nerdal is looking to be the Tigers third individual national champion, joining former Tigers Ed Hammonds and Terron Wright. Hammonds won the 100 yd dash competition in 1973 and Wright won the 60 yd hurdles in 1981.
The men’s weight throw event will begin at 2 p.m. at the Walker Pavilion. Live streaming of the 2010 Indoor Track and Field Championships can be seen by clicking here.