Memphis Track to Open Outdoor Season at Rhodes
March 16, 2007
MEMPHIS - The Memphis track team will stay close to home when it opens its 2007 outdoor schedule at the Rhodes Open Meet on Saturday. It will be the first of eight meets leading up to the Conference USA Outdoor Championships on May 10.
Memphis is coming off of one the best indoor season's in the history of the program. The women's team improved from ninth to fifth-place at the Conference USA Indoor Championships. Senior Gail Lee earned her second All-American honor with a sixth place finish in the shot put at the NCAA Championships and shattered the C-USA record in the shot by just under six feet. Men's shot putter Glen Edwards gave the Tiger men a third straight C-USA indoor title in the event.
Memphis head coach Kevin Robinson is hoping for that success to carry over into the team's outdoor season, and has turned up the intensity on his team's training.
"We took a couple of days off last week during spring break, but we've been training really hard for the last 10 days," Robinson said. "The kids are really tired, but we're going to train through this meet. Our focus is on getting ready for May."
The outdoor season should bode well for both the Tigers and Lady Tigers but particularly for the men who return a lot of depth in the outdoor throwing events. Senior Norbert Gulyas is a two-time NCAA Regional qualifier in the discus, and freshman Steffen Nerdal placed in the weight throw at the C-USA Indoors despite being an outdoor hammer throw specialist.
"We've got a deep group coming back to throw the javelin," Robinson said. "We return Willie Green in the 100 meters, who I expect to reach the national championships. We should also score well in the 400 hurdles with Larry Harris, Amaechi Oselukwue and Stephon Greenlee coming back."
The women's team returns several outdoor specialists of its own. Chen Edri comes back off of a 2006 season that saw her break the school record in the javelin. After breaking several indoor marks already this year, Emily Malinowski will compete in her top event, the 3000-meter steeplechase. In the throws, Gail Lee will make her last NCAA run in the shot put and hammer, and Sivan Aballi will look to make her second NCAA Regional appearance in the discus.
Competition will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at Rhodes. The field events are set to start first, followed by the running events in the afternoon.