Top U of M Throwers to Redshirt Outdoor Season
March 23, 2005
Memphis, Tenn. - J.D. Erickson and Gail Lee, the top throwers for the Tiger and Lady Tiger track and field teams, have each decided to take a redshirt for the upcoming outdoor season. The pair led their respective squads in both the shot put and weight throw during the indoor season, but will now sit out the outdoor campaign to focus on training and save an additional year of outdoor eligibility.
Erickson, a transfer from Mississippi State University, led the U of M men in both indoor throwing events, winning a Conference USA championship in the shot put and taking home runner-up honors in the weight throw.
The Memphis native redshirted one indoor season while competing for the Bulldogs, and therefore had two indoor seasons, but only one outdoor season of eligibility when he joined the Tigers. He will now take his redshirt for the outdoor season to concentrate on training and allow for a complete season, indoor and outdoor, in his final year of competition.
Lee, who joined the Lady Tiger squad just a few days before the beginning of the primary portion of the indoor season, was thrust directly into competition with little time to adjust to her new school. The transfer from Barton County Community College (Kan.) then drew added pressure when she made several technical changes in her throwing style.
Even with those obstacles the Fort Worth native managed to put together one of the top seasons in Lady Tiger history, winning a C-USA title in the weight throw, and placing second in the shot put, and more importantly becoming the first All-American in Memphis women's track and field history with her 10th place finish in the shot put at NCAA Indoor Championships.
With the advice of Coach Kevin Robinson, Lee will take her outdoor redshirt to allow more time to relax and adjust to Memphis and also to attempt to perfect her throwing technique.
Though the losses of Erickson and Lee will leave large holes at the top of the U of M throwing lineups, the effects are not all negative. Their absence will present the opportunity for younger competitors, Norbert Gulyas and Darius Frye for the Tigers and Annette Uzoh and Sivan Aballi for the Lady Tigers, to step in make more substantial contributions.
Erickson and Lee will continue to train with the Memphis throwers and are expected to compete in several meets as "unattached" entrants as they prepare for next season.