Track and Field Prepares for Ole Miss Invitational
Go Tigers! Karlis Pujats ranks 10th in country in the men's pole vault.
Go Tigers!
Karlis Pujats ranks 10th in country in the men's pole vault.
Go Tigers!

March 30, 2012

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. - After a strong start, Memphis track and field squads have their sights set on the Ole Miss Invitational on Saturday. Hosted by the University of Mississippi, the meet marks the first of two trips to Oxford, Miss., the Tigers will make during the 2012 outdoor season.

"It's always good to go to Ole Miss," said head coach Kevin Robinson. "They have a phenomenal facility and always host a first-class event. I'm excited to get out there with our team and compete with some great teams like Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Alabama. I think we match up pretty well with them, so I'm excited to go down there and go to battle."

The action begins in Oxford at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning. Results from the Ole Miss Invitational will be posted on as they are made available.

Where the Tigers Stand
On the latest Conference USA Performance List, several Tigers hold top-five spots in individual events. Freshman Kala Funderburk (54.95) holds the third position in the women's 400m dash.

Funderburk along with teammates Monica Mason, Keyona Neal and Maya Williamson check in at fourth in the women's 4 x 400m relay with their program-record time of 3:46.14. Willamson (1:02.03) also holds the fourth spot in the women's 400m hurdles, while sophomore Brandon Williams (53.28) holds the third spot for the men.

Memphis distance runner Louisa Lingley also holds the third spot in the women's 1,500m run with her personal-best of 4:29.96. In the men's 1,500m run, James Maglasang holds the fourth spot with a time of 3:52.64.

In field events, senior Karlis Pujats sits atop the men's pole vault standings at 5.26m. Sophomore Darius Lynwood holds the top spot in the men's high jump at 2.15m. For the women Kirsten Berding (1.65m) and Vivian Haynes (1.65m) hold the third and fourth spots respectively in the event.

Britta Jaarats (52.11m) holds the second position in the women's hammer throw. On the men's side, William Hubber (56.29m) and Andrew Miller (54.00m) hold the third and fourth spots on the list. In the javelin throw Anna-Maria Bischof (43.15m) checks in at fourth for the women, while Kyle Bynum (61.64m) and Casey Carl (58.5m) hold down third and fifth on the list for the men.

Performances of Pujats, Lynwood and Bynum could prove to have post season implications for Memphis after only one meet.

"Kyle Bynum's throw will qualify him for the U.S.A. Junior National Championships," said Robinson. "We had planned on doing that, but had not planned on it quite this early; getting that mark out of the way early is a blessing. The next step for him is to hit a mark that will qualify him for the NCAA East Regionals. "

Pujats and Lynwood's marks each put them in the top ten on the latest NCAA Division I Performance Qualifier List and NCAA Division I East Qualifier List. Lynwood's high jump has the sophomore ranked at sixth in the NCAA and fifth on the NCAA East. Pujats' vault has the senior ranked 10th in the NCAA and fourth in the NCAA East.

"Karlis and Darius did what they do best, and that's jump high bars," said Robinson. "Both of those guys are prepped and ready to go much higher this year. I would be very surprised if both of those guys are not competing at the national championships this year."

Last Time Out
The Tigers took the top spot on the podium in three events, with a combined 39 top 10 finishes at the Vanderbilt Black and Gold Invitational.

Freshman Kala Funderburk took first in the women's 400m dash, crossing the line at 54.95. Pulling double-duty, Funderburk joined Monica Mason, Keyona Neal and Maya Williamson in winning the women's 4 x 400m relay and setting a new program-record with a time of 3:46.14.

For the men, sophomore Darius Lynwood took first the men's high jump at a height 2.15m. Lynwood's performance garnered the Jackson, Tenn., native C-USA Outdoor Track and Field Male Athlete of the Week honors.



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