Tiger Track and Field Prepares to Host Annual Meet
April 28, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The University of Memphis track and field team will host its annual home meet, the Memphis Tiger Invitational, beginning Friday, April 29, at 3 p.m. Friday’s only event will be the men’s and women’s hammer throw, while Saturday will encompass all other events and begin with the men’s long jump and the women’s javelin and shot put.
The meet will be at the Billy J. Murphy Track and Field Complex, located off Getwell Road on the grounds of the Park Avenue Campus Murphy Complex. Admission is free to all.
The meet has become a tradition around the south in recent years, and this will be the largest version ever, with athletes from Arkansas-Little Rock, Arkansas State, Austin Peay, Christian Brothers, Harding, Ole Miss, Rhodes, SEMO, Southern Illinois, Tiffin and Conference USA foe UAB in attendance.
The Tigers are flying high into this event, and coach Kevin Robinson hopes the squad is peaking at the right time, with several competitors vying for conference, regional and national exposure as the season winds down.
“We’ve had our bright spots,” said Robinson. “What we’ve yet to have is that one meet where everybody really puts it together. Hopefully, we’ll get that this weekend. I feel like we’re a better outdoor team, but we haven’t shown it yet.”
Rounding into form in recent weeks has been senior sprinter LaShundra Kershaw. The Lambert, Miss. native was a redshirt during indoor season and took a couple of weeks to get going during the outdoor campaign. Now, Kershaw is a favorite in Conference USA in both the 100 and 200 meter events and ranks in the top-30 in the East Region in both categories.
The hurdlers for the men’s team have been instrumental in what has proven to be a great year for the Tigers on the track. Both senior Richard Lowe and junior Robert Jackson are in the top-15 regionally, with Jackson’s 14.02 110m hurdle mark the top run in C-USA this season.
Also a current top regional competitor has been sophomore discus hurler Savvas Arestis, whose 54.64m (179-03) mark two weeks ago at the War Eagle Invite in Auburn is 14th-highest in the East so far this season.
“The 400 hurdles and the discus have really given us a boost this season,” said Robinson.
On the women’s side, thrower Marina Vojinovic is still looking to regain the form that put her on the national lists. Since her 15.41m (50’ 6.75”) throw at last month’s LSU Relays, her average scoring throw since has been 14.44m, well short of her usual expectations.
Though several underclassmen have stepped up this spring, the Tigers will need returning upperclassmen to provide a boost in the last weeks before the C-USA championship.
“We’ve had some injury issues out of some upperclassmen,” Robinson explained. “But we have the talent to compete, no matter who is injured. If everybody steps up and performs to their potential, we’ll be competitive in two weeks.”
This meet will be the last for the Tigers before Conference Championship time. Memphis will take next weekend off for exams and graduation before heading to Houston and the C-USA Outdoor Championships, hosted by Rice University, at Holloway Field and Ley Track. The meet will run from May 11-14.