Tiger Track and Field Earns 14 NCAA Regional Bids
May 19, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The University of Memphis track and field team will send 12 student-athletes to next weekend’s NCAA East Regional, beginning Thursday, May 26, hosted by Indiana University at the Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex.
The men’s team had seven athletes chosen to participate in the Regional. Junior hurdler Robert Jackson, senior hurdler Richard Lowe and senior jumper Jerome Leslie each make return trips to the esteemed event; for Lowe, it will be his third trip to Regionals as a member of the blue-and-gray.
True freshmen Brandon Williams (400m hurdles) and Austin Crenshaw (pole vault) make early treks to the regional, while redshirt frosh Tom Willcox will join them as the lone men’s thrower to represent Memphis. Senior hurdler Nick Harold also makes his first Division I Regional appearance; he was a two-time NCAA Division II qualifier at SIU-Edwardsville prior to transferring to Memphis.
“I feel like we accomplished our goal this year,” said head coach Kevin Robinson. “It’s bittersweet to qualify two of our best athletes in Savvas and Karlis and not have them able to compete, but 14 total qualified is a school record.”
Five female athletes will attend the Regional, second-most ever invited from the Memphis women’s squad. Seniors LaShundra Kershaw and Tayanna Simpson will be busy during the event, with both scheduled to compete in two events. Kershaw qualified in the 100 and 200m dashes, while Simpson will represent the Tigers in the 100m hurdles and the 400m hurdles. Both are previous Regional participants; Kershaw competed in 2010, while Simpson ran hurdles in 2009.
“A lot of schools won’t let a hurdler participate in both the 100m and 400m events,” said Robinson. “We really feel that Tayanna can be competitive in both.”
Senior Marina Vojinovic also makes her return to the Regional in the shot put; she also qualified in 2009. She’s joined by freshman Anna Bischof, the first freshman female thrower from Memphis to qualify for Regional since Chen Edri in the javelin in 2005.
Rounding out the qualifiers will be sophomore high jumper Kirsten Berding, making her first trek to the Regionals.
The meet will begin next Thursday. Be sure to check the Memphis Tiger Track and Field Facebook page and at gotigersgo.com for up-to-the-minute details.