Tigers Primed For NCAA East Regional Competition
May 26, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C. - The University of Memphis track and field squad had eight student-athletes selected to compete in 10 events at the NCAA East Division Preliminary Rounds on May 27-29 at North Carolina A&T State University at the Irwin Bell Track Complex.
With the restructuring of the NCAA Track and Field Championships, the regional sites serve as qualifying rounds for the NCAA Championships, with the top 12 finishers in each event advancing to the NCAA meet June 9-12 in Eugene, Ore. Each regional will have 48 athletes in each event.
"I'm very proud of the eight athletes that made the East Regional qualifying round of the NCAA Championship," head coach Kevin Robinson said. "We look forward to the challenge of trying to make the top 12 to move on to the finals in Eugene, Oregon."
The men's team will send seven athletes to compete in eight events with Steffen Nerdal and Knut Syversen competiting in the hammer throw, Seth Major and Nerdal in the discus throw, Karlis Pujats in pole vault, Jerome Leslie in the high jump, Robert Jackson in the 110m hurdles and Richard Lowe in the 400m hurdles. LaShundra Kershaw will represent the Lady Tigers in the 100m and 200m dash competitions.
Nerdal, coming off a personal-best hammer throw of 72.04m at the Tucson Elite Throwers Classic last weekend, looks to continue his gold medal performance in the hammer and discus throws. Major claimed the silver medal at the Conference USA Outdoor Championships and looks to advance to the NCAA Championships for the first time in his career. Syversen will join Nerdal in the men's hammer throw competition at 11:00 a.m. Thursday that features seven of the top-10 marks in the NCAA, including the top-five.
Lowe improved his school record in the 400m hurdles to 51.13 seconds, claiming the silver medal at the C-USA Outdoor Championships. Lowe will lace up his spikes for the first round of the 400m hurdles at 3:30 p.m. Thursday. If Lowe finishes heat one in the top three or has one of the six best times outside of the top-three in one of six heats, he will advance to the quarterfinal of the 400m hurdles on Friday at 7:00 p.m.
Pujats, a sophomore, is seeking to become the first U of M pole vaulter to advance to the NCAA Championships. The Latvian ranks 24th in the East Region and looks to make the top-12 to advance to Eugene, Ore., for the NCAA Championships. Pujats will begin competition at 4:00 p.m. Thursday.
Jackson clocked the nation's 10th-best time of 13.71 seconds in the 110m hurdles at the C-USA Outdoor Championships and looks to overtake former Tiger and Olympian Daniel Kiss' record of 13.49 seconds. The 110m hurdles competition is slated to begin at 4:30 p.m. Friday. The top-three from each of the six heats plus the next six best times advance to Eugene, Ore.
Kershaw will see double-duty on Friday with the 100m dash slated to start at 6:15 p.m. and the 200m dash scheduled for 8:00 p.m. The Lambert, Miss., native is the first sprinter to qualify for the NCAA Championships since Keenan Gibson advanced to the NCAA Championships in 2003 in both the 100m and 200m dash.
In field event action on Friday, Leslie will represent the U of M in the high jump at 5:00 p.m. The Plainsboro, N.J., native is the first Tiger high jumper to advance to the preliminary rounds or finals of the NCAA Championships.
On the final day of competition Nerdal will return to the cage for the discus throw at 9:30 a.m. Nerdal claimed the gold medal at the C-USA Outdoor Championships. Major claimed the silver medal at the C-USA Championships discus throw.