Myklebust and Nemeth Qualify for NCAA Track & Field Championships
May 31, 2003
COLUMBUS, Ohio- The University of Memphis Men's and Women's Track teams sent their top athletes to the NCAA Mid-Eastern Track & Field Regional Meet this weekend hosted by The Ohio State University. The Regional was one of four national regional meets serving as a post-season competition for qualification into the NCAA Track & Field Outdoor Championships being held in Sacramento, Calif. in Mid-June.
Memphis discus thrower Gaute Myklebust placed third in the discus throw and qualified for the NCAA Championships with a toss of 59.96m. Myklebust also competed in the Shot Put and placed seventh with a throw of 17.94m. Mate Nemeth placed third in the 3000m Steeplechase with a time 8:49.50. He will join Myklebust in Sacramento for the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Myklebust and Nemeth become the first Memphis Tigers to qualify for NCAA's since Delvit Rogers (Long Jump) in 2000.
Keenan Gibson placed fifth in the 200m dash with a time of 23.88. She does not automatically qualify for NCAA Championships, however, her time will be compared with times from the other NCAA Regionals and if she ranks high enough, she may conditionally qualify for the NCAA meet. Gibson also placed seventh in the 100m dash with a time of 11.66. She ran a 11.48 in the preliminaries tying her personal best.
This is the first year that the new regional format has been used by track & field. In prior years, athletes who qualified for NCAA's would go directly to the national meet for competition. In 2003, the NCAA instigated four regionals that would serve as qualifying meet for the NCAA National Championship meet. Thus, the qualifying standards for regionals were slightly lowered than those previously for NCAA's, allowing more athletes an opportunity to showcase their talents against the highest competition.
The University of Memphis Men's team qualified 10 athletes in 15 events this year. However, only eight athletes would compete this weekend as Istvan Kerekjarto (1500m, 800m) missed the meet with a ruptured patella tendon in his right knee that he sustained at C-USA Championships. Gergely Nemeth (100m, 200m, 4x100m Relay), a native of Hungary, also missed the meet as he returned to Hungary to tend to a family matter.
On the Women's side, Keenan Gibson (100m, 200m) and Lisa-Marie Hyman (Triple Jump) both qualified for the Lady Tigers. A 4x100m Relay team and sprinter Chanel Dunn (100m) also qualified but did not participate in the meet due to various injuries.
Franck Diadhiou ran a 10.63 to finish 18th in the 100m dash. Fellow sprinter Ivan Williams ran a 21.68 and placed 13th in the 200m dash. Ferenc Bekesi finished 27th in the 1500m run with a time of 3:59.96. The 4x100m Relay team comprised of Franck Diadhiou, Michael Woods, Ivan Williams and Austin Hunter placed 11th with a time of 40.54. Hunter replaced G. Nemeth on the team. Adam Martin finished 21st in both the Shot Put (16.15m) and the Hammer Throw (53.94m). Finally, Lisa-Marie Hyman placed 11th in the Triple Jump with a leap of 12.58m.
The NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship Meet will be June 13-15 in Sacramento, Calif. At least two Memphis Tigers will be competed with a third possibly getting an invitation in what will be remembered as one of the more successful years in Memphis Track & Field history.