Track and Field To Open Indoor Season at ASU Kickoff Klassic
Dec. 1, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis Track and Field program will open its 2011-2012 indoor season this Friday, Dec. 2, as members of the team travel to Jonesboro, Ark., to compete in the 2011 Arkansas State University Kickoff Klassic.
The season opener, which is slated to begin at 11 a.m. CT at the ASU Convocation Center, will not include team scoring, but gives individuals a chance to compete against opponents from other programs before the indoor season ramps up in January.
"This meet provides a good opportunity for myself and my staff to evaluate the progress of the team," Memphis' head track and field coach Kevin Robinson said. "We've had a very hard, but consistent, base of fall training. "
Bringing vital experience and leadership back to the men's track unit this season is senior hurdler Robert Jackson. The Snellville, Ga., native is coming off an outdoor campaign in which he reached the 110m semi-finals in the 2011 NCAA East Regional.
"As always, Robert is in great shape and ready to apply a new start to his already-solid hurdle race and ready to make a statement," Robinson said. "He will be followed closely by Tyrell Forde, a freshman this year, who has shown tremendous ability and heart."
Already poised to make an immediate contribution, freshmen Kala Funderburke, Da'Quanya West, Maya Williamson, and Bronte' Smith are anticipated to push the women's attack. Combine the newcomers with returners Keyona Neal, Monica Mason, Quaniqua Jones, and Holly Joiner, and the Tigers should have a strong and balanced sprints and hurdles group.
With the return of senior All-American and defending Conference USA indoor pole vault champion Karlis Pujats and US Junior National Qualifier Austin Crenshaw, the pole vault group looks sound and has high expectations. Senior Janelle Mason returns to head the women and Robinson also expects freshman Kimi Jennings to produce significant results for the Blue and Gray.
As for the throwers, juniors Andrew Miller and Tom Wilcox are expected to lead the men's side, while a trio of sophomores: Britta Jaarats, Anna Bischof, and Cyarra Wells are readied to take the reins for the women.
"Allison Hotz has been training well beyond where she competed at last year, so she has an opportunity to open up with a lifetime best in the shot put," Robinson said.
In jumps, athletes to watch for include: Georgio Lynwood in the high jump, Jaleen White in the long jump and triple jump, as well as multi-event newcomer Marc Klaschka, who should make a statement in the long jump, high jump and pole vault.
No distance runners will compete at this meet for the U of M, as they are coming off a very long, and highly successful cross country campaign.
"They are back to higher mileage training at this point, and will not compete for us until January," Robinson said. "They need to recover from the cross country season, and begin to re-build their base in preparation for the indoor competitive season."
Results from the ASU Kickoff Klassic will be posted on www.gotigersgo.com as they are made available.