Feb. 28, 2009
HOUSTON, Texas. - The University of Memphis track and field squad completed competition in the 2009 C-USA Indoor Championships. Two men and a pair of women's competitors earned individual titles at the conference championship meet for the Tigers. The men's squad finished the meet in sixth-place in the team standings with 78 points while the women's squad finished in fifth-place with a team score of 51 points. Steffen Nerdal earned the 2009 C-USA Indoor Championship Performance of the Meet while Inger Anne Froysedal garned the 2009 C-USA Indoor Freshman of the Year award.
"We had a few disappointments during the meet and didn't get some points where we thought that we might, but our elite athletes stepped up and did a great job for us and had a great conference meet," said head coach Kevin Robinson.
The Memphis men continued their dominance in the throwing disciplines as the 2008 C-USA Outdoor Freshman of the Year, Knut Syversen started day two off with a strong performance in the shot put. He set a personal best mark in the men's shot put and won the C-USA title with a throw of 17.16m (56-03.75). This is the second year in a row that Memphis swept the C-USA Indoor Titles in the throwing events and the seventh year in a row that the C-USA shot put champion has worn a Memphis uniform.
"Our elite guys did a great job," said Robinson. "Steffen (Nerdal), Guy (Hudson), Aaron Evans, Aaron Whetstone, Jerome (Leslie), Knut (Syversen), Robert (Jackson), Preston (Williams) and the rest of the guys that scored in the meet did a great job and stepped up to perform the way that they were supposed to."
High jumper Jerome Leslie tied a personal best mark in the high jump and garnered fourth place honors in the high jump event with a mark of 1.94m (6-04.25).
In her final event of the championships, Inger Anne Froysedal took fifth-place in the women's triple jump with a jump of 12.08m (39-07.75). Froysedal earned the 2009 C-USA Freshman of the Year award for her outstanding performance during the meet.
The women racked up 21 total team points in the shot put with four All-Conference performances including the first-place throw by Sivan Aballi with an NCAA provisional mark of 15.92m (52-02.75). Kristin Sundsteigen recorded a throw of 14.47m (47-05.75) and Marina Vojinovic's mark was 14.43m (47-04.25) placing them in fourth-place and fifth-place respectively. Charlotte Abrahamsen rounded out the Tigers' shot put scoring with a seventh-place mark of 14.20m (46-07.25).
"As far as the women's side, we placed high in a few events and won a couple as well," said Robinson. "Sivan (Aballi) and Inger (Anne Froysedal) both had phenomenal meets and took home individual championships."
Tayanna Simpson competed in the 60m hurdle finals and grabbed a seventh-place finish with a time of 8.78. She set her personal record time in the event yesterday in the preliminaries with a time of 8.75.
On the men's side, Robert Jackson set a personal record in the finals of the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.18 earning him fourth-place in the event. Preston Williams also took seventh-place for the Tigers with a time of 8.43. Williams recorded a personal best time of 8.27 in the preliminaries.
Freshman Aaron Evans took the medal podium for the Tigers with a second place finish in the 800m run with a time of 1:52.80. Guy Hudson also recorded a fifth-place time of 1:55.38.
In the men's triple jump, both Jerome Leslie and Aaron Whetstone made the finals. Leslie came away with a sixth-place finish with a jump of 14.43m (47-04.25). Whetstone recorded an NCAA provisional mark in the triple jump and tied the winning leap with a mark of 15.44m (50-08.00), but was awarded second-place in the triple jump finals.
In the women's pole vault Ashton Baldwin joined a crowded medal stand in a three-way-tie for third-place with a height of 3.52m (11-06.50).
The Memphis men's 4x400m relay team ran the first heat of the event. The team consisting of Richard Lowe, Alex Sweet, Guy Hudson and Aaron Evans won the first heat in a time of 3:21.57. Their time was good enough to land them in third place of the event.
All-Conference performances that took place on day one include, Kristin Sundsteigen who grabbed a spot in the finals of the weight throw and registered a sixth-place mark of 16.48m (54-01.00) which was her second-best throw of the year.
Steffen Nerdal defended his weight throw title from the 2008 Indoor Championships and broke his own C-USA Indoor Championship record in the process. His mark of 21.55m (70-08.50) was just a centimeter shy of his personal best mark which registers as an NCAA automatic qualifying mark and ranks No. 7 in the NCAA. Nerdal earned the 2009 C-USA Performance of the Meet for his mark. Joining Nerdal on the medal stand was Knut Syversen who threw a season best third-place mark of 18.87m (61-11.00). Harding Zills also scored in the weight throw event notching a fifth-place finish with a toss of 16.89m (55-05.00).
Freshman Inger Anne Froysedal began early on day one with the pentathlon. The freshman tallied 3,432 points for a third-place finish after clocking a 9.38 in the 60m hurdles and clearing a height of 1.66m (5-05.25) in the high jump. Froyesdal recorded marks of 10.53m (34-06.75) in the shot put and 5.41m in the long jump before crossing the finish line at 2:41.49 in the 800m run. In her final event of the day, she took home the high jump crown by recording a mark of 1.75m (5-08.75) while competing in the long jump simultaneously.
In the day's first field event, Brian Prackett earned fifth-place in the pole vault with a 4.46m (14-07.50) height, an indoor personal record for Prackett.
In the final event of the day, the men's distance medley team grabbed sixth-place points finishing in a season best time of 10:32.67. The team consisted of Aaron Evans, Richard Lowe, Guy Hudson, and Edwin Kipkorir.
The Tigers have four athletes that have qualified to compete in the NCAA Indoor Championships at College Station, Texas on the campus of Texas A&M University. The athletes include Aaron Evans in the 800m run, Sivan Aballi in the shot put and Steffen Nerdal in the weight throw and Aaron Whetstone who qualified today in the triple jump.