Abrahamsen and Nerdal Come Up Big In Day One of C-USA Championships
Feb. 29, 2008
HOUSTON, Texas - Charlotte Abrahamsen and Steffen Nerdal began the day off on an amazing note for the University of Memphis men's and women's track and field teams at the Conference USA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Abrahamsen won the women's pentathlon and Nerdal won the men's weight throw.
Abrahamsen started the day off on fire for the women's team as she won the pentathlon. She improved her NCAA provisional qualifying mark and her own school record by finishing with a point total of 4,004, just 46 points shy of an automatic mark. She also set a new facility record. Abrahamsen led the pack in the shot put, hurdles and high jump. Abrahamsen also broke her own school record in the high jump, leaping to a height of 1.75 meters (5-08.75).
"Coming in as a freshman, breaking the conference and school record, while establishing herself as one of the best pentathletes and heptathletes in the country at this young of an age is impressive," said Head Coach KevinRobinson. "The limits on her are great. She will be an Olympic athlete at some point in her career."
Eryka Morris claimed third in the pentathlon to give the Lady Tigers a 1-3 finish. Morris later competed in the long jump where she posted a distance of 18-02.50 to place eighth.
In the pole vault, Ashton Baldwin and Whitney Bolton both placed on the women's side. Baldwin had a height of 3.65 meters (11-11.75) to take down third place. Bolton finished in seventh place with a height of 3.35 meters (11-00.00).
Susan King placed second in the women's weight throw with a distance of 18.32 meters (60-01.25). She will compete tomorrow in the shot put, where she is ranked No. 4 nationally and No. 1 in the conference.
Nerdal claimed the C-USA men's weight throw crown with a launch of 20.94. His mark is an NCAA automatic qualifying mark and he improved his previous personal best by 1.37 meters. He set a new meet and facility record and was the only competitor to throw 19+ meters.
"Steffen did what we have been talking about all year," said Robinson. "We had a plan with him. We started at 60 feet and worked our way up to 68. We have been training exclusively for the hammer up until this point, so for him to do this in the weight throw which is basically a secondary event for him is amazing. Now, just like Charlotte, he has established himself as one of the premier throwers in the country in an event that we would consider secondary."
Memphis also took down second, fifth and sixth place in the men's shot. Freshman Knut Syversen placed second with a distance of 18.75 meters (61-06.25), Glen Edwards placed fifth with 18.41 meters (60-05.00) improving by six feet and Seth Major had a throw of 18.26 meters (59-11.00), improving his personal best by seven feet.
In the jumps, Aaron Whetstone placed third in the men's long jump with a leap of 7.11 meters (23-04.00). Teammate Jerome Leslie recorded two eighth place finishes in the long and high jump with marks of 6.61 meters (21-08.25) and 1.94 meters (6-04.25).
Frashod Barlow qualified for the finals tomorrow in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.81. He will enter tomorrows final with the second fastest time going in and a personal best record.
The men's 60-meter hurdles will be stacked tomorrow as Memphis has three guys in the finals. Senior Amaechi Oselukwue leads the way with the second fastest time entering tomorrow's event with 8.19. Freshmen Darius Anderson and Preston Williams will also enter the event posting times of 8.43 and 8.45, respectively.
LaShundra Kershaw broke the school record in the women's 60-meter dash, running a time of 7.58. She broke the seven year record by .02 seconds.
Jessica Wright ran a personal best time of 56.97 in the 400 meters to qualify for the finals tomorrow. Her time broke a 13-year old school record by .60 seconds.
Both the men's and women's track and field teams will be back in action tomorrow as they conclude the 2008 Conference USA Indoor Track and Field Championships. The women's team is currently in third place with 32 points after six events and the men's team after five events is tied in third with UTEP with 37 points.