Records Fall at 2011 Tiger Invitational
April 30, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - In the third annual edition of the Memphis Tiger Invitational, Coach Kevin Robinson's squad demonstrated why it will be a force in the upcoming Conference USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, posting several personal- and meet-bests, Saturday.
Athletes from traditional powers such as Ole Miss and UAB were in attendance at the event, held on the grounds of the Murphy Track Complex.
The meets biggest storyline had to center around the pole vaulters. Junior Karlis Pujats broke through after being hampered by injury in the previous weeks with a runner-up 5.14m (16' 10.25") mark, which should place him easily within the top-20 in the East Region.
Joining him will be freshman Austin Crenshaw, who tied Pujats' mark. Of marks entering the weekend, it is the fourth-highest pole vault earned in the nation for a freshman, and qualified him for the USATF Junior Nationals Championships.
Twenty meet records were set or tied during the 2011 running of the Tiger Invitational, the most impressive of which may have been senior Jerome Leslie's personal-best 15.54m (51' 0") triple jump, another mark that should easily put a Tiger in the top-20 of the East Region. That mark also puts him into second place in the conference, based on scores earned prior to this weekend.
Junior hurdler Robert Jackson broke his own meet record in the 110m hurdles, finishing with a 14.13 mark. It's Jackson's fourth-lowest meet time in 2011, three of which have come in the month of April.
In the 400m hurdles, the Tigers took the top three spots. Senior Nick Harold won the events with a 52.72 run, his personal-best, while freshman Brandon Williams (53.56) and senior Darius Anderson (54.64) finished second and third.
For the women's hurdlers, junior Tayanna Simpson was, once again, stellar. She recorded her fourth sub-14 second 100m hurdle time in the month of April, with a 13.76 run to pace the field in the event. She was also third in the 400m hurdles, with a 1:01.86 mark.
Simpson ran the opening leg of the women's 4x400m relay team, which also consisted of senior Holland Thomas, junior Quaniqua Jones and freshman Monique Biggens; the squad raced to a 3:51.81 winning mark, the first women's relay victory in 2011.
The men's 4x4 team also picked up its first win of 2011, with Harold, Williams, Richard Lowe and senior Guy Hudson combining for a 3:15.01 race. In men's middle distances, Hudson was runner-up with a season-best 1:52.16 in the 800m run, moving up to sixth in Conference USA.
After a false starting in the 100m dash, senior LaShundra Kershaw came back strong to claim victory in the 200m event, with a 23.69 run.
In the women's 1500m run, sophomore Louisa Lingley continued her steady improvement, improving her personal best for the third week in a row. She finished fourth at a 4:44.50 clip.
For the third year in a row, the winning high jump mark was 2.05 meters (6' 8.75"), which was accomplished this season by Memphis freshman Darius Lynwood for a personal-best in outdoor high jump.
The men's throwers were exemplary as they often are, beginning with freshman Will Hubber, who picked up a personal-best to win the men's hammer throw, opening the Memphis Tiger Invitational with a bang, Friday afternoon.
The Winton, New Zealand native opened the meet with a 56.86m (186' 6") mark, defeating athletes from Southern Illinois, among other schools.
In Saturday's action, sophomore Tom Willcox won the shot put with a 15.87m (52' 1") toss, while sophomore Savvas Arestis was runner-up in the discus with a 53.46m (175' 5") fling. Willcox also recorded a personal-best on Friday with a third-place, 50.84m (166' 9") hammer throw.
In women's shot put action, freshman Anna Bischof led the Tigers with a personal-best 14.88m (48' 10") toss, finishing third. She also paced the Tiger hurlers in the discus with a 43.50m (142' 8") throw.
In the women's hammer throw, freshman Cyarra Wells was fifth with a personal- and Tiger season-best 46.93m (154' 0) toss, Friday afternoon.
Memphis will take next weekend off before traveling to Houston for the C-USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, May 11-14, hosted by Rice University.