MEN'S TRACK TEAM WINS 2007 C-USA CHAMPIONSHIPS
May 12, 2007
HOUSTON - The University of Memphis men's track and field team pulled off a stunning upset Saturday at the Conference USA Outdoor Championships, coming away with the first league title in the history of the school's track program.
The Tigers racked up 154.5 points to finish 9.5 points ahead of second-place UTEP. The output doubled the team's 77-point effort from 2006.
Memphis, who had two men's competitors claim individual titles Friday, picked up huge performances down the stretch Saturday as the Tigers claimed three more individual championships and earned two NCAA Regional qualifications.
The men's hurdles group, which was strong for Tigers throughout the season, helped to propel Memphis over the top Saturday as the trio of Amaechi Oselukwue, Larry Harris and Stephon Greenlee combined to score 36 points.
Oselukwue won the men's 110-meter hurdles in 14.36 seconds, followed by Greenlee (14.68) in fourth-place and Harris (15.23) in seventh-place. The trio then took second, third and fourth-places in the 400-meter hurdles, stretching Memphis' lead to an almost insurmountable 40 points with four events remaining.
Senior Brandon Winbush proved himself to be the king of the C-USA jumping events, following up his victory in the long jump on Friday with a career-best leap of 49-04.25 in the triple jump to win the contest. The mark also qualified the Bartlett native for the fourth NCAA appearance of his career (second of 2007) and his first ever in the triple jump. Winbush's 20 points made him the Men's High Point Scorer of the Meet.
Sprinter Willie Green won the first C-USA title of his career and qualified for his second career NCAA berth with a win in the 100-meter dash. Green bested the rest of the field by over one-tenth of a second, turning in a time of 10.47.
In the men's discus, Norbert Gulyas and Steffen Nerdal combined for 11 points, finishing in second and third-place respectively, while Glenn Edwards chipped in with one point in eighth-place.
Several other athletes also contributed crucial points, including Sam James who scored three with his sixth-place finish in the 800 meters and high jumper Andre Hicks who earned two points with his seventh-place effort.
The Tigers placed in both of the relay events as the 4x400-meter team of Jason Morgan, Oselukwue, Greenlee and James finished seventh and the 4x100 team finished in fifth-place with a time of 44.02.
Along with their No. 1 team finish, the Tigers brought home a pair of individual awards. Head coach Kevin Robinson was named the C-USA Men's Coach of the Year, and thrower Steffen Nerdal was named the league's Men's Freshman of the Year following his win in the hammer throw and third-place finish in the discus.
On the women's side, the Lady Tigers took eighth-place, scoring 47.33 points.
Pole-vaulter Ashton Baldwin shattered her own school record with a clearance of 11-11.75 en route to a second-place overall finish. Fellow Lady Tiger Whitney Bolton also cleared the height, but finished in fifth-place based on the number of attempts.
The women picked up a fourth-place finish in the 1500 meters from freshman Tina Sherratt, who turned in a time 4:33.79. Sophomore distance runner Emily Malinowski ran a 17:48.18 to finish eighth in the 5000 meters.
Memphis will have 13 individual men's and women's athletes competing in 18 different events at the NCAA Mideast Regional, which begins May 24 in Columbia, Mo.