Kershaw Advances to Semi-Finals in 100m Dash
May 27, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Five University of Memphis track and field athletes opened competition at the 2010 NCAA East Regional on Thursday with senior thrower Steffen Nerdal punching his ticket to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, scheduled to begin June 11th in Eugene, Ore.
Nerdal advances to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships for the third time in his prolific career. The Norwegian finished second in the hammer throw competition on Thurdsay with a throw of 68.23m (223-10). After an hour delay due to safety problems in the hammer throw cage area, Nerdal began the competition that featured seven of the top-10 hammer throwers in the nation.
“Steffen did what he was supposed to do today,” head coach Kevin Robinson said. “He made it through to the NCAA Championships easily today and that is the most important thing. The championships are where we want to peak and we are definitely on the right track.”
Junior thrower Knut Syversen also represented the blue and gray in the hammer throw contest. Svyersen finished 17th with his best mark of the day registered at 58.98m (193-06).
Sophomore pole vaulter Karlis Pujats was unable to advance to the NCAA Championships, but he made the best of the day by breaking his own school record. Pujats vaulted a personal-best 5.20m (17-00.75) to improve his school record and cap off a productive first season at the U of M.
In qualifying rounds on the track, junior sprinter LaShundra Kershaw advanced to the semi-final round of the 100m dash on Friday at 6:15 p.m. with a personal-best time of 11.48 seconds. Kershaw will return to the track on Friday for the semi-final that features 24 student-athletes vying for a top-12 time to advance to the NCAA Championships. The Lambert, Miss., will be chasing history when she laces up her spikes on Friday as she looks to break the 100m dash school record of 11.40 seconds, set by former Lady Tiger Wanda Hooker in 1978.
In the NCAA Regional field for the second-straight season, junior hurdler Richard Lowe advanced to the semis with a second place in heat two with a time of 51.46 seconds. Lowe enters the semi-final on Friday at 7:00 p.m. with the 13th-best time among the 24 qualifiers. The Kansas City, Mo., native holds the U of M record in the 400m hurdles with a time of 51.13 seconds and hopes to clock a similar time on Friday to advance to Eugene, Ore.
“LaShundra and Richard both ran great races today,” Robinson said. “LaShundra set a personal-best, running a very smart, relaxed race. Richard also ran well and we expect him and LaShundra to run well again tomorrow.”
On Friday, junior jump specialist Jerome Leslie will compete in the high jump at 5:00 p.m. Sophomore hurdler Robert Jackson will lace up his spikes for the 110m hurdles slated to start at 4:30 p.m. Nerdal and senior thrower Seth Major will return on Saturday for the discus throw scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m.
“All around we had a great day,” Robinson said. “We have some more guys going tomorrow and we are excited to see what they can do for the University of Memphis track program.”