Track and field heads to Kentucky
Jan. 27, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Tiger track and field returns to action, this weekend, at the prestigious Rod McCravy Memorial Meet, hosted by the University of Kentucky.
The two-day event will begin at 6 p.m., Friday, at the Nutter Field House. This meet will feature some of the most prestigious squads in the southeast, especially a women’s side that features three of this week’s top-25 women’s teams in Southern Illinois (ninth), Louisville (21st) and Ohio State (24th), as established by the US Track and Field and Cross Country College Coaches Association. Additionally, Cincinnati (fifth, Great Lakes Region), Western Kentucky (fifth, Southeast Region), Purdue (sixth, Great Lakes Region) and Middle Tennessee (sixth, South Region) are all highly-rated in the first Women’s Regional Index, which the Tigers vaulted into at 15th in the South Region.
The men’s side of the event is also a highly-competitive affair, featuring the likes of Louisville (fourth, Southeast Region), Southern Illinois (sixth, Midwest Region), Georgia Tech (seventh, South Region) and Arkansas State (seventh, South Central Region) for the Tigers, who opened the season ranked eighth in the South Region.
Friday night’s events will be the men and women’s weight throw and triple jump, women’s pole vault, and men’s high jump. Five Tigers, including senior Knut Syversen, who’s currently 20th nationally in the weight throw, currently sport top-five standings within Conference USA in those events, which should make for a good start to the weekend.
Last weekend’s meet offered a chance for the men’s and women’s squads to get re-acclimated to competition, and the Tigers responded with 29 top-three finishes. This weekend’s competition will throw the Tigers into the fray and provide a litmus test for the coaches as we enter the month of February, at the end of which will be the C-USA Indoor Championships.
Four Tiger track athletes are currently in the top-60 nationally in their respective disciplines. Syversen is 20th in the weight throw, after the 19.55m (64’ 1.75”) throw he made at the ASU Kick-off Klassic. Sophomore Karlis Pujats furthered his aspirations for an NCAA Championships berth at the EIU Mega Meet with his 5.08m (16’ 8”) height.
Twenty-two Tigers currently have top-five rankings within Conference USA, a contingent that is currently reliant on many freshmen. Of the 22, 10 are first-year competitors for the Tigers, including Britta Jaarats, who is currently second in the shot put, and Darius Lynwood, who’s third in the conference in the high jump.
Syversen (weight throw), Pujats (pole vault), Robert Jackson (60m hurdles) and Desiree’ Blow (Pentathlon) each lead C-USA in their respective events.
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