Tigers Ready for Tougher Competition
Jan. 28, 2010
Memphis, Tenn. - The University of Memphis track and field teams travel to the Rod McCravy Memorial Track and Field Meet in Lexington, Ky. on Jan. 29-30 on the campus of the University of Kentucky.
“I expect the performances on the track to pick up a little bit,” head coach Kevin Robinson said. “We got a good competition under our belts last weekend and that allowed us to pinpoint a few things we needed to target in training. I feel like the athletes will have a better idea of where they are and what they need to improve on in terms of competitive performance. I think the training intensity has picked up this week, just having been able to compete. That gets the athletes fired up and the overall feel of the team is more motivated. I expect to see improved times on the track specifically. ”
The meet will feature 14 men’s teams and 15 women’s squads. Full men’s and women’s teams include host Kentucky, Memphis, Florida State, Southern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky, Middle Tennessee, Western Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Tennessee-Chattanooga and Michigan. Teams only brining the men’s team are Illinois and Mississippi State. Partial teams competing are Louisville (men’s and women’s) and Mississippi State (women). Vanderbilt and C-USA foe UCF will also compete on the women’s side.
“Obviously, the competitiveness at this meet is greater and that is why we go to this meet,” Robinson said. “At the same time, I feel like I am taking a team to this meet that can compete with anybody at the meet. It is definitely a challenge, but this is an opportunity for us to continue to prove ourselves as a program in terms of nation performances. We always embrace the opportunity to go out and compete with anybody.”
Friday's events begin at 6:00 p.m. and include men's and women's weight throw event, men's and women's triple jump, women's pole vault and men's high jump.
Reigning C-USA Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week Steffen Nerdal will face his toughest competition to date with three of the opposing athletes ranked in the top-30 nationally. Nerdal, ranked first among NCAA weight throwers with his mark of 22.81m (74-10.00) will see 22nd ranked Sean Pruitt (19.41m) from the University of Michigan in the competition. Other ranked weight throwers are 27th-ranked Matt McHugh (19.27m) from the University of Illinois and Joe Paradiso (19.14m) of Southern Illinois University ranked 30th.
“At this point in the season, Steffen is just trying to stay focused on very specific goals,” Robinson said. “We are excited to throw at Kentucky and it is a good opportunity to throw far because it is a very nice facility with a good throwing atmosphere. It is a place where at this time last year he set his personal record at that time. We are excited to go throw again. This is going to be his last competition for a couple of weeks because we are going to get back in the weight room and re-invest in some heavier training. We look at this as a midpoint of the season to see where we are at and it should be pretty exciting.”