Track & Field to compete in C-USA Indoor Championships
Feb. 26, 2004
HOUSTON-The University of Memphis Men's and Women's Track Teams are in Houston for this weekends C-USA Indoor Championship Meet. For the second consecutive year and fifth time since 1997, the University of Houston plays host to the annual Conference USA Indoor Track and Field Championship set for this weekend, Feb. 27-28, at the Yeoman Field House inside the Athletics/Alumni Center.
The Tigers placed third in the C-USA Indoor Championships in 2003. Perennial powers Houston and TCU are the favorites on the Men's side with Memphis and ECU hoping to challenge for the top spot. The Tigers have depth in the distance and throwing events that should provide the Tigers with a good showing. On the Women's side, TCU and USF are the top contenders with Houston hoping to defend its title from a year ago. The young Lady Tigers of Memphis hope to improve on last year's tenth place showing.
The two-day meet, featuring all 13 C-USA schools, begins at 8:00am. on Friday, Feb. 27, with the pentathlon and other combined events until 1:00pm when the 20-pound weight throw starts the field events. Running events begin at 5:00pm with the finals of the 5000-meter runs for both women and men.
Competition concludes on Saturday, Feb. 28, beginning with the heptathlon at 9:00am Field events get underway at 11:00am with the shot put, while the mile run for both women and men start the running events at 1:00pm. An awards presentation, in which the Male and Female Athletes and Coach of the Year Awards will be announced, is scheduled for 5:00pm on Saturday following the conclusion of the meet.
Houston claimed both the men's and women's C-USA Indoor titles in 2003, while head coach Leroy Burrell was named C-USA Coach of the Year for both men and women. Houston freshmen Clayton Cretors and Ebonie Floyd each were named C-USA Male and Female Freshman of the Year, respectively.
Hungarian Pipeline Plentiful for Memphis Track The Tigers and Lady Tigers currently have nine Hungarians, five hailing from the City of Budapest, on their respective rosters including some of Memphis's best athletes. Distance runners Mate Nemeth (Szekszard, Hungary) and Szilard Toth (Pecs, Hungary) are top runners in C-USA. Nemeth is a three time conference champion and Toth enters this weekend's C-USA Indoor Championships as the league's top-ranked mile runner. Gary Nemeth (Sopron, Hungary), although absent this spring as he prepares for the Olympics, was the Tigers top sprinter in 2003. Nora Nemere (Budapest, Hungary) is the Lady Tigers top long distance runner and Zsofia Nagy (Budapest, Hungary) is an active sprinter for the Lady Tigers. Daniel Kiss (Budapest, Hungary), a newcomer on the squad is a top contender in the 60m hurdles and Istvan Kerekjarto (Biatorbagy, Hungary) is a top middle distance runner for the Tigers. As a freshman he qualified for the NCAA Regionals in the 1500m and 800m. Norbert Guylas (Budapest, Hungary) is a freshman thrower on the team with a bright future and Szaboles Karadi (Budapest, Hungary) is a distance runner on the squad.
Tiger Throwers a Force Memphis has a collection of top throwers that arguably rivals that of any in the country. Led by 2003 C-USA Male Outdoor Athlete of the Year, senior Gaute Myklebust; Memphis has the potential to score many points in the shot put and weight throw competitions. Myklebust advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships after winning the 2003 C-USA Outdoor Championship in the shot put. Last Year's 2003 C-USA Indoor shot put champion was senior Adam Martin. Martin enters this year's competition as the highest ranked thrower among Memphis competitors with a season best mark of 16.19m which he threw at the ASU Kickoff Klassic (12/7). Martin alos competes in the weight throw and is a contender in that event. Senior transfer Stein Syerson has the ability to challenge both Myklebust and Martin in the shot put. Syverson is a former Norwegian Youth Champion in that event. Freshmen Darius Frye and Norbert Guylas are also talented throwers and present a bright future for the Tigers after the three seniors graduate.
Like 2003, Distance Runners are Tigers strength in 2004 Led by NCAA Championships Qualifier Mate Nemeth, Memphis has a solid group of distance runners in 2004 that could amass numerous points at the C-USA Indoor Championships. Nemeth is the defending 3000m indoor champion and 5000m indoor runner-up. He holds the school record in the 5000m run at 14:52.78. Newcomer Szilard Toth is favored in the mile run. His time of 4:11.59 is best in C-USA. Teammate Istvan Kerekjarto ranks second in the mile run with a time of 4:11.77. If the Tigers are hoping for a 1-2 finish in the mile run. Michael Mentz could push for a top-six finish in the 800m run. Abraham Shaposhnik and Szaboles Karadi would have to run their best times to score points, but are both capable distance runners that provide a bonus for the Tigers.
Hyman eyeing fourth Triple Jump Crown Lisa-Marie Hyman has won the last three C-USA Triple Jump Championships. Winning the 2002 Outdoor, 2003 Indoor and 2003 Outdoor Titles, Hyman is trying to become the first Lady Tiger to win four conference championships in one event. Already the first Lady Tiger to win three conference championships in one event, Hyman looks to add to her legacy. She will be challenged this weekend though. Charlotte's Sharonda Johnson enters the championships with the best mark this year at 12.88m. Hyman's personal best is 12.67m which she jumped at the Commodore Classic in Nashville, Tenn. during the outdoor season. Hyman's best mark in 2004 is 12.50m (SREMO Triangular-2/21). Teammate and rising freshman star Cassandra Harding is also poised to challenge Hyman. Her best this season of 12.24m (McDonalds Invitational-1/23) ranks her third in C-USA entering the championship meet.
Lady Tigers are young kittens in 2004 On the Women's team, 22 of the 29 athletes are underclassmen with 15 freshmen and seven sophomores on the squad. Lisa-Marie Hyman and Ali Baker are the lone seniors on the team. Baker a former soccer player at U of M will be competing in her first championship meet. Freshmen and Sophomores that will compete at the C-USA Indoor Championships are: Lindsay Cade (High Jump), Cassandra Harding (Triple Jump, Pentathlon), Kara Cassel (3000m), Josetta Brooks (60m hurdles), Daniels Riendeau (800m), Michel Wilson (800m), Sue-Ann Bowen (400m), Zsofia Nagy (200m), and Mary Claire Dake (Mile Run).
Memphis's Top Sprinters Not Available for 2004 Season Junior sprinter Gary Nemeth has left the team this spring to train for the 2004 Olympic Games where he will compete for his native Hungary as a member of the 4x100m Relay team in Athens this summer. Nemeth's father is the coach of that team and they began training for the Olympics in December 2003. Nemeth qualified for the NCAA Regionals in the 200m and was the anchor of the Tigers 4x100m Relay Team. Sophomore Willie Green, who red-shirted last outdoor season continues to be bothered by a nagging hamstring injury and will not compete in the C-USA Indoor Championships this weekend. Green placed third in the 60m in 2003 as a freshman. He hopes to return for the outdoor season. The Lady Tigers top returning sprinter is not academically eligible for 2004. Junior Chanel Dunn, who qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Regionals in the 100m, will not be available for competition this spring. She continues to train with the team and anticipates regaining eligibility for the 2005 season.
Hurdlers quietly elevating to top of C-USA Both the men and women have hurdlers on the brink of scoring points at this weekends meet. Daniel Kiss (8.02) ranks second in C-USA in the event and Preston Taylor (8.33), son of former Tiger All-American Track./Football athlete Ed Taylor, ranks ninth in C-USA. Sheena Ohlig holds the school record in 60m hurdles at 9.09. She along with Josetta Brooks look for good performances in a highly competitive event in C-USA.
Former Soccer Star, now Lady Tigers top Distance Runner Ali Baker, a former soccer standout at the U of M joined the Memphis track team as a senior in 2003. She has asserted herself as the top distance runner on the Lady Tigers squad. Her time of 2:20.82 ranks in the top-10 of C-USA.
Memphis Men's Best Performance List
2004 C-USA INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS SCHEDULE OF EVENTS