Feb. 26, 2009
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis track and field team heads to Houston, Texas to compete in the 2009 Conference USA Indoor Track and Field Championships on Friday, Feb. 27 and Saturday, Feb. 28. The two-day event will be hosted inside the Yeoman Fieldhouse for the eighth-straight year.
"We're just really excited to get out there," said head coach Kevin Robinson. We've been preparing for this through the entire fall and all throughout this indoor season. We're as ready as we're going to be."
The preliminary events will begin with the pentathlon and heptathlon events at 9:00 a.m. Friday followed by the field events at 2:00 p.m. and the running events at 5:00 p.m. Also included in Friday's schedule will be the finals of the men's and women's weight throw and the 5,000-meter runs. All other finals will take place on Saturday followed by the awards presentation at 7:00 p.m.
"By the end of the day, we'll have a pretty good idea of where we're at if we get into the finals," said Robinson. "Some of our best individuals will perform tomorrow and get us off to a new start. I just can't wait to get started tomorrow."
Steffen Nerdal and Inger Anne Froysedal earned the C-USA men's and women's Athlete of the Week for their performances in last week's Redhawk Invitational. Nerdal recorded the event's top mark in the weight throw with a toss of 21.13m (69-04.25). Froysedal set a personal best and school record mark in the high jump with a first-place and C-USA leading leap of 1.77m (5-09.75). She also grabbed first place in the triple jump with a mark of 12.24m (40-02.00).
Three Tiger athletes enter the C-USA meet with NCAA qualifying marks including Nerdal with a school record and C-USA leading and NCAA automatic qualifying weight throw mark of 21.56m (70-09.00). He is the returning champion who holds the C-USA meet record in the event with a throw of 20.94m (68-08.50).
Another veteran Sivan Aballi also enters the weekend's meet with a C-USA leading and NCAA provisional qualifying mark in the shot put of 16.03m (52-07.25).
Newcomer Aaron Evans also set an NCAA provisional qualifying mark in the 800m run with a time of 1:50.18. Evans broke the longest standing Memphis school record in the 800m run which was previously held by Tommy Leach in 1970 with a time of 1:51.30.
The second place finisher in the shot put at the 2008 C-USA Indoor Championships Knut Syversen has the best mark entering the 2009 championship meet as well.
"Our best athletes are ready to come out and compete at the highest level," said Robinson. "We're going to bring home some individual championships and we're going to also compete hard as a team."
Competing for the women's title will be all 12 members of C-USA - East Carolina, Houston, Marshall, Memphis, Rice, SMU, Southern Miss., Tulane, Tulsa, UAB, UCF, and UTEP. Marshall, SMU, Tulane, UAB and UCF do not sponsor men's track and field.
All-session tickets are available for only $15 for adults and $8 for youth. Single-day tickets are available for $10 for adults and $5 for students with ID. All students from Conference USA schools are admitted free with a valid student ID.