Fourteen Tigers Qualify for the NCAA East Preliminary
May 17, 2012
MEMPHIS, Tenn.-Memphis track and field qualified 14 athletes for the NCAA East Preliminary for the second-straight year on Thursday. The Tigers tied the program record for qualifiers with a group that includes six freshman, five sophomores, one junior and two seniors.
"Fourteen was a few less than what we hoped to get in." said Robinson. "What's exciting about this year is there are only two seniors in the group, which is a credit to our recruiting."
Kala Funderburk (100m hurdles, 4 x 400m), Maya Williamson (400m hurdles, 4 x 400m), Monica Mason (4 x 400m), Keyona Neal (4 x 400m) and Laura Toldy (high jump) will represent the Blue and Gray for the women. For the Tiger men, Fabian Fiege (800m), Robert Jackson (110m hurdles), Tyrell Forde (110m hurdles), Brandon Williams (400m hurdles), Darius Lynwood (high jump), Karlis Pujats (pole vault), Austin Crenshaw (pole vault), Will Hubber (hammer throw), and Kyle Bynum(javelin throw) will represent Memphis in the preliminary.
This will not be the first trip to the NCAA post-season for Jackson, Williams, Pujats and Crenshaw. Williams and Crenshaw each made the 2011 preliminaries as freshmen competing in the 400m hurdles and pole vault respectively. Jackson qualified for the outdoor preliminaries in 2010 and 2011 in the 110m hurdles. In 2010, Jackson qualified for the NCAA Outdoor National Championships where he finished 18th.
Competing in the pole vault, Pujats qualified for the 2010 outdoor preliminary during his first season as a Tiger. During the 2011 indoor season, Pujats made the NCAA Indoor National Championships finishing tied for ninth and receiving Second-Team All-America honors. The Riga, Latvia native qualified for the 2011 outdoor preliminaries, but did not compete due to injury.
As freshmen this will be Funderburk, Williamson, Forde, Fiege, Hubber and Bynum's first trip to the preliminary round. For Toldy, Mason and Lynwood it will be their first preliminary, making the trip as sophomores. Neal will make her first trip to the post-season as the group's only junior.
"I think it shows we are starting to make an impact on the national level a little bit more than we have in the past," said Robinson. "We've been a good conference team over the last few years, but now we're starting to see the results on a more elite level."
Action at the NCAA East Preliminary is set to being Thursday May 26th at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla. Results from the event will be posted on GoTigersGo.com as they become available.