Smith, Adamson and St. Etienne all finish in top eight of 400 meter hurdles
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Former NCAA Shot Put Champion returns to college ranks
Entering just his third year with the Tulane track and field program, assistant coach for throws Gary England worked wonders during his first two seasons. By tutoring some of the finest athletes in the NCAA in a craft in which he is very familiar, England proved to be a valuable asset to the Tulane track family.
During the 2014 season, England saw the fruits of his labor materialize, as two of his throwers burst onto the scene for the Green Wave women's track and field program. Redshirt freshman Daliadiz Ortiz won the Gold Medal in the javelin during the Conference USA Outdoor Championships with a throw of 48.79 meters (160' 1") on her way to qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Regionals in the event, placing 17th.
Ortiz' success comes on the heels of a season that she missed due to injury. In her first collegiate meet - and what would turn out to be her only meet in 2013 before suffering a season-ending injury - Ortiz posted the then-sixth-best javelin throw in school history with a throw of 48.32 meters (158' 6"). Despite that throw coming during the first week of the outdoor season, it stood as the top mark in Conference USA all season long.
In addition to Ortiz' success, England was instrumental in the tutoring of Taylor Potts, who became one of the top shot putters in the NCAA. Potts earned the Bronze Medal in the shot put during the 2014 Conference USA Indoor Championships while also qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Regionals later in the year. Potts also competed in the Jr/Sr National Championships in Eugene, Ore., during her freshman season.
England helped make history in 2013 with the Tulane track and field program by qualifying discus thrower Thomas Lynch to the NCAA East Regional in Greensboro, N.C. Along with jumper Devon Breaux, the two became the first Tulane male student-athletes to qualify for an NCAA Regional in Green Wave history.
On top of qualifying for the NCAA East Regional, Lynch broke the school record in the discus with a throw of 51.81 meters (170' 0") at the Stanford Invitational in late March, breaking a record that was originally set in 1939 and tied in 2000. On the season, Lynch had five tosses of 50.00 meters or more - the only 50.00 meter discus throws in school history. He also earned a bronze medal at the Conference USA Outdoor Championships.
England molded footballer Eldrick Washington into a solid shot putter during the 2014 season, as the Harvey, La., native entered the Tulane record books with a toss of 14.50 meters (47' 7").
On the women's side, three of England's pupils have etched their names into the Tulane record books for the indoor season, while five women can attribute their placements during the outdoor season to England.
Ortiz owns the school's fifth-best javelin mark of 49.94 meters (163' 10") set during the Seminole Twilight on May 9, 2014. Cheyenne Swanson can be found in the outdoor record books twice: in fourth place in the hammer throw (37.30 meters or 122' 4") and fifth place in the discus (39.95 meters or 131' 1"). Swanson also owns the fourth-best weight throw during the indoor season, tossing a mark of 12.16 meters (39' 10.75").
Potts can be found in second place during both the indoor season (14.66 meters or 48' 1.25") and the outdoor season (14.93m or 48' 11.75").
Finally, Tiffany Kenney bettered her shot put distances in the outdoor season, placing sixth in the all-time record books for her performances under England's watch.
All of this comes as no surprise, as England owns a wealth of coaching experience after a highly decorated NCAA career as a student-athlete himself. England has coached at Auburn, Villanova, Central Florida and Kansas throughout his career. As an assistant track and field coach for throws and multi events at Auburn, England coached a pair of exquisite decathletes in Junior National Champion and three time All-SEC Jeff Mooney and three time All-SEC member Walter Costner. In the javelin, England was responsible for Curt Skaggs All-SEC recognition, as well as his All-American status that same year. Rick Hayden, another protégé of England, was third in the SEC in 1988 in the discus throw. England also worked with Reggie Ware and Lawyer Tillman in the shot put before they both embarked on careers in the NFL.
After his time at Auburn, England moved onto Kansas where he took a similar position as the one at his previous stop. During his time in Lawrence, Kan., he coached Vince Labosky to the USATF National Championship in the javelin, as well as an NCAA Runner Up and two Big Eight Championships. Chris Redden earned a Big Eight Shot Put Championship under England, and Heather Berlin was a Junior National Champ, and a USATF Senior Nationals Qualifier in the javelin. In addition to aforementioned athletes, England tutored six-time All-Big Eight heptathlete Kim Huthoefer, as well as All-Big Eight athletes Angie Mellon (javelin), Amy Baker (javelin) and Chris Waters (decathlon).
In the early 1990s, England took positions at Villanova before moving to Central Florida later that decade. At Villanova, he was responsible for Paul Staskowicz's school record in the hammer throw as well as Dave Cook's All-American status in the decathlon. At UCF, he coached Kelly Kobia (discus and shot put), Amber Twyner (javelin), Katara Beard (shot put) and Jennifer Herron (discus) to Trans America Athletic Conference Championships in their respective events.
Before he started his coaching career, England was a highly decorated student-athlete at the University of Alabama. During his tenure at Alabama, England was an eight time All-SEC performer. He won the NCAA National Championship in 1977 in the shot put while also capturing the SEC Shot Put Championship during the same year. Also in 1977, the Indianapolis native set both the indoor and outdoor SEC records in the event. After taking silver at the inaugural USA Olympic Festival - as well as qualifying for the ill-fated 1980 Olympic Trials - England switched gears as he became a member of the 1982 US Olympic Festival team and qualified for the 1984 Olympic Trials in the javelin.
As a masters athlete, England owns five USA shot put championships, one discus championship and one weight pentathlon championship. He topped those off with World Master Championship wins in the weight pentathlon and shot put.
In addition to his athletic prowess and coaching experience, England's experience in athletic event management dates back to the early 1980s. He has directed a number of meets and has served as the Director of The First USATF Throws Coaches Summit, Director of the World Throws Organization, Director of the American Big Guys Throwing Team and Big Guys Camp Series, Associate Director of the SEC Track and Field Championships, the Kansas Relays, and the USA vs. USSR Summer Games.
Prior to joining Tulane, England directed his own company, England and Associates Inc., for 17 years, specializing in the designing and building of athletic facilities throughout the nation. The company also coached many high school and open athletes who would go on to receive scholarships to compete in conferences from the SEC to the Big 12.
England received his BFA at the University of Alabama in 1988. His wife, Deborah, was a member of a Canadian Synchronized Ice Skating Team that won the World Junior Championships. They have one daughter, Brittany.
The England's reside in Mandeville, La.