Cruz, Brazzel and Santiago Finish in Top Five of Triple Jump on Final Day of the Cherry and Silver Invitational

Briana Santiago's triple jump performance placed fourth on the day

Briana Santiago's triple jump performance placed fourth on the day

Jan. 19, 2013

ALBUEQUERQUE, N.M. - Strong performances in the triple jump and pole vault led the way for the Tulane track and field team during the final day of the New Mexico Cherry and Silver Invitational.

Being the only team this side of Texas to compete in the meet, Tulane track and field head coach Eric Peterson was pleased with how his athletes performed against the great talent at a high altitude.

"I am well aware of how well coached a lot of teams are on the West Coast, so for our jumpers to come out and have the kind of meet they had here is very encouraging as we continue to move forward," said Peterson. "We are seeing really significant improvement individually. Everybody came here and competed strong."

The Greenies were fantastic on the day in the triple jump portion of the meet by owning three of the top five finishes. Redshirt sophomore Estefany Cruz finished in second with a jump of 12.49 meters (40' 11¾"), a new season best for the Guatemala City native. All three of her performances in the triple jump on the season have been over 12 meters. Freshman Tamika Brazzel - who owns the Green Wave's season high in the event - placed third in the triple jump with a distance of 12.21 meters (40' 0¾"). For the second straight week, junior Briana Santiago set a new career best in the triple jump with a leap of 12.17 meters (39' 11¼"). She placed fourth in the event on the day.

"All of our triple jumpers did well," added Peterson. "It was an exciting event. These three women have been competing very well for us, and they are now doing it consistently. In my opinion, becoming consistently good is the first step in becoming a great athlete. Briana hit 12.17 on two of her jumps, so that was very impressive."



Tulane entered four athletes in the pole vault, and they too performed well. Star redshirt sophomore Merritt Van Meter placed third on the day with a jump of 3.95 meters (12' 11½"). Her performance marks the third time on the season that she has cleared that height or better. Sophomore Joanna Lapucha placed ninth by clearing 3.80 meters (12' 5¾"), and sophomore Jessica Knierim finished in 13th by clearing 3.65m (11' 11¾"). Respectively, their jumps are the second and third best marks in the history of the school.

"In general, I'm very pleased with the pole vaulters," said Peterson. "Merritt looks like she is ready to make another breakthrough. Today, she cleared the bar that she has been winning events with on the year. Joanna and Jessica bested their outdoor personal records. In a lot of ways, Joanna was the `athlete of the meet' for us."

Sophomore Kelci Lyons finished in fourth place in the 800 meter race with a time of 2:18.60. She broke her indoor personal record after narrowly missing it last week at the Crimson Tide Opener.

"She competes with more positive energy and emotion when she is close to the front, so it was real good to see that again today," stated Peterson.

The large number of participants in the 400 meter dash required the event to be spread over two days, with three sections competing yesterday and the remaining three sections finishing the event today. Freshman Jessica Adamson finished with a time of 1:00.08, good for 29th place overall. Lyons - who competed in the event yesterday - placed 21st with a time of 58.63. A total of 51 athletes participated in the event.

During day one of the meet, three Tulane athletes placed in the top ten of their respective events. Junior Melanie Mainor placed fourth in the high jump by clearing 1.68m (5' 6"), a new personal best. Adamson came in third place with a time of 1:36.92 during the 600 meter run, which was also a personal record. Brazzel came in ninth in the long jump with a leap of 5.56 meters (18' 3").

Next week, a contingent of sprinters and middle distance runners for the Green Wave track and field team will head to the Pacific Northwest to compete in the University of Washington Classic, held in Seattle, Wash.

You can follow the Tulane track and field programs on Twitter (@GreenWaveTkFld) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TulaneXCTF.


Women's 400m Dash
21. Kelci Lyons, 58.63 (competed in heats on day one)
29. Jessica Adamson, 1:00.08

Women's 800m Run
4. Kelci Lyons, 2:18.60

Women's Pole Vault
3. Merritt Van Meter, 3.95m (12' 11½")
9. Joanna Lapucha, 3.80m (12' 5¾")
13. Jessica Knierim, 3.65m (11' 11¾")
26. Jill Doyle, 3.05m (10' 0¼")

Women's Triple Jump
2. Estefany Cruz, 12.49m (40' 11¾")
3. Tamika Brazzel, 12.21m (40' 0¾")
4. Briana Santiago, 12.17m (39' 11¼")