Brazzel, Santiago, Pitts and 800 Meter Runners all Record New Personal Bests at Samford Multi and Invitational

TULANEGREENWAVE.COM Sophomore Tamika Brazzel posted a new personal best in the long jump on Saturday
Sophomore Tamika Brazzel posted a new personal best in the long jump on Saturday

Feb. 8, 2014

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Eight Tulane track and field athletes notched new personal bests during the Samford Multi and Invitational this weekend at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Ala., including three jumpers, three sprinters and two long distance runners.

With the bulk of the indoor track and field season underway, the Green Wave competed in all facets of the sport for the first time this season, and each group had their outstanding performances.

A trio of 800 meter runners all achieved new personal bests, as sophomore Jessica Adamson, junior Michelle Kreutzberg and freshman Sara Kebede all posted top-15 finishes on the day. Adamson ran the race in a time of 2:14.78 - good for eighth place - which is just on the outside of the top-10 in school history. Kreutzberg shaved nearly four seconds off her previous high with a time of 2:17.01. Kebede ran in the event for the first time in her collegiate career, finishing in 2:17.66.

"I think the progress that was made by our 800 meter runners was significant," said the director of Tulane track and field Eric Peterson.

As they did two weekends ago at the Cherry and Silver Invitational, the jumpers made some progress in their events, as senior triple jumper Briana Santiago, sophomore long jumper Tamika Brazzel and freshman pole vaulter Mary Carson Pitts all notched personal bests in their events.



Santiago had a solid day, as she posted a third place finish in the event, notching a new career best jump of 12.27 meters (40-3.25). She jumped a quarter of a meter further than her previous season-best which came two weekends ago at the Cherry and Silver Invitational.

Brazzel long jumped 5.88 meters (19-3.5), good for second on the day. Like Santiago, she bested her previous high by nearly a quarter of a meter. The jump is also good for the sixth best in school history.

"Tamika and Briana were both very competitive during this meet," said Peterson. "They both had high expectations for themselves, and they came away from the meet being rewarded for that. That's a good thing for their continued improvement."

Pitts vaulted 3.70 meters (12-1.5) for her new career best mark. The mark moved her to seventh in Conference USA, joining fellow pole vaulters Merritt Van Meter, Jessica Knierim and Joanna Lapucha in the top-eight in the league standings.

A pair of long distance runners in sophomore Mikayla Sonneborn and freshman Katharine Smiley both had nice outings over the weekend. Sonneborn recorded a new personal best in the one mile by posting a time of 5:01.57. Her mark stands as the ninth-best time in school history.

"I wasn't that surprised by Mikayla's performance because she has been training really well," added Peterson. "She has made a lot of progress and she has been waiting for a break in a race. She executed the race plan to perfection today, and she came away from the race with not only a good competitive effort, but a big personal mark."

Smiley made her Tulane track and field debut as she competed in the 5,000 meters, a season-first for any Green Wave track athlete. Smiley finished the event in a time of 18:46.00 on Friday night, which served as some training in preparation for her competition next weekend when she will take part in the US Cross Country National Championship in Colorado next week. Smiley competed in three 5K races during the cross country season, and her time on Friday bested all three performances from the fall.

Junior Tiffany Kenney had the heaviest workload over the weekend, as she competed in the pentathlon for the first time on the year on Friday. Kenney had competed in four of the five events throughout the season, but Friday was the first time she took part in all five on the same day.

Kenney saved her best performance for last, as she placed fourth in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:24.64. Overall, Kenney scored a total of 3,309 points, which placed her 14th on the evening.

Sophomore weight thrower Cheyenne Swanson improved once again in the new event for her. In the third meet of her season, the Hailey, Idaho native posted a throw of 12.16 meters (39-10.75) for a new personal best. While the mark doesn't put her past anyone else in the Tulane record books, she remains in fourth place in school history in the event.

Next weekend, the Green Wave will compete again at the Birmingham CrossPlex as part of the team will compete in the Southern Miss Cupid Classic on Friday, Feb. 14. At the same time, some Tulane track and field athletes will be in the Northwest part of the country, as they will head to Seattle for the Husky Classic, hosted by Washington.

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

Women's 200m Dash
11. Lilla McMillan, 24.79
52. Hilary Woods, 25.75

Women's 400m Dash
36. Hilary Woods, 58.93
69. Dominique Hever, 1:02.13

Women's 800m Run
8. Jessica Adamson, 2:14.78 *
14. Michelle Kreutzberg, 2:17.01 *
15. Sara Kebede, 2:17.66 *

Women's 5,000m Run
16. Katharine Smiley, 18:46.00 *

Women's One Mile
11. Mikayla Sonneborn, 5:01.57 *

Women's Long Jump
2. Tamika Brazzel, 5.88m (19-3.5) *

Women's High Jump
t-7. Melanie Mainor, 1.61m (5-3.25)

Women's Triple Jump
3. Briana Santiago, 12.27m (40-3.25) *
34. Taylor Caulk, 10.37m (34-0.25)

Women's Pole Vault
t-6. Mary Carson Pitts, 3.70m (12-1.5) *
t-10. Joanna Lapucha, 3.70m (12-1.5)
16. Jessica Knierim, 3.55m (11-7.75)

Women's Weight Throw
27. Cheyenne Swanson, 12.16m (39-10.75) *

Women's Shot Put
--Taylor Potts, FOUL

Women's Indoor Pentathlon
14. Tiffany Kenney, 3,309 points
60 Meter Hurdles - 16th - 9.50 (808 points)
High Jump - t-9th - 1.53m (5-0.25) (655 points)
Shot Put - 8th - 9.96m (32-8.25) (527 points)
Long Jump - 16th - 4.99m (16-4.5) (557 points)
800 Meter Run - 4th - 2:24.64 (762 points)

*= Personal Best