Feb. 21, 2014
BATON ROUGE, La. - Tulane's track and field program wanted to build some momentum as they head into the Conference USA Indoor Championships next weekend, and they did just that as four of their athletes put together career-best performances at the LSU Twilight meet at Maddox Fieldhouse in Baton Rouge, La., on the heels of the biggest meet of the season to date for the Green Wave.
Freshman Taylor Potts (shot put), senior Briana Santiago (triple jump), freshman Mary Carson Pitts (pole vault) and junior Michelle Kreutzberg (800 meter run) all notched top-ten finishes on Friday while bettering their previous marks on the season - and in their careers - in their respective events.
"We feel that this is another competition before the conference championship where many of our athletes looked to be on the cusp of having a breakthrough performance," stated Tulane track and field director Eric Peterson. "These four athletes in Taylor, Briana, Mary Carson and Michelle stood out in the way they competed tonight."
Santiago, who posted a career-best jump just two weeks ago at the Samford Multi and Invitational in the triple jump, had an even better leap in Baton Rouge on Friday afternoon. The Gulf Breeze, Fla., native leapt 12.35 meters (40-6.25) for the fourth-best jump of the day. Her mark stands as the eighth-best jump in school history, and as of Friday night, the jump gives her the sixth best triple jump in Conference USA on the season.
"Briana's jump was enormous," added Peterson. "It was only the second time in her life that she jumped more than 40 feet. She's been consistently improving from week to week. She jumped over 40 feet in Birmingham earlier this month, and she made her jump today on her final attempt. It elevates her within the conference."
Before Friday's meet, Potts was on the outside looking in terms of her rankings in the league. She now sits at third.
Pitts, like Potts and Santiago, has continued to build on recent successes. Pitts notched a new career best in the pole vault, placing fourth by clearing 3.84 meters (12-7.25). She now has notched back-to-back career best performances in the event, as she cleared 3.80 meters (12-5.5) last weekend at the Cupid Classic.
Lastly, Kreutzberg notched an excellent time in the 800 meter dash, placing second in the event on the night with a time of 2:17.44. Her time as of right now may not reflect a personal best, but with the 200 meter flat track, a conversion should come in the next few days that will give her a time that will best her performance form the Samford Multis and Invitational when she ran a 2:17.01.
"We have been anticipating that breakthrough performance from Michelle for a few weeks," mentioned Peterson. "She's been training well week-to-week, and she obviously had a big performance today."
The Green Wave will now move into the championship portion of their schedule, as next weekend holds the Conference USA Indoor Championships at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Ala., on Feb. 28 and March 1. The NCAA Indoor Championships will be in Albuquerque, N.M. on March 14-15.
Fans can follow the Tulane track and field programs on Twitter (@GreenWaveXCTF) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TulaneXCTF.
Tulane Entries for the LSU Twilight
Women's 60m Dash
7. Hilary Woods, 7.88
Women's 800m Run
2. Michelle Kreutzberg, 2:17.44
7. Amanda Savage, 2:30.59
Women's 60m High Hurdles
12. Dominique Hever, 9.23 *
15. Tiffany Kenney, 9.38
Women's High Jump
5. Melanie Mainor, 1.59m (5-2.5)
Women's Pole Vault
2. Merritt Van Meter, 3.84m (12-7.25)
4. Mary Carson Pitts, 3.84m (12-7.25) *
6. Joanna Lapucha, 3.49m (11-5.25)
7. Jessica Knierim, 3.49m (11-5.25)
Women's Long Jump
2. Tamika Brazzel, 5.64m (18-6)
Women's Triple Jump
4. Briana Santiago, 12.35m (40-6.25) *
5. Estefany Cruz, 12.09m (39-8)
Women's Shot Put
3. Taylor Potts, 13.98m (45-10.5) *
10. Tiffany Kenney, 10.03m (32-11)
* - Personal Best