Feb. 24, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Estefany Cruz, Briana Santiago and Tamika Brazzel all placed in the top eight in the triple jump for Tulane during the second day of the Conference USA Championships at the Birmingham Crossplex in Birmingham, Ala.
Cruz came in fourth place on the day, jumping 12.32 meters (40-5), followed by Santiago's sixth place jump of 12.11 meters (39-8.75) and Brazzel's seventh place jump of 12.08 meters (39-5.75). Brazzel's triple jump performance was a new personal best for her.
As a team, Tulane earned 10 points from the three performances, earning five points from Cruz's fourth place finish, three points from Santiago and two points from Brazzel.
"My jumps were pretty consistent today, and I didn't foul at all, and that is what I have been working on," said Santiago. "It's really nice to have teammates like Estefany and Tamika. During my freshman year, I was by myself. So, it's nice to have someone there when you aren't doing so well so they can help you put it together."
Tulane director of track and field Eric Peterson was impressed with the consistency from the Gulf Breeze, Fla., native this season.
"Briana has been one of the most improved and one of the most consistent athletes we've had this winter," stated Peterson. "This was the first time she has ever placed at a conference meet, so we are real excited about that for her. As for Estefany and Tamika, we were pleased that they were able to show how competitive they are by overcoming some physical adversities to help our team"
Tulane also earned points from their 4 x 400 meter relay team, who placed sixth in the event with a time of 3:45.53. The quartet of Jerica Woods, Candice St. Etienne, Tiffanie Smith and Kayla Quincy placed second in their section.
"One thing about my group is that we didn't have the greatest weekend, but I was pleased with the way the girls competed," stated Tulane assistant track and field coach for jumps Doug Fraley. "It's a bonus when you can come here and have a big performance, but the bottom line is to score points for the team. I thought my group as a whole did just that."
As a team, Tulane placed tenth out of the 12 teams that competed during the weekend, a two spot improvement from their 12th place finish from last season. Tulane scored a total of 29 points, edging out Rice (28) and Marshall (26.5).
"We were hoping for a higher place finish, so we are not satisfied at all with this result," added Peterson. "But, one of the things that we are noting, as a program, is that moving forward, we had a real high number of individuals that we didn't expect to score, but came to the meet and ran right at, or better, than their season or personal bests. That didn't produce team points for us this time, but we are noting the fact that we are making strides."
Despite the NCAA Indoor Championships being held in two weeks in Fayetteville, Ark., Tulane will open their outdoor track and field season when they host the Tulane Team Challenge at City Park on Saturday.
You can follow the Tulane track and field programs on Twitter (@GreenWaveXCTF) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TulaneXCTF
DAY TWO RESULTS FOR THE CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIPS
17. Mikayla Sonneborn, 5:11.64
23. Emmi Aguillard, 5:15.60
3,000 METER RUN
23. Paige Callahan, 10:29.67
Mikayla Sonneborn, DNS
4 x 400 METER RELAY
6. Tulane (Woods, St. Etienne, T. Smith, Quincy), 3:45.53
12. Melanie Mainor, 1.63m (5-04.25)
15. Tiffany Kenney, 1.53m (5-0.25)
Dana Ohlson, DNS
4. Estefany Cruz, 12.32m (40-5)
6. Briana Santiago, 12.11m (39-8.75)
7. Tamika Brazzel, 12.08m (39-5.75)
FINAL WOMEN'S TEAM SCORES
1. UCF, 132.50
2. Memphis, 93
3. UAB, 83
4. East Carolina, 59
5. SMU, 52
6. UTEP, 46
7. Houston, 44
8. Tulsa, 37
9. Southern Miss, 30
10. Tulane, 29
11. Rice, 28
12. Marshall, 26.50