March 29, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - After a night filled with nasty wind and rain in the Greater New Orleans area, the weather cooperated on Saturday afternoon at Tad Gormley Stadium in City Park for the Tulane Team Challenge, with many sprinters, hurdlers and jumpers posting new personal bests, on top of sophomore Tamika Brazzel's new school record in the 100-meter hurdles..
Sophomore sprinter Lilla McMillan, hurdlers Brazzel and Dominique Hever, two men's sprinters and the men's 4 x 100 meter relay team notched new top marks with wind at their backs. In addition to the sprinters, many of the Green Wave jumpers and throwers notched new top marks, as well. Competing on a track that the team practices on during the season is something that truly benefited the Green Wave.
"It's exciting for everyone in our program to compete at home," said Tulane director of track and field Eric Peterson. "This is a great venue to compete in, and we are very fortunate after a pretty big thunder and lightning storm last night and this morning that the weather cleared for us and we ended up having some very good conditions to compete."
The men's 4 x 100 meter relay team, comprised of three football players and a seasoned track veteran, notched a time of 41.14 for a first place finish on the afternoon. Freshmen gridiron athletes Sherman Badie and Richard Allen combined forces with junior footballer Taurean Nixon and senior trackster Christopher Arechiga for a new season-high in the event, edging out a 41.52 finish by the quartet of Badie, Allen, Nixon and Devon Breaux last weekend. The mark is good for fourth place in Tulane history.
On top of their work in the relay, Badie and Allen finished first and second, respectively, in the 100 meter dash for their first collegiate competitions in an individual event. Badie ran a 10.72, while Allen was one one-hundredth of a second behind his teammate. Badie's time is already good for tenth place in school history.
"Our men's 4 x100 relay team, which includes three players from our football team, kicked off the meet in great fashion," stated Peterson. "They ran a 41.14, which is an improvement from their previous times, and are approaching some of our school records and they are only going to get better. Sherman Badie and Richard Allen went 1-2 in the 100-meters and both of them ran a sub 10.8, which is really good. They are giving us sprinting that we really haven't had previously and it is exciting for everyone."
In the 100-meter hurdles, freshman Hever notched a new personal best in the event with a fifth-place finish of 14.95. However, it was Brazzel who impressed coaches in the event. Brazzel, a sophomore running in the event for the first time since high school, won the event title with a time of 14.31. As a matter of fact, Brazzel's time set a new school record in the event, besting a record that stood for 16 years and one day. Rebecca Murphy held the previous high of 14.36 seconds, set on March 28, 1998.
"Tamika Brazzel ran the 100-meter hurdles for the first time since high school today and ran a big lifetime best, as did Dominique Hever in the same event," mentioned Peterson. "Tamika was a very good high school hurdler. When we recruited her, we wanted her to participate in this event. But last year, we just did not have the time to add the hurdle race with her competing in the long jump and the triple jump. We haven't really practiced that much this year, and she didn't even run in the 60-meter hurdles indoors. We know that Tamika is going to be a competitive hurdler at the collegiate level, and I'm excited we were able to finally get her involved in that event."
McMillan continued to build on her stellar second season, as she won the 100 meter dash in a time of 11.71 seconds. With the help of the wind, McMillan shaved half a second off her previous high in the event. McMillan also won the event title in the 200 meter dash with a time of 24.50 with a head wind.
"I felt one of the highlights for the women was Lilla McMillan, who ran under 12 seconds in the 100-meters for the first time since high school and also won the 200-meters so she was a double winner today and that's' really significant for her," added Peterson. "She is an excellent sprinter who is in on a roll."
In the throws department, freshman Taylor Potts won the shot put event title with a throw of 13.59 meters (44-7), marking her first outdoor event title of her collegiate career. In the javelin, redshirt freshman Daliadiz Ortiz won the event title with a throw of 47.53 meters (155-11), while teammate Tiffany Kenney (32.84 meters or 107-9) set a new personal best with a fourth place finish. All-American pole vaulter Merritt Van Meter tried her hand in a new event, as she too competed in the javelin, placing fifth with a toss of 31.22 meters (102-5).
"Merritt is just a great all-around athlete," said Peterson. "She's been pole vaulting so intensely now for several years in a row. She used to throw the javelin and long jump in high school, and we actually had her entered in the long jump today too, but the events overlapped. I think (assistant) coach (Doug) Fraley wanted to get her away from the pole vault to freshen up her mind and body, and she went out and had a good time doing it."
Sophomore runners Jack White and Nicholas Meloro continued their torrid pace this season, as both won event titles in their respective events. White posted a personal best 8:45.76 in the 3,000 meters, ranking fourth in school history. Meloro bested his previous high in the 3,000 meter steeplechase with a first-place finish of 10:14.58.
"We had some good running on the track, including Jack White in the 3,000 meters," said Peterson. "He ran very well. I feel very good about the way our men's team is beginning to jell and generate come positive momentum as we enter the middle phase of the outdoor season."
Junior discus thrower Thomas Lynch earned the event title with a throw of 43.77 meters (143-7). Freshman shot putter Eldrick Washington continued to build on a solid rookie campaign, as he placed second in his event with a new personal best throw of 14.28 meters (46-10.25).
"Eldrick has improved throughout the season, and today was no exception," added Peterson.
With local teams like LSU, Nicholls State, UNO, Southeastern Louisiana, Southern, Xavier, Loyola and Dillard competing on the day, the meet was good not only for the Green Wave program, but for track and field in the state of Louisiana.
"This was not a great day for athletes who were competing in events that went around the track because of the pretty strong head winds at times on the home stretch," said Peterson. "All in all, today was a really good day for us and now we are looking forward to heading out to the West Coast and competing in the Stanford Invitational."
The Green Wave will return to action on April 4 and 5 on the West Coast as they compete in the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif.
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 Tulane Team Challenge
Women's 100m Dash
1. Lilla McMillan, 11.71 * $ (3.6 wind)
Women's 200m Dash
1. Lilla McMillan, 24.50 $ (-2.7 wind)
7. Hilary Woods, 25.73 $ (-2.7 wind)
Women's 400m Dash
1. Hilary Woods, 56.97
Women's 800m Run
2. Jessica Adamson, 2:13.64
3. Michelle Kreutzberg, 2:15.88
9. Allison Wegner, 2:29.39 *
10. Amanda Savage, 2:30.74
Women's 1,500m Run
6. Sara Kebede, 4:47.04
Women's 3,000m Run
2. Katharine Smiley, 10:53.43 *
Women's 100m Hurdles
2. Tamika Brazzel, 14.31 * & $ (2.0 wind)
5. Dominique Hever, 14.95 * $ (2.0 wind)
Women's 400m Hurdles
3. Dominique Hever, 1:08.74
4. Madison Smith, 1:09.30 *
Women's High Jump
3. Melanie Mainor, 1.58m (5-2.25)
6. Azarri Badawi, 1.43m (4-8.25) *
Women's Pole Vault
3. Jessica Knierim, 3.81m (12-6) *
4. Mary Carson Pitts, 3.66m (12-0)
6. Emma Staisloff, 3.66m (12-0)
8. Joanna Lapucha, 3.51m (11-6.25)
11. Haley Miller, 3.36m (11-0.25) *
13. Jill Doyle, 3.21m (10-6.25)
Women's Long Jump
1. Tamika Brazzel, 5.72m (10-6.25) $ (5.1 wind)
--Taylor Caulk, Foul
Women's Triple Jump
1. Estefany Cruz, 12.69m (41-7.75) $ (3.1 wind)
2. Briana Santiago, 12.02m (39-5.25) $ (2.7 wind)
4. Taylor Caulk, 11.12m (36-5.75) * $ (2.4 wind)
Women's Shot Put
1. Taylor Potts, 13.59m (44-7)
5. Tiffany Kenney, 10.07m (33-0.5)
Women's Discus Throw
2. Cheyenne Swanson, 37.69m (123-8)
Women's Hammer Throw
6. Cheyenne Swanson, 34.83m (114-3)
1. Daliadiz Ortiz, 47.53m (155-11)
4. Tiffany Kenney, 32.84m (107-9) *
5. Merritt Van Meter, 31.22m (102-5) *
6. Dana Ohlson, 28.38m (93-1) *
Men's 100m Dash
1. Sherman Badie, 10.72 * $ (2.1 wind)
2. Richard Allen, 10.73 * $ (2.1 wind)
Men's 200m Dash
7. Christopher Arechiga, 22.67 $ (-1.6 wind)
Men's 400m Dash
7. John Mouton, 51.08
Men's 800m Run
4. Kade Kistner, 1:59.98
5. Jonathan Heil, 1:58.38
Men's 3,000m Run
1. Jack White, 8:45.76 *
9. Nicholas Meloro, 9:31.65
15. Geoff Zelek, 9:49.06
Men's 400m Hurdles
5. Justyn Shackleford, 57.16
Men's 3,000m Steeplechase
1. Nicholas Meloro, 10:14.58 *
Men's 4 x 100m Relay
1. Badie,Allen,Arechiga,Nixon, 41.14
Men's 4 x 400m Relay
2. Shackleford,Mouton,Heil,Arechiga, 3:17.90
Men's Long Jump
--Devon Breaux, Foul
Men's Pole Vault
2. Caleb Bertrand, 4.73m (15-6.25)
Men's Shot Put
2. Eldrick Washington, 14.28m (46-10.25) *
Men's Discus Throw
1. Thomas Lynch, 43.77m (143-7)