T&F's Ortiz and Potts Lead the Way at Stanford Invitational

TULANEGREENWAVE.COM Redshirt freshman Daliadiz Ortiz is continuing her outstanding season, notching a new personal best at the Stanford Invitational
Redshirt freshman Daliadiz Ortiz is continuing her outstanding season, notching a new personal best at the Stanford Invitational

April 4, 2014

STANFORD, Calif. - Two Tulane freshman track and field throwers in Daliadiz Ortiz and Taylor Potts posted new personal bests against some of the nation's top competition at the Stanford Invitational on Friday evening at Cobb Track and Angell Field, highlighting a day of solid outings by some of the Green Wave's top competitors in that competition as well as the San Francisco State Distance Carnival.

Ortiz and Potts who competed in the invitational portions of their events stepped up to the challenge on Friday, improving their marks that already stood within Conference USA's best coming into the meet. Ortiz notched a second-place finish in the javelin with a toss of 49.28 meters (161-08) that doubles as the fifth-best throw in Tulane school history. The native of Puerto Rico bounced back after tossing the shortest throw of her collegiate career at the Tulane Team Challenge last weekend.

"Dali had a significant level of improvement today," said Tulane track and field director Eric Peterson. "This is a redshirt freshman who suffered a very significant injury last year, and she has recovered so nicely to the surgery and from the extensive rehab. Today, for the first time, I saw things beginning to click for her, positively. Dali came away from this event today feeling more optimistic and more confident than I have seen her since she has been with us at Tulane."

Potts also notched a new career high, as she posted a 13.76 meter (45-1.75) throw, good for five centimeters longer than her previous best. The Fishers, Ind., native placed eighth in the shot put invitational on Friday.

"From a true freshman, I'm not sure I could want anything more," mentioned Peterson. "She's been so consistent the last few months. Under very adverse weather conditions today, she was able to throw as well as she did at a major-level competition. It is a very good sign for her, her development and her maturity."



A few of the men had eye-catching performances, too. Sophomore Devon Breaux and junior Taurean Nixon - two all-around athletes who also play football for the Green Wave - came out on top in their competitions on the day.

Nixon competed in the 100 meter dash, and made the finals out of nearly 40 participants despite adverse weather conditions, as he placed eighth in the preliminary round with a time of 10.80. In the final portion of the event, he also placed eighth, running just three tenths of a second slower than his prelim time. Nixon's performance in the 100 meter dash marked the first time he competed in an individual event during his tenure with the Tulane track and field program.

"The wind was so unpredictable today," said Peterson. "One section would be wind-aided, and the next race would be into a head-wind. That's how quickly it would change. It was cold and damp, and with the wind being unpredictable, Taurean's time is far more than what the time suggests. He made the final and almost duplicated his qualifying time. For a sprinter who isn't doing this full time, I'm really excited about that. I'm looking forward to what he will be able to do with the 4 x 100 meter relay on Saturday."

Breaux competed in the invitational section of the long jump, posting a leap of 7.27 meters (23-10.25) to place fourth. Last weekend, Breaux fouled in the long jump during his season debut, but is coming off one of the top seasons by a men's track and field athlete from Tulane. Breaux was named the 2013 Top Freshman during the Conference USA Outdoor Championships after placing in the top three in both the long jump and triple jump. He even qualified for the NCAA Regionals, marking the first time a Tulane men's track and field athlete competed at the NCAA Regional level.

"Devon had a very good series of jumps today, and he did a much better job of being relaxed on the runway," stated Peterson. "He was very in-control of his emotions. He posted a mark and competed at a level that is far ahead of where he was this time last year when we were at this meet. For him to show poise and maturity and be able to apply that to his jumping is exciting for all of us."

In the same part of the country, five Tulane mid-distance runners competed at the San Francisco State Distance Carnival, and all posted solid results. In the 800 meters, sophomore Jessica Adamson and freshman Sara Kebede placed fourth and eighth overall, respectively, with new top marks of 2:12.60 and 2:14.49. Junior Michelle Kreutzberg was not far behind in the event, as she placed 17th with a time of 2:17.36. Kebede won her heat in the event.

In the 1,500 meters, freshman Kade Kistner won his heat with a time of 4:01.52 - a new personal best - while sophomore Jack White placed 20th overall with a time of 3:54.73, just three one-hundredths of a second off his top time in the event during his career.

"For those kids to go out and perform at the levels they did makes this experience very worthwhile," added Peterson. "Jack was just a few hundredths of a second off his top time, and Kade and Sara won their heats. Jess was in the lead in the top section of that event until the final 30 meters. I know all of these kids came away from this meet feeling good about themselves, and that will help us generate some positive momentum."

As a whole, Peterson was impressed with his student-athlete's performances on the day.

"We are seeing the kind of improvement we are hoping for and expecting from the team," said Peterson. "We've made some significant steps, and it makes me feel good about how we've started this meet off."

Due to the late start time in the 10,000 meter run at the Stanford Invitational, junior Paige Callahan's results will be reported on during Saturday's wrap up.

On Saturday, the Green Wave will return to Cobb Track and Angell Field on Stanford's campus to compete in the 200 meter dash, the 400 meter dash, the 800 meter run, the pole vault, the women's triple jump invitational and the men's 4 x 100 meter relay.

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

Tulane Results for the Stanford Invitational

Women's Long Jump Invitational
t-6. Tamika Brazzel, 5.57m (18-3.25)

Women's Pole Vault Invitational
t-6. Joanna Lapucha, 3.67m (12-0.5)

Women's Javelin Throw Invitational
2. Daliadiz Ortiz, 49.28m (161-08) *

Women's Shot Put Invitational
8. Taylor Potts, 13.76m (45-1.75) *


Men's 100 Meter Dash
8. Taurean Nixon, 10.80 ^
29. Richard Allen, 11.21 ^

Men's 100 Meter Dash Final
8. Taurean Nixon, 10.83

Men's 400 Meter Hurdles
31. Justyn Shackleford, 56.85

Men's Long Jump Invitational
4. Devon Breaux, 7.27m (23-10.25)

Men's Pole Vault Invitational
--Caleb Bertrand, NH

Men's Discus Throw
5. Thomas Lynch, 48.44m (158-11)

Tulane Results for the San Francisco State Distance Carnival


Women's 800 Meter Run
4. Jessica Adamson, 2:12.60 *
8. Sara Kebede, 2:14.49 *
19. Michelle Kreutzberg, 2:17.36


Men's 1,500 Meter Run
20. Jack White, 3:54.73
44. Kade Kistner, 4:01.52 *

^ = Prelim Time
*= Personal Best