Freshman pole vaulter Mary Carson Pitts won the event title at the Stanford Invitational on Saturday
April 5, 2014
STANFORD, Calif. - Just one night after some Tulane track and field underclassmen stole the show at the Stanford Invitational at Cobb Track and Angell Field in Stanford, Calif., the youth contingent for the Green Wave continued to perform at a high level, as true freshman Mary Carson Pitts won the pole vaulting event title with the second-best jump in school history.
Pitts vaulted 3.97 meters (13-0.25) to pace nearly 20 vaulters in the collegiate portion of the event on Saturday. The Memphis, Tenn., native notched a new personal best on the night, topping her previous high of 3.87 meters (12-8.25) from the Alabama Relays earlier this year. Her jump on Friday also moves her into second place in school history ahead of teammate Joanna Lapucha, who competed in yesterday's prestigious invitational portion of the pole vault.
"Mary Carson cleared 13 feet for the first time in her life on Saturday," said Tulane track and field director Eric Peterson. "For Mary Carson, as a true freshman, to win this meet after traveling across the whole country and having to patiently wait for the final field event on the schedule yet continue to progress is just a testament to way she is growing as a young athlete. For her to win and set a new personal record is not something that happens every day. We are really proud of her."
In addition to Pitts, junior Jessica Knierim set a new career high in the pole vault, as she leapt one centimeter higher than her previous best with a third-place leap of 3.82 meters (12-6.25) on Saturday.
Sophomore Lilla McMillan posted a season high in the 200 meter dash, as she posted a ninth-place finish in the 200 meter dash. McMillan ran the event in 24.25, just about two tenths of a second off her personal best. The Mill Valley, Calif., native's previous season-high was a run of 24.29 at the Southern Miss Invitational on March 15. Teammate Hilary Woods also set a new season-high in the 200 meter dash, finishing in 25.44.
"Lilla's performance today was impressive since she ran into a headwind," stated Peterson. "Lilla had a good meet. She ran one of her best times ever in the 400 meters yesterday, and came back with a season high in the 200 today. This was a special weekend for her since this is the part of the country she grew up in. Her family was all here, so she had some extra motivation to do well, and it's nice to get a good result."
Sophomore Jessica Adamson returned to action on Saturday, one day after setting a personal best in the 800 meters at the San Francisco Distance Carnival. On Friday, the Toronto native posted a 2:12.60 in the 800 meters in San Francisco. On Saturday, she followed that up with a time of 2:13.04, which would have been a personal-best if not for Friday's mark.
"What we tried to do with Jessica was to simulate the schedule that she will have at the Conference USA Championships," said Peterson. "I was happy that she was able to practically match her times from the Conference USA Indoor Championships (this weekend), but there is so much more there. She had the opportunity to win the race today, but lost it in the last few meters, similar to yesterday. That's something we have to work on, but we will fix that, and as a result, she'll be a better competitor."
In the triple jump, senior Briana Santiago came away with the fourth-best leap in the invitational portion of the event as she posted a distance of 12.33 meters (40-5.5). The mark stands as a new personal best for the Gulf Breeze, Fla., native, and her mark stands as the eighth-best leap in school history.
"Briana had a very good series of jumps, and I think she took advantage of the conditions today," added Peterson.
Late Friday night, junior Paige Callahan closed out the first day of the Stanford Invitational with the longest event of the weekend: the 10,000 meter run. Callahan posted the second-best time in school history in the event, completing the trek in 36:07.99.
"In a lot of ways, Paige is built for the 10,000 meters on the track," mentioned Peterson. "Her natural skill set and talent for being a good distance runner allows her to excel at this distance. It was the first time she has ever run the event on the track, but she managed her race strategy well, and she came away with a good starting point."
On Friday night, redshirt freshman javelin thrower Daliadiz Ortiz notched a new personal best while finishing second in the invitational portion of her event, while freshman shot putter Taylor Potts also achieved a new career high in the invitational shot put event. Coupled with the performances by Pitts, Adamson and McMillan on Saturday, the Green Wave track coaching staff has a lot to look forward to.
"We feel like we have some good leadership from our upperclassmen, but we also have some very capable sophomore and freshman athletes who are capable of carrying us competitively," added Peterson. "I think the future is bright here."
Next weekend, the Green Wave still stay closer to home as they will head to Mobile, Ala., for the South Alabama Invitational on April 11 and 12.
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Tulane Results for the Stanford Invitational
Women's 200 Meter Dash
9. Lilla McMillan, 24.25 (-1.0 wind)
30. Hilary Woods, 25.44
Women's 400 Meter Dash (from Friday night)
12. Lilla McMillan, 55.68
33. Hilary Woods, 58.14
Women's 800 Meter Run
47. Jessica Adamson, 2:13.04
Women's 10,000 Meter Run (from Friday night)
39. Paige Callahan, 36:07.99 *
Women's Triple Jump Invitational
4. Briana Santiago, 12.33m (40-5.5) (4.4 wind) *
7. Estefany Cruz, 11.85m (38-10.5) (-0.2 wind)
9. Tamika Brazzel, 11.71m (38-5) (-0.3 wind)
Women's Pole Vault
1. Mary Carson Pitts, 3.97m (13-0.25) *
3. Jessica Knierim, 3.82m (12-6.25) *
8. Emma Staisloff, 3.67m (12-0.5)
Men's 200 Meter Dash
30. Richard Allen, 22.31 *
Men's 4 x 100 Meter Relay
12. Tulane (Badie, Allen, Arechiga, Nixon), 42.36
*= Personal Best