Redshirt freshman Daliadiz Ortiz won the event title in the javelin on Saturday at the LSU Alumni Gold
April 19, 2014
BATON ROUGE, La. - For the second consecutive day, Tulane's track and field team posted strong results, as five event titles were won and many personal records broken at the LSU Alumni Gold meet in Baton Rouge, La., at the Bernie Moore Track Complex on Saturday.
Similar to Friday's competition at the Southeastern Louisiana Invitational in Hammond, La., the Green Wave had many first-place finishes and new top marks on the day. However, Saturday's marks came against much stiffer competition, as schools from the SEC, the Big 10, the Pac-12 and the Big 12 all took part in the events on the day. Tulane's Lilla McMillan, Sara Kebede, Joanna Lapucha, Briana Santiago and Daliadiz Ortiz all won event titles on the afternoon, while many others recorded new personal bests in addition to increasing their standings in the Conference USA ranks.
"I'm extremely pleased with the way our team has responded this weekend to the level of competition," said Tulane track and field director Eric Peterson. "When we get a chance to compete against some of the best programs in the nation, and our kids step up and respond to it in a very positive way, it's encouraging throughout our program. There is a lot of pride that we all feel coming away from this meet."
"What we are expecting from our kids at this time of the year are victories and significant levels of improvement in height, length or time, and we really got that today," added Peterson.
Ortiz added another event title to her resume', as the redshirt freshman placed first in the javelin with a toss of 48.65 meters (159-7). The event title was Ortiz' fourth on the year, and in her other three competitions, Ortiz has placed second.
"Dali came back today and won the competition on her sixth throw," said Peterson. "It wasn't her best mark ever, but she won the invitational portion of the competition, and that is a big achievement for her."
Lapucha notched a new personal record while tying the team's top mark on the season in the pole vault by leaping 3.97 meters (13-0.25). The senior from Lafayette, La., bested her previous top mark by five centimeters. Saturday's mark is tied for the second best in school history with freshman and fellow teammate Mary Carson Pitts' leap from Stanford Invitational earlier this season. A leap of 3.97 meters was good for the fourth-place mark in the league standings coming into the weekend.
"This is the single most significant victory of Joanna's career," said Peterson. "She jumped over 13 feet."
McMillan, a sophomore out of Mill Valley, Calif., notched a new personal best in the 400 meter dash with a time of 53.88. Not only did she win the event on the day, McMillan's time vaulted her to sixth place in the school record books. Senior Hilary Woods also set a new personal best in the event, placing tenth with a time of 56.47. McMillan's mark would come in third in the league should no other athletes improve in the ranks.
"Lilla had an enormous improvement in the 400 meters today," stated Peterson.
Kebede added her second event title in as many days in the 1,500 meter run, as she finished in 4:43.35 on Saturday. In Hammond on Friday, the San Clemente, Calif., native posted a personal best time of 4:41.29 in the same event.
In the collegiate portion of the triple jump, Santiago posted a first-place finish, leaping 12.25m (40-2.25). While the mark wasn't a season best for the Gulf Breeze, Fla., native, it was her second-best leap of all-time, coming in just under her jump from the Stanford Invitational earlier this season.
"Sara and Briana, along with our other event winners, beat everyone they competed against, and that is something significant," mentioned Peterson.
One day after running in the 800 meter race in Hammond, placing second and third with times of 2:16.12 and 2:18.22, respectively, Adamson and Kreutzberg notched new personal bests in the event in Baton Rouge. Adamson placed second in the race, finishing in a time of 2:11.30, while Kreutzberg's ninth-place finish came at a time of 2:13.64. Adamson's mark is just one one-hundredth of a second behind Rebecca Coady's time for tenth place in school history in the event. Adamson's time is also better than the Conference USA's leading mark heading into the weekend, while Kreutzberg's is good for the third best mark in the league before the weekend.
"Jessica ran a much better race, practically, than she has in the past," added Peterson. "Even though Michelle was in the slower heat of the two, she won that heat, and in the process, she set a new personal record."
The men's 4 x 100 meter relay team posted a new top time on the season, less than 24 hours after a quartet of Sherman Badie, Richard Allen, Christopher Arechiga and Devon Breaux posted a time of 41.02. Badie, Allen, junior Lorenzo Doss and Breaux combined forces to post a time of 40.92, the fourth-fastest time in Tulane history in the event. The time of 40.92 is good for the sixth-best time on the year.
"This was a brand new collection of athletes, as we added Lorenzo to the team, and they ran the best time on the season," said Peterson. "They are getting close to reaching their goal."
Freshman shot putter Eldrick Washington set a new high mark in his event, tossing the shot put 14.37 meters (47-1.75). Washington's toss remains the sixth best throw in Tulane history.
Sophomore Nicholas Meloro also shaved off nearly 20 seconds from his previous personal best in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. On Saturday, Meloro finished in 9:55.56.
"I'm just really pleased with our results today in a lot of different areas," stated Peterson. "It's very encouraging as we move towards the more intense of our schedule. This was a really good meet for us."
The Green Wave track and field team will not compete next weekend at a formal competition. Instead, they will lend their hand to the sixth annual Tulane Athletics 5K, to begin at 8am CT on Tulane's campus, while also training for their next meet, the Seminole Twilight in Tallahassee, Fla. in early May.
Fans can follow the Tulane track and field programs on Twitter (@GreenWaveXCTF) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TulaneXCTF.
Tulane Results for LSU Alumni Gold
Women's 400m Dash
1. Lilla McMillan, 53.88 *
10. Hilary Woods, 56.47 *
Women's 800m Run
2. Jessica Adamson, 2:11.30 *
9. Michelle Kreutzberg, 2:13.64 *
16. Amanda Savage, 2:27.24
18. Allison Wegner, 2:35.49
Women's 1,500m Run
1. Sara Kebede, 4:43.35
Women's 5,000m Run
5. Katharine Smiley, 18:43.46 *
Women's 100m High Hurdles
23. Dominique Hever, 15.42
Women's 400m Intermediate Hurdles
18. Madison Smith, 1:09.76
Women's Pole Vault
1. Joanna Lapucha, 3.97m (13-0.25) *
t-3. Jessica Knierim, 3.82m (12-6.25) *
7. Mary Carson Pitts, 3.62m (11-10.5)
8. Emma Staisloff, 3.62m (11-10.5)
Women's Triple Jump
1. Briana Santiago, 12.25m (40-2.25)
Women's Triple Jump Invitational
4. Estefany Cruz, 12.45m (40-10.25)
--Tamika Brazzel, Foul
Women's Shot Put
9. Taylor Potts, 13.74m (45-1)
Women's Discus Throw
14. Cheyenne Swanson, 35.66m (117-0)
1. Daliadiz Ortiz, 48.65m (159-7)
Men's 100m Dash
8. Richard Allen, 10.82
13. Sherman Badie, 10.91
24. Christopher Arechiga, 11.26
Men's 400m Dash
18. John Mouton, 49.41
Men's 800m Run
10. Kade Kistner, 1:55.50
Men's 1,500m Run
7. Jack White, 3:57.50
Men's 5,000m Run
15. Geoff Zelek, 16:35.93
Men's 400m Intermediate Hurdles
8. Justyn Shackleford, 56.14
Men's 3,000m Steeplechase
5. Nicholas Meloro, 9:55.56 *
Men's 4 x 100m Relay
9. Tulane (Badie, Allen, Doss, Nixon), 40.92
Men's Pole Vault
--Caleb Bertrand, NH
Men's Shot Put
18. Eldrick Washington, 14.37m (47-1.75) *
Men's Discus Throw
13. Thomas Lynch, 46.24m (151-8)