Freshman Mikayla Sonneborn notched a new personal best in the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the Samford Invitational
April 28, 2013
MOBILE, Ala. - Lightning storms delayed the Samford Invitational in Mobile, Ala., for over an hour on Saturday evening, but it didn't stop the Tulane track and field team from putting up stellar performances before and after the break in action, as freshman Tamika Brazzel won two event titles while the women's 4 x 400 meter relay squad put together a first place finish.
After starting a little behind schedule from the start, lightning could be viewed from the Samford Track and Soccer Complex, causing a delay of about an hour before teams were let back into the facility. After being allowed a 20 minute warm up period, the teams competed until the meet ended close to midnight.
Brazzel, who was competing in the long jump and triple jump on the same day for the first time during the outdoor season, proved that two events would not be too much for her, as she notched a 5.78 meter (18' 11.75") long jump and a 12.11 meter (39' 8.75") triple jump. Her triple jump mark was only five one-hundredths of a meter off her outdoor season best that she set at the South Alabama Invitational just two weeks ago.
The quartet of freshmen Lilla McMillan and Kayla Quincy and seniors Tiffanie Smith and Jamie Riles notched a first place finish in the 4 x 400 meter relay with a time of 3:47.99. Their teammates - seniors Candice St. Etienne and Jerica Banks, junior Hilary Woods and freshman Jessica Adamson - were right on their heels as they finished third in the event with a time of 3:54.27.
"To see Tamika win both the long jump and the triple jump competitions, even though the marks were not personal bests for her, winning both events demonstrates that she is consistently getting better, competition-wise," said Tulane track and field director Eric Peterson. "To have both of the women's 4 x 400 meter relay teams come out and finish strong after the delay in the weather was encouraging. I was happy with the way the team was able to, really, reengage in the meet after the delay to finish the meet off pretty strong."
On top of the performances from Brazzel and the pair of relay teams, a plethora of men and women who donned Green Wave colors put up solid numbers as they competed one last time before the Conference USA Outdoor Championships.
The women's 4 x 100 meter relay team comprised of McMillan, Smith, Riles and Banks placed fourth on the day with a time of 46.26. That mark was a new season best - by a whole second - in the event for the Greenies.
"The 4 x 100 meter relay team improved a little bit, which is significant for us," added Peterson. "We are still trying to find the right pieces and put them in the right before we finalize our preparation for the Conference USA Championships."
The few distance runners that the Green Wave had competed this weekend all set new personal records in their respective events. Senior Brian Lozes (9:39.95) and sophomore Mark Manion (9:50.43) crushed their previous personal bests in the 3,000 meter steeplechase as they finished third and fifth, respectively in the competition. Freshman Mikayla Sonneborn notched an 11:17.33 in the women's portion of the event, shaving nearly thirty seconds off her personal best. Freshman Adam Yohanan ran a 1:54.51 in the 800 meter run and sophomore Geoffery Zelek ran a 9:27.42 in the 3,000 meter run - both new personal bests.
"I was really impressed with the way the distance running group competed at this meet," stated Peterson. "Every one of them ran personal bests. Adam Yohanan bested his time by over a second in the 800 meters. Brian Lozes and Mikayla Sonneborn competed very well and posted new personal marks in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. Mark Manion competed well too, but he didn't finish the race as best as he could. But, Mark is really looking like he is due for a big breakthrough soon."
Not to be outdone by their distance runner teammates, senior sprinters Jon Frano and Albert Williams also put together new top times on the day. Frano ran his first-career sub-48 second time in the 400 meter dash with a time of 47.86. Williams - who competed in the 100 meter dash - ran a 10.88 just one week after he ran his first-career sub-11 second 100 meter dash at the Southeastern Louisiana Lion Invitational.
"Jon Frano broke 48 seconds for the first time in his career, and he has been knocking at the door of that for over a month now," said Peterson. "Fortunately, he was able to get that run in before the weather delay. I was also pleased with Albert Williams 100 meter run, as he broke 11 seconds. He's improved steadily all season."
As always, the outstanding trio of women's pole vaulters for Tulane, as well as men's discus thrower Thomas Lynch, had solid days. Sophomore Merritt Van Meter placed second in the pole vault when she cleared 3.95 meters (12' 11.5"), followed by sophomore Jessica Knierim's 3.89 meter (12' 5.5") leap and junior Joanna Lapucha's 3.65 meter (11' 11.75") vault. Lynch - who holds the second best throw in the discus in Conference USA this year - tossed his fifth 50-plus meter throw this weekend when he threw the discus 50.87 meters (166' 11").
However, the first place finishes on the day impress Peterson the most, as the squad will not compete next weekend in order to train and prepare for the C-USA Outdoor Championships to be held in Houston the following week.
"When we are looking at the scoreboard, it is so important to see us winning competitions towards the end of the season," said Peterson.
You can follow the Tulane track and field programs on Twitter (@GreenWaveXCTF) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TulaneXCTF.
TULANE ENTRIES FOR SAMFORD INVITATIONAL
Women's 200m Dash
3. Lilla McMillan, 24.40
13. Adiyah Crute, 25.33
Women's 400m Dash
7. Hilary Woods, 57.52
11. Jerica Banks, 58.53
14. Kayla Quincy, 59.45
17. Michelle Kreutzberg, 1:00.24
Women's 100m Hurdles
9. Adiyah Crute, 14.84 (PR)
11. Tiffany Kenney, 15.24 (PR)
Women's 400m Hurdles
4. Tiffanie Smith, 1:02.51
5. Jessica Adamson, 1:02.98
7. Candice St. Etienne, 1:04.13
Women's 3,000m Steeplechase
4. Mikayla Sonneborn, 11.17.33 (PR)
Women's 4 x 100m Relay
4. Tulane A (McMillan,Smith,Riles,Banks), 46.26
Women's 4 x 400m Relay
1. Tulane A (McMillan,Smith,Riles,Quincy), 3:47.99
3. Tulane B (St. Etienne,Banks,Woods,Adamson), 3:54.27
Women's High Jump
-Tiffany Kenney, NH
Women's Pole Vault
2. Merritt Van Meter, 3.95m (12' 11.5")
4. Jessica Knierim, 3.80m (12' 5.5")
8. Joanna Lapucha, 3.65m (11' 11.75")
Women's Long Jump
1. Tamika Brazzel, 5.78m (18' 11.75")
3. Tiffany Kenney, 5.52m (18' 1.5") (PR)
Women's Triple Jump
1. Tamika Brazzel, 12.11m (39' 8.75")
2. Briana Santiago, 11.62m (38' 1.5")
Women's Discus Throw
-Cheyenne Swanson, Foul
15. Tiffany Kenney, 28.29m (92' 10")
Men's 100m Dash
8. Albert Williams, 10.88 (PR)
14. Xavier Rush, 11.07
Men's 400m Dash
3. Jon Frano, 47.86 (PR)
16. John Mouton, 49.88
23. Jonathan Heil, 52.84
23. Peter Haskins, 52.84
Men's 800m Run
7. Adam Yohanan, 1:54.51 (PR)
Men's 3,000m Run
17. Geoffery Zelek, 9:27.42 (PR)
Men's 400m Hurdles
7. Justyn Shackleford, 55.07
Men's 3,000m Steeplechase
3. Brian Lozes, 9:39.95 (PR)
5. Mark Manion, 9:50.43 (PR)
Men's 4 x 100m Relay
4. Tulane A (Williams,Rush,Shackleford,Breaux), 42.90
Men's 4 x 400m Relay
3. Tulane A (Williams,Shackleford,Frano,Mouton), 3:20.67
6. Tulane B (Rush,Heil,Haskins,Yohanan), 3:29.94
Men's High Jump
8. Max Yanker, 1.95m (6' 4.75")
Men's Long Jump
6. Devon Breaux, 6.80m (22' 3.75")
5. Thomas Lynch, 50.87m (166' 11")