Sophomore Merritt Van Meter (right) won the first women's Conference USA pole vault title, while junior Joanna Lapucha (left) placed second at the C-USA Outdoor Championships
May 11, 2013
HOUSTON - Tulane's track and field team posted big results during day three of the Conference USA Outdoor Championships thanks in part to pole vaulters Merritt Van Meter and Joanna Lapucha and freshman Devon Breaux - who placed in the top three in two events - to put their respective teams in high positions heading into the final day of the competition.
Three women scored for the Greenies on the day and three men scored points in four different events, including Breaux's performances in the high jump and long jump. The women's squad is currently tied for fifth with 21 points and the men's team sits in sixth place with 28 total points.
"We feel like our kids are coming into the championship meet and performing at the level they are capable of, if not improving a bit," said Tulane director of track and field Eric Peterson. "I'm really most proud of that, walking away from the meet today."
Van Meter won the individual event title in the pole vault with a jump of 4.02 meters (13' 2.25") and Lapucha notched a 3.92 meter (12' 10.25") height - a new personal best - for a second place finish. The two alone scored 18 of the team's 21 points on the evening. Lapucha's mark is the second best in school history, and Van Meter becomes the first women pole vaulter in Tulane history to win a Conference USA Championship in the pole vault.
"Merritt had to work to win that title today," added Peterson. "She had some trouble on her early bars. She did not get off to a good start, and her technique was off. But, to see her work through each new height, and really grind, is the mark of a champion. When you can come in and win and not have your best stuff is the mark of a champion. Joanna's performance was one of the top individual efforts on the day, too."
The men's team can be thankful for freshman Devon Breaux, who had an outstanding day in two events. The football star who joined the track and field team midway through the outdoor season placed second in the long jump by leaping a personal best 7.55 meters (24' 9.25") for second place. Shortly after that event, the Donaldsonville, La., native finished in third place in the high jump by clearing 2.04 meters (6' 8.25"). His two performances totaled 14 points for the men's squad.
"Devon came out here, and he was a kid who had not yet qualified for regionals," said Peterson. "I'm positive that what he did today will get him there."
There were other solid performances on the day that scored points for both teams. Freshman Tamika Brazzel placed sixth on the evening in the long jump when she leapt 5.91 meters (19' 4.75"), good for three team points.
On the men's side, senior Brian Lozes notched a new personal best in the 3,000 meter steeplechase as he finished in 9:27.85. His performance on the day placed him in fifth. Sophomore Thomas Lynch came in third place in the discus, recording a toss of 48.91 meters (160' 5"). Senior Max Yanker ended his Conference USA career with a fifth place high jump of 1.94 meters (6' 4.25"). The trio earned 14 points for the squad.
"Brian Lozes just picked up the 3,000 meter steeplechase this year," said Peterson. "He has come all the way down from 9:55.00 to 9:27.00 now, and that is really good. Max had a great day too. I'm so happy for both of those kids, after all of the hard work they have put in over the year. It's so gratifying to see seniors go out on a high note like Brian and Max."
On top of the athletes who scored points for the Green Wave, two notched performances that will advance them to the finals in their respective events. Senior Tiffanie Smith and sophomore Justyn Shackleford will both advance to the finals in the 400 meter hurdles tomorrow. Smith, who placed seventh in the preliminaries, ran the event in 1:00.98 this evening. Shackleford placed fifth with a time of 54.86.
"I'm just excited," added Peterson. "Today was just an excellent day of competition for our men and women. We are excited to go into the final day."
Tomorrow's action will begin at 5pm CT, and the Green Wave will look to score points in the women's triple jump, the men's and women's 400 meter hurdles and the relays.
Live results can be followed by clicking on a link on the track and field schedule page on TulaneGreenWave.com.
You can follow the Tulane track and field programs on Twitter (@GreenWaveXCTF) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TulaneXCTF.
TULANE RESULTS FOR CONFERENCE USA OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
200 Meter Dash
16. Lilla McMillan, 24.54 ^
400 Meter Dash
14. Hilary Woods, 57.04 ^
21. Kayla Quincy, 58.27 ^
18. Adiyah Crute, 14.79 ^
7. Tiffanie Smith, 1:00.98 ^
14. Jessica Adamson, 1:04.38 ^
DNS Candice St. Etienne
3,000 Meter Steeplechase
12. Mikayla Sonneborn, 11:24.72
6. Tamika Brazzel, 5.91m (19' 4.75")
24. Tiffany Kenney, 4.88m (16' 0.25")
1. Merritt Van Meter, 4.02m (13' 2.25")
2. Joanna Lapucha, 3.92m (12' 10.25") (PR)
9. Jessica Knierim, 3.57m (11' 8.5")
18. Cheyenne Swanson, 37.00m (121' 5")
^ = Prelim Time
Women Team Rankings - Seven Events Scored
1. UCF, 39
2. SMU, 37
3. Rice, 33
4. Memphis, 23.50
t-5. UTEP, 21
t-5. Tulane, 21
7. Houston, 20
8. East Carolina, 18.50
9. Southern Miss, 18
10. Marshall, 17
11. Tulsa, 13
12. UAB, 12
100 Meter Dash
11. Albert Williams, 10.81 ^ (PR)
14. Xavier Rush, 11.06 ^
800 Meter Dash
13. Adam Yohanan, 1:55.99 ^
400 Meter Dash
9. Jon Frano, 48.36 ^
16. Christopher Arechiga, 49.57 ^
17. John Mouton, 49.81 ^
20. Jonathan Heil, 51.65 ^
21. Peter Haskins, 52.80 ^
400 Meter Hurdles
5. Justyn Shackleford, 54.86 ^
3,000 Meter Steeplechase
5. Brian Lozes, 9:27.85 (PR)
11. Mark Manion, 9:55.46
2. Devon Breaux, 7.55m (24' 9.25") (PR)
3. Devon Breaux, 2.04m (6' 8.25") (t-PR)
5. Max Yanker, 1.94m (6' 4.25")
3. Thomas Lynch, 48.91m (160' 5")
^ = Prelim Time
Men Team Rankings - Seven Events Scored
1. Tulsa, 59
2. Memphis, 48
3. UTEP, 46.50
4. Houston, 40.50
5. Rice, 36
6. Tulane, 28
7. Southern Miss, 8
8. East Carolina 7