May 18, 2014
HOUSTON - Tulane redshirt freshman Daliadiz Ortiz continued her record-setting rookie season by winning the Gold Medal in the javelin at the Conference USA Outdoor Championships in Houston at Rice University's Holloway Field & Ley Track.
Ortiz recorded a mark of 48.79 meters (160-1) to win her fifth event title of the season, this one coming on the biggest stage so far. The toss was by far the furthest throw of the day, as Ortiz' closest competitor was over five meters short. The native of Puerto Rico joined Ana Ruzevic, Helmi Leppanen, Catherine Betz and Nicole Wojcik as Tulane Gold Medalists in the javelin. Ortiz' title gives Tulane a Gold Medalist in the last four-straight Conference USA Outdoor seasons.
"We had a high expectation that Dali was going to come in here and dominate the event," stated Tulane track and field director Eric Peterson. "She had earned that right by leading the conference by such a big margin during the regular season. Something was really going to have to go wrong for her not to win. Her technique is improving, and she had a much better series of throws than in the last few weeks. I think it's a great way for her to build into the NCAA East Regional Championship."
Ortiz was not the only medalist for the Green Wave on the day. In the pole vault, senior Joanna Lapucha wrapped up her Conference USA career with a bang, as she notched a new personal best to win the Bronze Medal on the day. The Lafayette, La., native leapt 3.98 meters (13-0.75) to place third. Lapucha earned the Silver Medal during her junior outdoor campaign, while also tying for the Silver Medal during her sophomore outdoor season.
Lapucha was joined in the points column in the pole vault by freshman Emma Staisloff and junior Jessica Knierim. Staisloff, like Lapucha, had a career-best jump on Sunday, as she cleared 3.83 meters (12-6.75) for fifth place. Knerim placed sixth with a jump of 3.68 meters (12-0.75).
Sophomore triple jumper Tamika Brazzel also had a big day for both the team and herself. She placed fifth in the triple jump with a new personal-best leap of 12.72 meters (41-8.75) to score four points for the team. In addition to that, her leap should qualify her for the NCAA East Regionals, as it would rank in the top-30 in the east based on marks prior to today.
"Tamika was awesome today, as she jumped better than she ever has in the triple jump," stated Peterson. "She jumped the furthest on her first attempt, and that really set the tone."
In addition to Brazzel, redshirt junior Estefany Cruz also scored for the team in the triple jump with an eighth-place jump of 12.34 meters (40-6).
On the track, sophomores Lilla McMillan and Jessica Adamson - both of whom qualified for the finals in their respective events on Saturday - both placed fourth to score a total of 10 points for the Green Wave. McMillan had to run into a headwind in the 200 meters, but still managed to post a new personal-best time of 24.05. The time ranks eighth in Tulane school history. Adamson, who competed in the 800 meter run, with a time of 2:10.85.
"Both Lilla and Jessica ran better today than they did during the qualifying," said Peterson. "Jess Adamson is one of the most improved athletes on this entire team. She picked up this event and committed herself this year to be a good 800 meter runner. She has come a long way in the last eight months, and I'm proud of her for that. Lilla was so disappointed yesterday that she did not qualify for the final in the 400 meters. But she came back today and finished fourth in the 200 meters, which is just great. Her spirits have been lifted by running well today."
A quartet of senior Hilary Woods, McMillan, junior Michelle Kreutzberg and Adamson ran in the 4 x 400 meter relay in that order. The group placed sixth with a time of 3:43.48. The Green Wave have only competed in the event one other time this season, and the time set by the group on Sunday marked the fastest time by a 4 x 400 meter relay team since the 2010 season.
"This was a strong run by these four women to compete that hard and that well at the end of the meet in the slow heat, coming out in sixth place overall," added Peterson.
In addition to Ortiz in the throws department, freshman shot putter Taylor Potts scored two points for the team with a seventh-place toss of 14.18 meters (46-6.25).
For their efforts, the women's team placed ninth with a weekend total of 45 points.
Sunday marked the end of the season for some of the Tulane track and field athletes. However, a handful will continue their year at the NCAA East Regionals from May 29-31 in Jacksonville, Fla. While a complete list of athletes who will continue their season will not be known for a few days, the Green Wave coaching staff is looking forward to having a Tulane record-setting crew of competitors.
Fans can follow the Tulane track and field programs on Twitter (@GreenWaveXCTF) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TulaneXCTF.
Tulane Results for Day Four of the Conference USA Outdoor Championships
Women's 200 Meter
4. Lilla McMillan, 24.05 (-1.6 wind) *
Women's 800 Meter
4. Jessica Adamson, 2:10.85
Women's 4 x 400 Meter Relay
6. Woods, McMillan, Kreutzberg, Adamson, 3:43.48
Women's Triple Jump
5. Tamika Brazzel, 12.72m (41-8.75) *
8. Estefany Cruz, 12.34m (40-6)
13. Briana Santiago, 11.76m (38-7)
Women's Pole Vault
3. Joanna Lapucha, 3.98m (13-0.75) *
5. Emma Staisloff, 3.83m (12-6.75) *
6. Jessica Knierim, 3.68m (12-0.75)
9. Mary Carson Pitts, 3.53m (11-7)
14. Haley Miller, 3.23m (10-7)
Women's Shot Put
7. Taylor Potts, 14.18m (46-6.25)
1. Daliadiz Ortiz, 48.79m (160-1)
Men's 1,500 Meters
12. Jack White, 4:01.68
Men's 4 x 100 Meter Relay
8. Badie, Allen, Nixon, Breaux, 41.14
Men's 4 x 400 Meter Relay
11. Arechiga, Shackleford, Mouton, Allen, 3:19.20
Men's Shot Put
14. Eldrick Washington, 14.27m (46-10)
Women's Final Team Scores
1. East Carolina, 140 points
2. UTEP, 88
3. Rice, 74
4. FIU, 66.5
t-5. Tulsa, 60
t-5. Louisiana Tech, 60
7. UTSA, 56
8. UAB, 46
9. Tulane, 45
10. Middle Tennessee, 44.5
11. Charlotte, 43
12. North Texas, 35
13. Marshall, 28
14. Florida Atlantic, 18
15. Southern Miss, 12
Men's Final Team Scores
1. UTSA, 172 points
2. UTEP, 136
3. East Carolina, 124
4. Louisiana Tech, 68
5. Tulsa, 62
6. Charlotte, 60
7. North Texas, 52
8. Middle Tennessee, 49
9. Rice, 47
10. Southern Miss, 30
11. FIU, 14
12. Tulane, 4