Jan. 9, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - Having competed in the BSC Panther Indoor Icebreaker back in December, the Tulane indoor track and field squad has technically already opened their season. However, with the calendar now reading 2014, the Green Wave will finally begin their campaign in the New Year by taking part in the UAB Blazer Indoor Invitational at the Birmingham CrossPlex on Friday and Saturday.
Meet information and live stats can be found on the Tulane track and field schedule page. Complete Tulane results will be available after each day on TulaneGreenWave.com.
"It's great to have everyone back from the holidays," said the director of Tulane track and field Eric Peterson. "We have had a good week of training leading up to this point in time. For our runners this weekend, we will have many athletes competing in events that they have little to no experience in, like the 300 meters and the 500 meters. We are going to compete in events that will be helpful for the development of our student-athletes. We want to come out of the holiday period and get everybody back into a competitive mindset as we get started with this indoor season."
Tulane saw many of their student-athletes find success at the Birmingham CrossPlex just last month at the BSC Icebreaker, with sophomore Lilla McMillan, senior Melanie Mainor and junior Merritt Van Meter winning event titles in the 200 meter dash, high jump and pole vault, respectively. McMillan's time of 24.31 and Van Meter's jump of 4.00 meters (13-1.5) were both meet records. All three will compete in the respective events this weekend.
In addition to the aforementioned student-athletes who found success at the same venue in which the team will compete this weekend, freshman Taylor Potts (shot put), sophomore Jessica Adamson (800 meter run), sophomore Tamika Brazzel (long jump and triple jump), senior Briana Santiago (triple jump), freshman Mary Carson Pitts (pole vault), junior Jessica Knierim (pole vault), senior Joanna Lapucha (pole vault) and freshman Emma Staisloff (pole vault) all posted top ten finishes at the BSC Icebreaker.
"This meet will have a much stronger field of competition compared to the Icebreaker last month," added Peterson. "There are a couple of strong Southeastern Conference programs that will be at the meet. Overall, it's just going to be a much bigger meet, in terms of sheer numbers. The quality and depth of every field is a pretty significant improvement from the meet we competed in a month ago."
Adamson placed second in the 800 meter run last month with a personal best time of 2:15.51, and did so with a little wrinkle in the race. After only 30 meters of the race, Adamson lost one of her shoes, but continued on to post the best run of her career in the event.
Santiago placed third in the triple jump in December with a leap of 11.76 meters (38-7). She was followed by Brazzel, who picked up right where she left off after a solid freshman campaign for the Green Wave in 2013. She notched fourth place finishes in both the long jump and triple jump, with leaps of 5.65 meters (18-6.5) and 11.69 meters (38-4.25), respectively.
Joining Santiago and Brazzel in the triple jump will be redshirt junior Estefany Cruz, who will be making her 2014 season debut. An NCAA Indoor Championship qualifier in 2012 in the triple jump, Cruz will look to recapture the leaping ability that put her on the national level just two seasons ago.
"It's great to have Estefany back," mentioned Peterson. "She is a national-level triple jumper who has unfortunately suffered a minor injury in the fall. She is back healthy now, and so for her to start the season off at this point in time is a positive sign for her and our program. She is excited about this meet. I believe there are some fellow Guatemalans in the triple jump this weekend, and that will give her some extra motivation to perform well."
Potts burst onto the scene last month with a shot put toss of 12.48 meters (40-11.5), a throw that ranks fourth in Tulane history. The Fishers, Ind., native will be joined by Tiffany Kenney in the shot put. Kenney will also compete in the high jump and long jump, allowing her to prepare for pentathlons that she will surely compete in later this season.
In addition to Van Meter's event title in December, the Green Wave had a stronghold in the pole vaulting portion of the competition at the BSC Panther Icebreaker. Pitts, who was making her collegiate debut, tied for third with Knierim and Lapucha with a leap of 3.55 meters (11-7.75), while fellow freshman Emma Staisloff placed sixth with a jump of 3.40 meters (11-1.75). The five pole vaulters that will compete for the Green Wave over the weekend hold five of the top seven spots in indoor school history.
Freshman Sara Kebede will make her track and field collegiate debut, as she is set to take part in the 1,000 meter run and the one mile. She will be joined in both by sophomore Mikayla Sonneborn, who will be making her 2014 season debut.
Fans can follow the Tulane track and field programs on Twitter (@GreenWaveXCTF) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TulaneXCTF.
Women's 200m Dash
Women's 300m Dash
Women's 400m Dash
Women's 500m Dash
Women's 800m Run
Women's 1,000m Run
Women's 4,000m Distance Medley
Adamson, Kebede, Kreutzberg, Sonneborn
Women's High Jump
Women's Pole Vault
Mary Carson Pitts
Merritt Van Meter
Women's Long Jump
Women's Triple Jump
Women's Shot Put
Women's Weight Throw