Feb. 6, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - With less than one month to go before the Conference USA Championships, the Tulane Green Wave track and field team will rev up their engines and head east to compete in the Samford Multis and Invitational on Friday and Saturday at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Ala.
Post meet results will be available at TulaneGreenWave.com.
Tulane will have an opportunity to get a look at a bevy athletes in events in which they have not competed yet this season, in addition to seeing their first pentathlon athlete of the season compete in junior Tiffany Kenney.
"This competition is going to give our team an opportunity to compete more as a complete team," stated the director of Tulane track and field, Eric Peterson. "We are getting near the size of the team that we are going to take to the Conference USA Championships at the end of the month. The CrossPlex is a great venue, and we know that it always attracts strong teams to every meet they have on the schedule. We are excited to go challenge ourselves."
The Green Wave were forced to take last weekend off after originally planning to compete in the Southern Miss Invitational at the CrossPlex. A nasty winter storm blew through the greater New Orleans area, causing the cancellation of school for two days while also disrupting the practice schedule of the track and field program.
Of the three meets that the Green Wave have competed in during the 2014 calendar year, the team has had a week off from competition in between each meet. The schedule from here on out through the remainder of the indoor season has meets every weekend for the Green Wave, meaning Friday and Saturday's competition is the start of the final stretch leading up to the Conference USA Championships and the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Sophomore Lilla McMillan leads a pack of runners who will compete in everything from sprints to long distance runs. McMillan currently owns the top 200 meter dash mark in Conference USA, as she posted a time of 24.31 at the BSC Panther Indoor Icebreaker back in December. She - along with senior Hilary Woods - will take part in the event in Birmingham.
Sophomore Jessica Adamson will take part in the 800 meter run, of which she currently ranks 10th in the league with a time of 2:15.31 from the UAB Blazer Indoor Invitational. She has posted back-to-back personal bests in the event, having run two-tenths of a second slower at the BSC Icebreaker in December. Adamson will be joined by freshman Sara Kebede - who will make her collegiate debut in the event - and junior Michelle Kreutzberg.
"I'm really excited about getting our middle distance runners back out into competition, particularly Jessica Adamson," mentioned Peterson. "I think she is ready to make a breakthrough in the 800 meters. She has been training well, and I think her confidence has been growing."
Tulane hasn't participated in many long distance events yet this season, but the weekend will be different, as sophomore Mikayla Sonneborn will compete in the one mile, while freshman Katharine Smiley will make her Tulane track and field debut when she competes in the 5,000 meter run. Sonneborn has competed only once in the one mile this year, notching a time of 5:21.39 in early December. Smiley is coming off an outstanding freshman cross country season in which she was named the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Co-Freshman of the Year for the state of Louisiana.
"We want to give Katharine a race before we send her to the US Cross Country National Championship in Colorado next week," said Peterson. "This is an opportunity for her compete and experience another competitive effort before she goes into a championship event."
In the jumps events, a slew of the Tulane household names will take their talents two states over, as senior Melanie Mainor (high jump), junior Jessica Knierim (pole vault), senior Joanna Lapucha (pole vault), sophomore Tamika Brazzel (long jump), redshirt junior Estefany Cruz (long jump), sophomore Taylor Caulk (triple jump) and senior Briana Santiago (triple jump) will all take the stage for the Green Wave over the weekend.
"We feel like we got a lot accomplished with the jumpers in New Mexico," noted Peterson. "We want to build on that success."
Mainor currently ranks seventh in the league in the high jump, having cleared 1.65 meters (5-5) in early December, while both Knierim and Lapucha are tied for fifth in the conference for their identical jumps of 3.72 meters (12-2.5) that they notched at the Cherry and Silver Invitational just two weeks ago.
Santiago currently sits at eighth in the league in the triple jump, posting a top leap of 12.02 meters (39- 5.25). Cruz ranks fourth in the triple jump, but will take part in the long jump for the first time this indoor season, as well as the first time during an indoor meet since last season's UAB Blazer Indoor Invitational on Jan. 11, 2013.
Freshman shot putter Taylor Potts and sophomore weight thrower Cheyenne Swanson will compete in their respective events during the meet. Potts ranks 14th in the league right now with a toss of 12.48 meters (40-11.5) that also ranks fourth in school history.
"We are looking forward to continuing the development of our throwers," added Peterson. "Taylor Potts is a talented young thrower who is very capable of throwing a lot stronger than she has. She just needs more experience."
Kenney will take part in the 60 meter hurdles, the high jump, the shot put, the long jump, the shot put and the 800 meter run. The junior has competed in all but the 60 meter hurdles at one point during the season. Last year during the Conference USA Indoor Championships, Kenney placed fifth with a score of 3,569 points that stands second in Tulane indoor track and field history.
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Women's 200m Dash
Women's 400m Dash
Women's 800m Run
Women's 1 Mile Run
Women's 5,000m Run
Women's 4 x 400m Relay
Tulane A (Woods, Adamson, Kreutzberg, McMillan)
Women's High Jump
Women's Pole Vault
Mary Carson Pitts
Women's Long Jump
Women's Triple Jump
Women's Shot Put
Women's Weight Throw
Women's Indoor Pentathlon