Junior Thomas Lynch was one of the conference's top discus throwers in 2013
March 6, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - One week after ending the indoor season, the Green Wave will turn around and begin their next campaign, as they will head to Mobile, Ala., for the Jaguar Opener, hosted by South Alabama, at the Jaguar Track on USA's campus for Tulane's first outdoor meet of the year.
Results will be posted on TulaneGreenWave.com at the conclusion of the meet. Live results will not be made available for the meet.
The Green Wave squad will be kicking off their outdoor season against some local competition in Alabama, as Tulane will join host-school South Alabama, Louisiana-Lafayette, Southeastern Louisiana, Troy and Alcorn State in the season opener. While the women's portion of the roster is merely extending their season to the outdoor campaign, the men will be making their season debut, as the Green Wave do not have an indoor program for the men.
"Our men's team is chomping at the bit to get their season started," stated Tulane track and field director Eric Peterson. "It's a long year of preparation for the track guys before leading up to the first meet with no indoor season. But they are excited to get started. This is an icebreaker for the men's team. We want to see where they are at and see where they are in the near future so we can make improvements as we move forward."
Tulane will finally get to see one of their prized recruits in action, as freshman pole vaulter Caleb Bertrand will take part in his first competition. The Elton, La., native was one of the top high school pole vaulters in the nation last year.
"Caleb is one of the highest recruited athletes that Tulane had last year in any sport," said Peterson. "We are excited to watch him kick off his college career."
While having the opportunity to see Bertrand compete for the first time, the Green Wave will have experienced runners in junior Geoff Zelek in the 3,000 meters and sophomore Jack White in the one mile. School-record setter Thomas Lynch, a junior, will compete in the discus. Last season, the Washington, D.C. native launched the shot put 51.81 meters (170-0) at the Stanford Invitational in late March.
On the women's side, the Green Wave wrapped up their indoor portion of their season at the Conference USA Indoor Championships last weekend. The women are coming off one of the program's finest performances in recent memory, as they tied for sixth at the Conference USA Indoor Championships this past weekend in Birmingham, Ala. The team scored 53 points, and their finish was the best by the Green Wave since the 2004 season.
"We have got some things we are really looking forward to," stated Tulane director of track and field Eric Peterson. "We are using this meet to assess where everyone is at this point. It's always a little bit challenging coming off what was our Mardi Gras break and our Spring Break. For a few of our athletes, this is really just a continuation."
The cornerstone of the Tulane track and field program, the jumps, will be out in full force on Friday. Senior Joanna Lapucha, junior Jessica Knierim and freshmen Mary Carson Pitts and Emma Staisloff will compete in the pole vault. Lapucha and Knierim are second and third, respectively, in the school record books for the outdoor season in the pole vault, with both Pitts and Staisloff entered the indoor record books earlier this season.
Junior Estefany Cruz and sophomore Tamika Brazzel will look to find the same success they had in the triple jump last weekend, where they placed second and third, respectively at the C-USA Indoor Championships, in a different event. They will both compete in the long jump, while senior Briana Santiago - a C-USA Indoor Championships scorer - will be the lone Green Wave athlete to take part in the triple jump.
In the throws department, the Green Wave are excited about getting redshirt freshman Daliadiz Ortiz back from injury. The Puerto Rican competed in one meet last season before getting injured and missing the remainder of the campaign. However, in her one competition, she tossed the javelin 48.32 meters (158-6) for the sixth-best throw in school history in the event.
"Obviously, the javelin is an outdoor event, only," said Peterson. "Dali had such an unfortunate beginning to her career last year. She has done everything we have asked her to do to recover fully from the injury, and it's pretty remarkable that she is ready to go again this year."
Freshman Taylor Potts, who earned a Bronze Medal in the shot put last weekend at the C-USA Indoor Championships, will compete again for the Green Wave on Friday.
"Taylor is one of the athletes that we have on our team who is currently competing at a very high level, and we think she will make the smooth transition from indoors to outdoors," mentioned Peterson.
On the track, Tulane will feature performances from some of the top runners from the indoor season.
Sophomore Lilla McMillan will look to continue her success this season, as she scored in the 200 meter dash for the Green Wave last weekend. The Mill Valley, Calif., native will compete with senior Hilary Woods and junior Tiffany Kenney in the event. Junior Michelle Kreutzberg didn't run in an individual event during the C-USA Indoor Championships last weekend, but she was a part of a scoring distance medley relay team. Kreutzberg will take part in the unorthodox 600 meter run on Friday.
Long distance wise, the Green Wave will send three runners to compete in the mile, as sophomores Jessica Adamson and Mikayla Sonneborn will join freshman Sara Kebede in the race. Kebede and Sonneborn both ran in the event during the indoor season, while Adamson competed only in the 800 meter run. Junior Paige Callahan, who only made her track and field season debut last weekend, will run in the 3,000 meters with freshman Katharine Smiley.
"We are going to try and get our kids to just set a benchmark for the early part of our season," said Peterson. "We had a good indoor season, but we are now getting into a phase of our schedule where kids are going to be competing every weekend now, as opposed to every other weekend. We are hopeful they have recovered well from the indoor championship. As a whole, we just want to set the tone for the season and see where we are."
Fans can follow the Tulane track and field programs on Twitter (@GreenWaveXCTF) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TulaneXCTF.
Tulane Entries for the Jaguar Opener
Women's 200m Dash
Women's 600m Run
Women's 1 Mile Run
Women's 3,000m Run
Women's 400m Hurdles
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 Discus Throw
Women's Hammer Throw
Men's 200m Dash
Men's 600m Run
Men's 1 Mile Run
Men's 3,000m Run
Men's Pole Vault
Men's Discus Throw