March 28, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - With the outdoor track and field season now in full swing, the Tulane Green Wave program will stay close to home this weekend, as they will host the Tulane Team Challenge at Tad Gormley Stadium on Saturday, March 29, for their lone home meet of the season.
There will be no charge to attend the meet. Live results can be followed by clicking the `live results' link on the track and field schedule page at TulaneGreenWave.com. Final results will be posted at the conclusion of the meet. The action will kick off at 9:30am CT with the hammer throw. The remainder of the meet will begin at 1pm CT.
The Green Wave are welcoming in local programs like UNO, Nicholls State, Southeastern Louisiana, Loyola, Xavier and Dillard, and other programs like LSU, Southern and SUNO will send a part of their teams for the competition.
Both the men and women for the Green Wave will be out in full force on Saturday afternoon.
"This is a great opportunity for our team members to compete at home occasionally," said Tulane track and field director Eric Peterson. "We don't host many meets, and we know that our team will respond well to the opportunity to sleep in their own beds, maintain their routine and not have to live out of a hotel so they can have a chance to compete in a venue they compete in almost every day. Last year when we hosted the meet, it was very early in the season, but we still saw some of our kids' best marks. I think some of that is because our kids' are competing in front of families, friends, classmates and professors in a familiar venue. Tad Gormley Stadium has a very rich track and field history to it, having hosted the Olympic Trials in 1992. It's just great, and we are really excited to compete at home."
Redshirt sophomore Daliadiz Ortiz currently sits at ninth in the NCAA in the javelin for her 49.02 meter (160-10) throw she posted at the Jaguar Opener during the season's initial competition. Ortiz has two more throws on the season that are consistent with her top mark, but she will look to raise her standards on Saturday. Her current mark is the leading throw in Conference USA.
The Green Wave have a slew of runners who currently rank in the top five in the Conference USA standings. Sophomore Lilla McMillan owns the third best mark in the 200 meters (24.29) and the 400 meters (54.97). On Saturday, she will compete in the 200 meters, while also looking to build on her 100 meter season best of 12.31. Fellow sophomore Jessica Adamson leads a trio of 800 meter runners with a number two spot in the league standings following her 2:13.62 time at the Alabama Relays. Joining her in the top eight are junior Michelle Kreutzberg, who posted a 2:14.52 at the Alabama Relays that ranks fourth in the league, and freshman Sara Kebede, who ranks sixth with a time of 2:15.76 - also at the Alabama Relays. All three will run in their top event at Tad Gormley Stadium.
"Lilla is coming off a very strong performance in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and she is going to get into some sprinting on Saturday," added Peterson. "I'm also expecting strong performances from Michelle, Sara and Jessica in the 800 meters."
Junior Paige Callahan ran C-USA's fourth best 5,000 meters at the Alabama Relays with a time of 17:34.86. While she won't compete in that particular event on Saturday, a shorter 3,000 meter competition is what the Annapolis, Md., native has her sights set on.
In the jumps department, two pole vaulters from the opposite ends of the eligibility spectrum are currently tied for third in the league rankings, while another fresh face sits at fifth. Senior Joanna Lapucha and freshman Mary Carson Pitts both posted identical vaults of 3.87 meters (12-8.25) at the Alabama Relays, with the mark earning Pitts a new personal best. Fellow freshman Emma Staisloff is hot on the heels of the other Green Wave pole vaulters, as she leapt 3.72 meters (12-2.5) at the Alabama Relays. Sophomores Jill Doyle and Haley Miller, as well as junior Jessica Knierim - all of whom are top-ten pole vaulters in Tulane school history - will also compete over the weekend.
Despite ranking third in the triple jump in the conference rankings, sophomore Tamika Brazzel will focus her efforts in the long jump on Saturday. Brazzel owns the top long jump on the season for the Green Wave, a 4.97 meter (16-3.75) leap set at the Jaguar Opener during the opening weekend of the outdoor campaign. In addition to her work in the triple jump, Brazzel will try her hand in the 100 meter hurdles for the first time in her collegiate career.
"She ran the hurdles a little in high school, so seeing her do this will really be a highlight for me," said Peterson.
Joining Ortiz in the throwing events this weekend will be true freshman Taylor Potts, who in just a few meets has already solidified herself as one of the top young throwers in Tulane history. The Fishers, Ind., native owns the fourth-best throw in school history in the shot put with a toss of 13.71 meters (44-11.75), set at the Southern Miss Invitational two weeks ago. Her toss ranks sixth in the league.
The men's program has a lot to prove, as many of the program's individual athletes own spots in the league's top spots, too.
Similarly to the women's program, the men have found success in the 800 meters so far this season. Sophomore Jack White and freshman Kade Kistner rank fifth and sixth, respectively, in C-USA's rankings. White posted a personal best that also ranks in the school's top ten in the 800 meters at the Alabama Relays last weekend with a time of 1:53.65. Kistner posted his top mark at the same meet, running a 1:54.40. Kistner will take part in the 800 meters over the weekend, while White will run alongside junior Geoff Zelek in the 3,000 meters. Zelek currently sits at fifth in the league rankings in the 3,000 meters with a time of 9:29.63.
Sophomore Nicholas Meloro made a name for himself at the Alabama Relays in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. The Harleysville, Pa., owns the second best 3,000 meter steeplechase time in the league this season after running a 10:30.94 last weekend.
"Our men's team is doing well, but we are going to run our kids in some events they are less familiar with," stated Peterson.
Pole vaulter Caleb Bertrand has competed in just three meets so far this season, but the freshman from Elton, La., already owns the second-best jump in school history. Bertrand leapt 4.85 meters (15-11) at the Alabama Relays, a jump that ranks third in in the conference rankings. Bertrand will be the lone men's pole vaulter for the Green Wave on Saturday.
A quartet of football players ran in the 4 x 100 meter relay last weekend, posting a time of 41.52. Freshmen Sherman Badie and Richard Allen joined up with sophomore Devon Breaux and junior Taurean Nixon for the sixth-fastest time in school history. Their mark sits at eighth in the league, and the quartet will look to gain steam heading into the rest of the season with a performance on Saturday.
Individually, Badie, Allen and Nixon will all run in the 100 meter dash for the first time as members of the Tulane track and field program.
On top of the fact that Tulane will send the best of the best out to the competition, they will also have the opportunity to see many of their kids in action who haven't been able to compete much throughout the year.
"That's one of the major benefits of hosting a meet," mentioned Peterson. "We just aren't able to bring all of our kids when we travel. But everyone who is healthy and training well is going to have an opportunity to compete, which is a much larger number than our typical training party. It adds to the level of excitement to our meet."
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 Tulane Team Challenge
Women's 100m Dash
Women's 200m Dash
Women's 400m Dash
Women's 800m Run Open
Women's 1,500m Run
Women's 3,000m Run
Women's 100m Hurdles
Women's 400m Hurdles
Women's 4 x 400m Relay
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 100m Dash
Men's 200m Dash
Men's 400m Dash
Men's 800m Run
Men's 3,000m Run
Men's 400m Hurdles
Men's 3,000m Steeplechase
Men's 4 x 100m Relay
Men's 4 x 400m Relay
Men's Pole Vault
Men's Shot Put
Men's Discus Throw