Bulk of C-USA Outdoor Championships for T&F Begins on Saturday

TULANEGREENWAVE.COM Freshman pole vaulter Caleb Bertrand looks to return from an injury to compete for the event title at the C-USA Outdoor Championships
Freshman pole vaulter Caleb Bertrand looks to return from an injury to compete for the event title at the C-USA Outdoor Championships

May 16, 2014

HOUSTON - With two events already under their belt, the Tulane track and field program will move towards the bulk of the competition at the Conference USA Outdoor Championships on Saturday and Sunday at Rice University's Holloway Field and Ley Track.

Live results can be followed by clicking on the `live results' link on the TulaneGreenWave.com track and field schedule page.

"We are really excited for the meet to really start at 3pm CT on Saturday afternoon, as we begin with the men's and women's long jump," stated Tulane track and field director Eric Peterson. "We have a lot to look forward to on Saturday in some very significant events for our team."

Freshman Caleb Bertrand will look to get back in action after suffering a potentially season-ending injury to his hand just two weekends ago at the Black and Gold Invitational in Hattiesburg, Miss. The Elton, La., native has been able to practice, and should compete for the event title, while also having the opportunity to move himself into the NCAA East Regional picture. On the season, Bertrand's top jump came April 12 at the South Alabama Invitational when he jumped 4.95 meters (16-2.75). However, all of that nearly came crashing down after the injury two weeks ago.

"Caleb is so tough and so inspiring," added Peterson. "He has recovered nicely from a devastating injury, and he should compete well for us."

Redshirt freshman javelin thrower Daliadiz Ortiz has the potential to become the first freshman to win a Conference USA Championship since Jamie Riles won the 400 meter dash at the 2010 Outdoor Championships. Ortiz enters the meet as the top thrower in the league, having recorded a new personal-best throw of 49.94 meters (163-10) at the Florida State Seminole Twilight last weekend. Ortiz ranks 17th in the NCAA East Qualifying region in the event.



Freshman shot putter Taylor Potts will look to add to her trophy case during her outstanding rookie campaign, as the Fishers, Ind., native took home the Bronze Medal in the shot put during the indoor championships. Much like her indoor season, she continued to get better as the year went on, and she most recently tossed a personal-best 14.88 meter (48-10) toss at the Black and Gold Invitational in Hattiesburg, Miss., two weekends ago. That toss ranks second in the league coming into the weekend.

Tulane's quartet of pole vaulters in senior Joanna Lapucha, junior Jessica Knierim and freshmen Mary Carson Pitts and Emma Staisloff are set to make some noise for the team. Lapucha and Pitts enter the meet with the league's fourth-best jump, as each cleared 3.97 meters (13-0.25) at some point on the year. Knierim and Staisloff enter the meet sitting at sixth and seventh place, respectively, in the league standings. All four have the potential to score points for the team over the weekend.

Redshirt junior Estefany Cruz, sophomore Tamika Brazzel and senior Briana Santiago all scored for the team during the indoor season's championships, with Cruz taking second place and Brazzel taking third. Cruz recorded a season-best jump of 12.69 meters (41-7.75) at the Tulane Team Challenge in late March which doubles as the league's fifth-best jump on the year. Brazzel and Santiago rank seventh and tenth, respectively, in the league rankings heading into the meet.

Brazzel will pull double duty over the weekend, as the sophomore from Oceanside, Calif., will also compete in the long jump. Brazzel owns the sixth-best long jump on the year, as she notched a leap of 5.87 meters (19-3.25) at the South Alabama Invitational in mid-April.

On the track, Tulane should get scoring performances from quite a few runners.

Sophomore Jessica Adamson had an outstanding outdoor season, and she continued to get better throughout the year, culminating with a result of 2:09.80 in the 800 meters just two weekends ago at the Black and Gold Invitational in Hattiesburg, Miss. That time ranks second in the league in the event that she will compete in over the weekend alongside potential scoring- junior Michelle Kreutzberg. Kretuzberg ran a season-best 2:13.64 at the LSU Alumni Gold in late April.

Sophomore Lilla McMillan will look to score points in two individual events as she will compete in both the 200 meter dash and the 400 meter dash. The Mill Valley, Calif. ranks third in the 400 meter dash in the league coming into the championships, having run a 53.88 at the LSU Alumni Gold, and she also ranks seventh in the 200 meter dash.

For the men, sophomore long jumper Devon Breaux will attempt to recapture his performance from last year's outdoor championships when he was named the C-USA Male Freshman of the Meet. Breaux owns the league's sixth-best long jump on the year, having leapt 7.31 meters (23-11.75) at the LSU Alumni Gold.

Junior Thomas Lynch, who won the Bronze Medal in the discus during his sophomore year at the C-USA Outdoor Championships, will attempt to crack the top-eight, as he has sat on the outside looking in all year long. The Washington, D.C. native has the ninth-best throw in the league with a toss of 48.44 meters (158-11) from the Stanford Invitational in early April.

Tulane has already wrapped up two performances for the week, as junior Tiffany Kenney placed ninth in the heptathlon on Friday evening, with a score of 4,405 points. The Colorado Springs, Colo., native was just eight points shy of scoring overall points for her team at the meet. After a rough beginning on Thursday afternoon, Kenney came back on Friday and put together solid performances in the long jump, javelin and 800 meter run. She placed seventh in the long jump with a season-best mark of 5.38 meters (17-8), while notching third-place finishes in the javelin and the 800 meter run. Her javelin throw of 33.59 meters (110-2) is a new career-best mark.

"Tiffany had a much better second day than she did on day one of the competition," added Peterson. "She worked hard to get herself back into the competition, and fell eight points shy of scoring for the team. She got off to an uncharacteristic, low-scoring outing on day one, and she fought back very hard in day two."

For the men, junior Geoff Zelek ran in the 10,000 meters on Friday evening, finishing in a personal-best time of 34:05.41. His mark is good for ninth place in Tulane school history.

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 Conference USA Outdoor Championships


Women's 200m Dash
Lilla McMillan

Women's 400m Dash
Lilla McMillan

Women's 800m Run
Jessica Adamson
Michelle Kreutzberg

Women's 4 x 400m Relay
Tulane (Woods, McMillan, Kreutzberg, Adamson)

Women's Pole Vault
Jessica Knierim
Joanna Lapucha
Haley Miller
Mary Carson Pitts
Emma Staisloff

Women's Long Jump
Tamika Brazzel

Women's Triple Jump
Tamika Brazzel
Estefany Cruz
Briana Santiago

Women's Shot Put
Taylor Potts

Women's Discus Throw
Cheyenne Swanson

Women's Javelin
Daliadiz Ortiz


Men's 100m Dash
Richard Allen

Men's 400m Dash
John Mouton

Men's 800m Run
Kade Kistner

Men's 1,500m Run
Jack White

Men's 5,000m Run
Nicholas Meloro
Jack White
Geoff Zelek

Men's 400m Hurdles
Justyn Shackleford

Men's 3,000m Steeplechase
Nicolas Meloro

Men's 4 x 100m Relay
Tulane (Badie,Allen,Nixon,Breaux,Arechiga,Shackleford)

Men's 4 x 400m Relay
Tulane (Arechiga,Mouton,Shackleford,Allen,Kistner)

Men's Pole Vault
Caleb Bertrand

Men's Long Jump
Devon Breaux

Men's Shot Put
Eldrick Washington

Men's Discus Throw
Thomas Lynch

Tulane Results from Day One and Day Two of C-USA Outdoor Championships


9. Tiffany Kenney, 4,405 points
100m Hurdles - 12th - 15.66 - 756 points (Day One)
High Jump - 12th - 1.43m (4-8.25) - 544 points (Day One)
Shot Put - t-7th - 9.78m (32-1) - 515 points (Day One)
200m Dash - 14th - 27.99 - 632 points (Day One)
Long Jump - 7th - 5.38m (17-8) - 665 points (Day Two)
Javelin - 3rd - 33.59m (110-02) - 545 points (Day Two) *
800m Run - 3rd - 2:25.71 - 748 points (Day Two)


Men's 10,000 Meters
19. Geoff Zelek, 34:05.41 *

*=Personal Best

Schedule of Events for the Green Wave (Event Listed as Final Unless Otherwise Noted)

Saturday, May 17
3:00pm Women's Long Jump
3:00pm Men's Long Jump
3:00pm Men's Discus
5:00pm Men's Pole Vault
5:00pm Men's 1,500 Meter Run - Prelims
5:30pm Women's Discus
6:10pm Men's 400 Meter Dash - Prelims
6:25pm Women's 400 Meter Dash - Prelims
6:45pm Men's 100 Meter Dash - Prelims
7:20pm Men's 800 Meter Run - Prelims
7:30pm Women's 800 Meter Run - Prelims
7:50pm Men's 400 Meter Hurdles - Prelims
8:40pm Women's 200 Meter Dash - Prelims
9:00pm Men's 3,000 Meter Steeplechase

Sunday, May 18
3:00pm Women's Shot Put
4:00pm Women's Pole Vault
4:30pm Men's 4 x 100 Meter Relay
4:55pm Men's 1,500 Meter Run
5:00pm Women's Triple Jump
5:30pm Women's Javelin
5:30pm Men's Shot Put
5:35pm Men's 400 Meter Dash
5:40pm Women's 400 Meter Dash
5:50pm Men's 100 Meter Dash
6:05pm Men's 800 Meter Dash
6:10pm Women's 800 Meter Dash
6:20pm Men's 400 Meter Hurdles
6:40pm Women's 200 Meter Dash
7:45pm Men's 4 x 400 Meter Relay
8:00pm Women's 4 x 400 Meter Relay