Dec. 4, 2006
JONESBORO, Ark. - Senior Gloria Asumnu set a school record in the 55-meter dash and junior Shanon Beelendorf set a meet record in the 600-meter run as the Tulane women's track and field team opened the indoor track season with a strong showing at this weekend's Arkansas State Kickoff Klassic in Jonesboro, Ark.
Asumnu's time of 6.90 seconds in her semifinal heat was a 0.04-second improvement over the previous best she had set in 2004. Though her time of 7.01 seconds in the finals was her slowest of the weekend, Asumnu still captured the event by 0.09 seconds over Kadeshia Fortune of Mississippi. With the performance, Asumnu qualified provisionally for the NCAA indoor track championships in March.
"Gloria's performance today was very consistent, but for her to qualify on December 2 was really good," head coach Heather Van Norman said. "She knows she has to improve just a little bit to secure a spot in the championships but it's a huge improvement for her. She's already ahead of where she was two years ago."
On the second day, the Green Wave set another record. Beelendorf's time of 1:33.81 in the 600-meter run was a seven-second improvement over the Kickoff Klassic's previous best, and a one-second improvement on the Convocation Center's old record. Beelendorf beat out eight other competitors to take first in the event.
"That was a great, phenomenal race for her," Van Norman said. "For her to get a win under her belt was a really good thing for her."
In addition, the 4 x 400-meter relay team of Olivia Kizzee, Arielle Minor, Shaina Pelham and Jasmine Momoh took home first place for the Wave. Nicolette Taku placed second in the triple jump after fouling on her first two attempts and being forced to make what Van Norman called "a more conservative jump". Aubrey Phillips took third place in the 3,000-meter run for Tulane, barely missing a personal best.
"During cross country season, the track kids get a little wiggly in their seats; they want to compete," she said. "It was a long trip but a very good trip to see where we are and what we need to do over the Christmas break.
"I'm excited for this team."
Here are the final results from the event:
1. Gloria Asumnu, 6.90 (School Record)
1. Gloria Asumnu, 7.01
2. Nicolette Taku, 38-09.75 (11.83m)
7. Olivia Kizzee, 58.80
15. Kimberly Schexnayder, 24-08.25 (7.52m)
7. Christina Tegbe, 16-08.50 (5.09m) (Personal Best)
12. Arielle Minor, 14-06.00 (4.42m)
3. Aubrey Phillips, 10:32.37
9. Cecilia Clarke, 11:14.47
4 x 400 METER RELAY
1. Kizzee - Minor - Pelham - Momoh, 3:51.75
6. Asumnu - Ross - Beelendorf - Taku, 4:05.07
For full results from the Kickoff Klassic, click here.