March 22, 2006
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Auburn Opens Outdoor Season At New Home Track
The Auburn track and field teams open the outdoor season when the Tigers host the Springtime Invitational March 25 at Hutsell-Rosen Track. It will mark the first track meet to take place at the new Hutsell-Rosen Track. However, the shot put, hammer throw and discus will still be held at the old Hutsell Track.
The Springtime Invitational will begin with field events at 10:00 a.m. at both track facilities, and running events will begin at 1:30 p.m.
Live results from the meet can be found at http://cfpitiming.com/resultsmj/.
It's Been A While
Saturday's Springtime Invitational will mark the first home meet for Auburn since 2003. The new Hutsell-Rosen track will host two meets this season, as the Tigers will also host the Auburn Invitational April 22. Auburn's newly completed track features a BSS 2000 track surface from Beynon Sports Surfaces and is Class I IAAF certified.
Last season, Auburn competed in the Florida State Relays just one week after the NCAA Indoor Championships. This year, Auburn took a week off prior to opening the outdoor slate. Although the Tigers jumped right into the outdoor season last year, most of the 50 athletes that compete in Tallahasee did not compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships and therefore had already had a break.
Tigers Excel At NCAA Indoor Meet Again
The Auburn women's team finished tied for eighth at the NCAA Indoor Championships, marking the third time in the last four years Auburn placed in the top 10 at the national meet. The men tied for 19th, giving the Auburn men four straight top-20 finishes at the indoor championships.
Seven different Tigers earned All-American honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships, led by a school record-tying three by Kerron Stewart, who earned All-American honors in the 60m, 200m and 4x400m relay. Stewart became just the fifth Auburn athlete, male or female, to earn three All-American honors at one NCAA indoor championship meet. Markita James earned All-American honors in both the 400m and the 4x400m relay for Auburn, while Angela Homan (5,000m), Josanne Lucas (4x400m relay) and Tamara Thomas (4x400m relay) also earned All-American status. For the men's team, Cory Martin and Jacob Dunkleberger both earned All-American honors in the weight throw.
Two Top-Five Finishes A Rarity
Cory Martin and Jacob Dunkleberger achieved a rare feat at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Martin finished third in the weight throw with a school-record mark of 22.89m, while Dunkleberger was fifth with a top throw of 22.17m. It marked the first time the Auburn men's team has had two top-five performers in one event at the NCAA Indoor Championships since 1989, when Alexander Wright and Clifton Campbell placed third and fifth, respectively, in the 200m.
Women Second, Men Eighth At SEC Indoor Championships
The Auburn women's team finished a close second at the SEC Indoor Championships, matching the team's best-ever finish while posting the highest point total in team history with 96 points - 50 points more than during last year's seventh-place finish. Auburn had four individual winners, including two victories by Kerron Stewart, who won the Commissioner's Trophy by winning the 55m and the 200m while running a leg on the second-place 4x400m relay team. Stewart, who set a new school record in the 55m of 6.71 seconds, became Auburn's third ever double-winner at the SEC Indoor Championships. Auburn also swept the horizontal jumps, as Jovanee Jarrett won the long jump and Michelle Vaughn won the triple jump. Angela Homan finished second in the 5000m and third in the 3000m and Markita James was second in the 400m.
The men's team finished eighth, but still had some solid individual performances. Cory Martin repeated as SEC indoor champion in the weight throw, breaking his own school record with a mark of 22.24m (72-11.75). Ty Akins finished a close second in the 55m hurdles with a provisional qualifying time of 7.25, while Tavaris Washington also provisionally qualified in that event with a mark of 7.32 in the semifinals. Jacob Dunkleberger finished fourth in the shot put with a provisional mark of 18.18m, while Reuben McCoy finished fifth in the 400m with a provisional time of 47.61.
Kerron Stewart was awarded the Commissioner's Trophy at the SEC Indoor Championships for being the highest female point scorer (22 points). Stewart won the 55m and the 200m while also running on the second-place 4x400m relay team. Stewart became just the second Auburn woman to be the top point scorer at the SEC meet, joining Elva Goulbourne, who scored 28 points at the 2003 meet.
The second-place showing for the Auburn women's team at the SEC Indoor Championships is even more impressive when one considers the number of athletes that Auburn had participating in Gainesville. In the 15 individual events excluding the two relays, Auburn had a total of 25 entrants. Georgia, which won the team title, was able to field 45 entrants in those 15 events. In fact, every team in the top eight had more entrants than Auburn, yet the Tigers still managed to finish second, just 5.5 points behind Georgia for first and at least 17.5 points ahead of every other team.
Auburn In The National Rankings
After starting the season unranked, the Auburn women's team climbed all the way to third prior to the NCAA Indoor Championships in the Trackwire 25. The men's squad, which suffered from injuries and other misfortunes, was ranked No. 24 prior to the indoor championship meet. Auburn was ranked as high as tied for 15th back on Jan. 30, but fell out of the rankings before reappearing prior to the indoor meet. The first set of rankings for the outdoor season has yet to be released.
Climbing The Charts
Auburn women posted 22 marks that moved them into the top 10 in the Tigers' all-time indoor lists, while the men's team had 13 such marks. Those who have cracked the top three this season include Kerron Stewart (first in the 55m and second in the 60m and the 200m), Markita James (first in the 400m), Ronda Gullatte (first in the weight throw), Cory Martin (first in the weight throw), Ty Akins (second in the 60m hurdles), Jacob Dunkleberger (second in the weight throw), Andrew Heath (second in the 500m), Angela Homan (second in the 5000m), Josanne Lucas (second in the 60m hurdles and third in the 55m hurdles), Katlin Mate (second in the shot put) and the women's 4x400m relay team of Lucas, Stewart, Tamara Thomas and James (first).
Markita James' school record-setting performance of 52.77 seconds in the 400m at the Pepsi Invitational Feb. 5 was a breakthrough for her. Entering the meet, her fastest indoor time in the 400m was 54.87, although she had run faster times during legs of the 4x400m relay. Pacing herself alongside Tiandra Ponteen, ranked 20th in the world in the 400m, James was able to break her personal best by more than two seconds and Auburn's 10-year-old school record (53.29 by Eusheka Bartley) by more than half a second. The following weekend at the Tyson Invitational, James broke her own record, posting a time of :52.64.
Auburn Athletes Rank in the World
Two members of the Auburn men's team are ranked in the world according to the March 6 IAAF rankings. Edis Elkasevic is ranked 17th in the shot put and Lansford Spence is ranked 28th in the 400m.
Auburn Record Holders
Eight members of the current Auburn track and field squads (two men, five women) currently own 10 indoor and outdoor school records. A list of the school record-holders competing on this year's teams follows:
Edis Elkasevic Shot Put (i) 64-7.25
Edis Elkasevic Shot Put (o) 68-6
Cory Martin Weight Throw 75-1.25
Cory Martin Hammer 216-9
Kerron Stewart 55m 6.71
Angela Homan 5000m (o) 16:22.62
Markita James 400m (i) 52.56
Josanne Lucas 400m hurdles 55.59
Thomas, James 4x400m relay (i) 3:29.50
Ronda Gullatte Weight Throw 67-0.75
Follow the Tigers on the Web
Information and results from the Springtime Invitational can be found on the Auburn athletic department's website: www.auburntigers.com. Additional information can be found at www.cfpitiming.com.
Springtime Invitational Schedule of Events
(all times Central)
Field Events at Old Track Facility
10:00 am Hammer Throw Men
Hammer Throw Women
Shot Put Men
Shot Put Women
Note: Each event will take place 30 minutes after the previous event has been completed.
Field Events at New Track Facility
10:00 am Javelin Men
12:00 pm Long Jump Men
Long Jump Women
Triple Jump Men
Triple Jump Women
1:00 pm Pole Vault Men
Pole Vault Women
2:00 pm High Jump Men
High Jump Women
Note: When no time is listed, the event will take place 30 minutes after the previous event has been completed.
1:30 pm 3,000m Steeple W&M
4x100m Relay W&M
100m Hurdles W
110m Hurdles M
400m Hurdles W&M
4x400m Relay W&M
Note: Rolling schedule. Each event will start as soon as possible after the previous event has been completed.