May 16, 2008
EL PASO, Texas - UTEP men currently lead the 2008 Conference USA Outdoor Track and Field Championship race. The Miners ended day one with 32 points, 18 coming in the final race of the evening. Senior Japheth Ng'ojoy became the first distance runner to win three-straight C-USA individual crowns in the men's 10,000-meters. He clocked a gold medal time of 30:15.12, while senior teammate Patrick Mutai crossed in 30:37.77 for second-place honors at Kidd Field in El Paso, Texas.
Southern Miss' Vincent Tanui finished third with a time of 31:01.92.
Memphis men scored 17 points, all in the hammer event, while Tulsa recorded all 14 of its points by capturing fourth through seventh places in the 10,000m. John Beattie placed fourth (31:45.86), followed by Joel Stansloski (31:48.00), Eric Harris (32:41.23) and Patrick McConnell (34:17.68).
Rice currently leads the women championship with 21 points. Tulane tallies 11 for second and UTEP has 10 points for third.
A pair of Owls took the top two honors in the women's 10,000m lead by two-time champion Marissa Daniels. Daniels, a junior, clocked a winning time of 36:22.93, followed by teammate Becky Wade's second-place time of 36:48.45. Tulane's Aubrey Phillips finished in a time of 36:56.25 for third.
Memphis scored 17 points in the men's hammer event as sophomore Steffan Nerdal repeat his 2007 title. Nerdal recorded a championship record mark and earned all-conference first team accolades with an NCAA regional qualifying toss of 217'8" (66.36m). UTEP's Dimitrios Fylladit also bettered the previous championship record with a toss of 215'5" (65.65m) for second-place honors. Miner Hans Eriksson earned all-conference third team honors with a finish of 207'2" for third. All three had previously qualified for the NCAA Regionals.
The Tigers other seven points came from Knut Syversen placing fifth (184'8"/56.30m) and Harding Zills (167'5"/51.02m) and Seth Major (159'7"/48.65m) finishing in seventh and eighth place, respectively, with personal-best performances.
UTEP junior Nina Schvedoff becomes the first three-time individual champion in the women's hammer throw with a toss of 193'11" (59.11m). Schvedoff currently ranks 22nd in the nation with a mark of 199'2" (60.72m) set at the Drake Relays on April 26. Memphis' Susan King earned silver medalist honors with a second-place and career-best throw of 181'9" (55.40m), while Suesanna Williams of Southern Miss finished third at 169'4" (51.61m). Both Schvedoff and King's tosses met NCAA regional qualifying standards.
After five events, Wesley Bray of Houston and Phillip Adam of Rice are in a tight race in the men's decathlon with 3,697 and 3,618 points, respectively. Each finished in the top four of the 100-meters, 400m, long jump, high jump and shot put.
In the women's heptathlon race, UCF's Sheree Carter leads the eight person field with 3,118 points, followed by SMU's Lauren Kuhner (2,863), Arielle Minor of Tulane (2,832) and UAB's Timara McMillan (2,821). Carter won the 100m hurdles (13.88), high jump (1.60m) and the 200m (25.04). Kuhner won the shot put with a throw of 12.29, while Carter placed sixth in the event.
C-USA All-Conference honors are awarded to the top three finishers in each event. The individual champions are named to the first team, while second-place finishers are awarded second team honors and the third team is comprised of bronze medalist.
Friday's running events get underway at 5:30 p.m. MT with the women's 1500-meters and wraps up with the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase at 9:20 p.m. The majority of Friday's events are preliminary races, building up to Saturday's championship races starting at 5 p.m.
2008 C-USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships Day One - May 15 El Paso, Texas / Kidd Field
Women's Standings 1. Rice 21 2. Tulane 11 3. UTEP 10 4. Memphis 8 5. UAB 7 6. Southern Miss 6 7. SMU 5 8. Tulsa 4 9. Marshall 3 10. UCF 2 11. East Carolina 1
Men's Standings 1. UTEP 32 2. Memphis 17 3. Tulsa 14 4. Houston 8 5. Southern Miss 6 6. Rice 1