Houston men and Southern Miss Take Over Leaderboards
May 13, 2012
NEW ORLEANS - After strong performances in field events, Houston men and Southern Miss women take over the top spots at the 2012 Conference USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The Cougars tallied 54 points in Saturday's action, while USM improved on its nine points from Friday with 27 for a total of 36 points after six events at the Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans, La.
Rice men are a close second with 43 points, while Memphis and UTEP are tied with 41 each. Tulsa (32), East Carolina (31), Southern Miss (30) and Tulane (1) rounds out the men's eight-team field.
SMU is only four points behind Southern Miss on the women's side with 32 points. There's only five points that separate positions three through six as East Carolina sports 28, followed by 26 points each for Rice and UCF and 23 for Memphis. UAB (17), Houston (15), UTEP (15), Marshall (9), Tulsa (7) and Tulane (0) competes the women's 12-team field.
Three Conference USA Championship meet records were the highlight of Saturday's action.
Recording the first meet record was East Carolina's Dennis Aliotta. The junior produced a gold medal and program best performance of 19.39m (63-7.50") in the men's shot put. This marks the second time in the last three years he has won the crown (2010). Aliotta recorded the winning toss on his third attempt as he foul his final three tossed.
Defending 3000m steeplechase champion, Carl Stones of Tulsa picked up his title with a conference record time of 8:53.39. He topped the previous record of 8:53.79 established by Tulane's Paul Mutai in 1996.
Closing out day two's action in record setting fashion was Southern Miss' Tori Bowie. The 2011 indoor and outdoor national champion in the women's long jump finally captured her first C-USA outdoor title. The senior recorded a leap of 6.55m (21-06.00") on her first attempt but followed up with a 6.70m (21-11.75") and a conference record 6.78m (22-03.00") during her fourth and fifth attempts, respectively. Bowie foul on her final approach. The last time Southern Miss won a long jump title was when Tanika Liburd captured back-to-back crowns in 2006-2007.
For the fourth-consecutive year a Rice athlete has won the men's decathlon. Junior Clayton Chaney racked up an impressive 7,475 points to win gold after a two-day and 10-event competitions. After having a strong opening day, Houston's Megan Frausto wasn't able to hold onto first place as Xenia Rahn picked up Memphis' first ever heptathlon gold medal. She ended the day with 5,325 points. Frausto placed second with 5,241.
The finals of nine field events are on tap for Sunday as well as 20 running events. The 4x100m relays will set the pace for the elite runners in the league starting at 6 p.m. The Championships awards presentation will close the ceremonies at approximately 9:25 p.m. Fox Sports Network is set to televise Sunday's final events on tape delay.
Fans can purchase an all-session ticket for $20 for adult and $10 for youth (12-17 year olds) that is good for all three days of the championship. Single day tickets are $15 for adult and $6 for youth (12-17 year olds). Admission is free for children age 11 and under, and for students with valid ID cards who attend a C-USA member institution.
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2012 MEN'S TEAM OUTDOOR STANDINGS(after seven events)
2012 WOMEN'S TEAM OUTDOOR STANDINGS(after six events)
2012 C-USA OUTDOOR TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS