Day One Recap - Tone ~nbsp>Belt Wins Long Jump National Title
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -
The University of Louisville track and field program completed its most impressive weekend ever as sophomore Andre Black won the triple jump national title Saturday night to lead the Cardinal men's team to a 10th-place finish overall at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships at the University of Arkansas' Randal Tyson Track Center.
In the program's first-ever appearance at the indoor national championships, the Cards won a pair of individual national titles and produced three All-American performances overall to score 21 points and tie Baylor, LSU and Tennessee for 10th-place overall. Wisconsin won the men's title with 40 points, followed by Florida State in second with 35 points and Texas in third with 34 points.
Following the preliminary round of jumps (three attempts), Black, a three-time BIG EAST champion, was in fourth place overall, and after moving into second place on his fourth attempt, he jumped to the lead on his fifth attempt with a school record mark of 53 feet, 5.5 inches. The native of Mobile, Ala., then held on through the final round of jumps to earn the fourth NCAA title of any kind at the University of Louisville.
"I'm blessed and that's really the only word I can think of to sum up how I feel right now," Black said. "The coaches told me that I had put in the work and made the sacrifice to be at this point and it feels great to see that pay off. I don't think it's really sunk in yet, and it may not for a while. I wasn't happy with the way I started in my first jump, but (UofL jumps coach) Coach (Jake) Jacoby calmed me down and told me to stop trying too hard and just let it happen and it feels great."
Black joins teammate and fellow sophomore Tone Belt as a 2007 national champion after Belt became the Cards' first track and field national champion with his win in the long jump on Friday night with his school record mark of 26-01.75. The tandem has led the way for Cards' amazing move among the nation's elite in track and field over the last two seasons.
"Before I came here, people said that they had never heard of Louisville in track and field, but we're really doing some great things with our team," Black said. "To have three more All-Americans and earn a top 10 finish is a credit to all of our coaches and their hard work and to Mr. Tom Jurich (UofL athletic director) for all of the support he's given to our team. We're climbing that ladder to be with the best teams in the nation and I think there's only sunshine ahead for this program."
Entering the weekend, the University of Louisville had won two NCAA championships all-time, the 1980 and 1986 men's basketball team titles, but by weekend's end, the Cardinal track and field program doubled that number with Belt and Black's individual titles. And for the first time in the highly successful career of Ron Mann, the Cards' head coach had two national champions at the same meet. He's now coached six individual national champions and 113 All-Americans.
"I have to echo what Andre said in that I'm truly blessed to be at the University of Louisville," Mann said. "I'm extremely proud of our coaching staff and all of our athletes for what they've done to get to this point. It's truly a team effort and this weekend is not only for the kids who were here competing, but for every kid on our team. We hope to have more and more athletes earn the opportunity to experience the national championships and to continue to compete on this national stage."
"It was really exciting to watch Andre compete tonight because he stayed focused on what he was doing and executed perfectly. His championship performance exemplifies the type of person he is and he does a wonderful job of representing the University of Louisville."
On the women's side, Emily Turland, a senior from New Albany, Ind., narrowly missed on All-America honors and a spot in the weight throw finals with her top mark of 64 feet, 8.75 inches to finish 10th overall. The 2007 BIG EAST weight throw champion and the first ever UofL women's athlete to compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships, Turland was only one position away from advancing to the finals and improved six positions on her national ranking entering the meet. Junior Brittany Riley of Southern Illinois won the women's weight throw title with a world best mark of 83-10.25.
This meet closes out the 2007 indoor season for UofL. Up next, the Cards will open the outdoor season on March 16-17 at the Baldy Castillo Invitational in Tempe, Ariz.
NCAA Indoor Championships - Fayetteville, Ark.
Day Two Results
MEN'S TEAM STANDINGS (FINAL)
1. Wisconsin 40 points
2. Florida State 35 points
3. Texas 34 points
4. Stanford 28 points
5. Auburn 25 points
6. Michigan 23 points
7. Arkansas 22 points
Washington 22 points
9. Northern Iowa 21.5 points
10. LOUISVILLE 21 points
Baylor 21 points
LSU 21 points
Tennessee 21 points
U of L Men's Individual Results
1 Andre Black 16.29m/53-05.50 * N
12 Tone Belt 2.14m/7-00.25
U of L Women's Individual Results
10 Emily Turland 19.70m/64-07.75
N = Wins UofL's second track and field national title
* = School record