June 9, 2006
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
University of Louisville high jumpers Kelley Bowman and Tone Belt reached new heights on Friday as both Cardinal standouts earned All-America honors with school record performances on the third day of competition at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at A.G. Spanos Sports Complex on the campus of Sacramento State.
Bowman, a senior from Mt. Vernon, Ky., cleared a school record height of 6 feet, 1.25 inches in the women's high jump to break her previous top mark of 6-00.00 set earlier this season at the BIG EAST Championship, and became the highest finisher in school history, male or female, at the national championships. Bowman, the 2006 BIG EAST champion in the high jump, becomes the second U of L women's All-American in program history and the first since Michelle Borgert first earned the honor in the 10,000-meter run in 1995. The third-place finish by Bowman also scores six points for U of L, the first time in school history the Cardinal women have scored at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
"It's an amazing feeling to earn this type of finish, and I still can't really believe it," said Bowman after the event. "I really didn't expect to finish as high as third because my main goal was to be in the top eight and earn All-America honors, but I'll definitely take this. I would like to thank our coaching staff for this opportunity and for everything they've done. Coach Mann is doing a great job at U of L and (jumps coach) Coach Jacoby has made real a difference for me."
Belt, a freshman from Berkeley Springs, W.Va., earned a fifth-place finish in the men's high jump with a mark of 7-03.75, matching his own school record set earlier this season, and earned his second All-American honor in two days. On Thursday, Belt finished fifth overall in the men's long jump to become just the second Cardinal men's athlete in school history to earn All-America honors joining throwing standout James ~nbsp>Dennis (discus, 1997 and 1999). In just his first collegiate season, Belt earned a number of conference and national honors including being named the Most Outstanding Men's Field Performer of the Meet at the 2006 BIG EAST Outdoor Championships after winning both the high jump and long jump titles.
"I'm very happy with the way I jumped today and with how I performed this week," Belt said. "At the beginning of the season, I was hoping to finish first or second in the BIG EAST, but I never expected to be an All-American in two events. It's truly a blessing that I've been able to do this in my first year."
Overall, the Cardinal men are tied for 16th-place after the completion of 10 events with eight points, while Arizona leads the way with 28 points followed Tennessee in second with 26 points and Wisconsin in third with 24 points. On the women's side, the Cards are tied for 19th overall with six points after the completion of nine events, while Texas and Nebraska lead the way with 26 points each followed by Auburn in third with 22 points.
"With all of our athletes finished up at the national championships, I'm very proud of the way they represented themselves and the University of Louisville this week on such a national stage," said head coach Ron Mann. "I feel very good about the direction of our program right now. We exceeded every one of our goals entering the season, and to finish with three All-Americans is something that we're all very proud of."
Entering the week, the U of L men's and women's track and field program had a combined total of three All-Americans in its history, while over the course of two days at this week's NCAA Championships, the 2006 Cardinals matched that total thanks to the performances of Belt and Bowman. This is just the latest in an amazing list of record-setting performances by the Cards over the course of the 2006 indoor and outdoor seasons, and it's a tribute to the second-year coaching staff and the direction of head coach Ron Mann.
"I'm very pleased with the progress of our athletes this season and the improvements that we've seen from the first day of practice until now," Mann said. "Our kids have done an excellent job of accepting and embracing our coaching staff and what we're teaching. It's truly an exciting time to be at the University of Louisville and to be involved with Cardinal track and field."
In preliminary action on Friday, Louisville freshman Andre Black narrowly missed on advancing to the finals in the triple jump finishing 13th overall in the field of 26 athletes with a mark of 51-00.25. The top 12 finishers in the qualifying round advanced to the finals and senior Marc Kellman from George Mason finished in the 12th position with a jump of 51-01.00, less than one inch better than Black. The NCAA Championships cap a very impressive collegiate debut for Black, the 2006 BIG EAST champion in both the outdoor and indoor triple jump and U of L school record holder in the outdoor triple jump.
In the semifinals of the women's 400-meter hurdles on Friday, Cardinal freshman Heather Trimiew ran the second fastest time of her young career at 58.68 seconds, but it was not enough to advance to Saturday's final as the native of Chattanooga, Tenn., finished 14th overall, only two positions away from earning All-America honors. The national championships also concluded a very strong freshman campaign for Trimiew, who was the 2006 BIG EAST champion in the 400m hurdles and the indoor 400m dash, and holds the U of L school record in both the 400m hurdles and 100m hurdles.
Though the NCAA Outdoor Championships will close out the 2006 collegiate season, the Cards will have several athletes competing at the USA Junior Track & Field Championships on June 21-25 in Indianapolis, Ind., in an attempt to advance to the IAAF World Junior Championships in Beijing, China, in August.
CBS, CSTV to Provide Live Television Coverage
For the first time since 1982, the NCAA Outdoor Championships will be televised live. CBS will air two and a half hours of live coverage on Saturday, June 10 starting at 3:30 p.m. ET, while CSTV broadcasted two hours of competition on Friday night. Never before has the next-to-last day of the NCAA Championships been televised live. The 4 ½ hours of live coverage is the most live coverage in the 86-year history of the NCAA Division I Track and Field Championships. This marks the second time that the women's portion of the meet will be televised live.
NCAA Outdoor Championships - Day 3 Results
A.G. Spanos Sports Complex - Sacramento, Calif.
MEN'S TEAM STANDINGS (Through 10 completed events)
1 Arizona 28 points
2 Tennessee 26 points
3 Wisconsin 24 points
4 Virginia Tech 23 points
5 Arkansas 22 points
6 Nebraska 19 points
7 Texas 17 points
8 North Carolina 16 points
8 Oregon 16 points
10 UTEP 14 points
16 LOUISVILLE 8 points
U of L Men's Individual Results
High Jump - Final
5 Tone Belt 2.23m/7-03.75 * A
Triple Jump - Qualifying
13 Andre Black 15.55m/51-00.25
WOMEN'S TEAM STANDINGS (Through 9 completed events)
1 Texas 26 points
1 Nebraska 26 points
3 Auburn 22 points
4 Arizona State 19 points
5 USC 16 points
6 Georgia 14.25 points
7 Air Force 12 points
8 Alabama 11 points
9 Colorado 10 points
9 South Carolina 10 points
9 Duke 10 points
9 Providence 10 points
19 LOUISVILLE 6 points
U of L Women's Individual Results
400m Hurdles - Semifinals
14 Heather Trimiew 58.68
High Jump - Final
3 Kelley Bowman 1.86m/6-01.25 * A
A = Earns All-America honors
* = School Record