May 10, 2007
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
University of Louisville track and field head coach Ron Mann announced Thursday the addition of three student-athletes to the Cards' spring recruiting class. Sprinter Karla Hope, distance runner Marcel Luther and sprinter Nikko Beason will join the Cards' in 2007-08.
Hope, Luther and Beason join U of L's five recruits announced on May 2 taking the Cards' spring recruiting class to eight student-athletes, including six men and two women. In Nov., the Cards announced the signing of 10 prep athletes (six women, four men) to NLI's, making U of L's current recruiting class one of the deepest and most talented in school history.
"We still have a couple of key commitments to finalize with our recruiting class, however, this class already enables us to solidify our position and move closer to making U of L track and field a tradition," said U of L head coach Ron Mann.
Joining the Cardinal women's team will be Hope, a sprinter from Morvant, Trinidad & Tobago. Her personal best marks include 23.40 in the 200-meter dash and 54.12 in the 400-meter dash, and she is also experienced in the 4x400-meter relay.
"Adding Karla immediately improves our 4x400-meter relay team and makes us better in the long sprints," Mann said. "She definitely takes our women's team to a national level in both of those areas."
Leading the latest list of recruits for the Cardinal men is Luther, a distance runner from Georginia, South Africa, who finished third in the 1,500m run at the South Africa Junior Championships and was an ASA (Athletics South Africa) provincial medalist in cross country. His personal best times include 1:51.2 in the 800-meter run, 3:48.21 in the 1,500-meter run and 8:17.00 in the 3,000-meter run.
Also joining the Cards for 2007-08 is Beason, a sprinter and multi-sport athlete from Bowling Green, Ky. Competing for Warren Central High School, Beason currently leads the state of Kentucky in the 100-meter dash at 10.60 seconds and the 200-meter dash at 21.70 seconds. Beason was also a standout football player at Warren Central where he was named to the 2007 Kentucky All-Star Team and earned All-State Honorable Mention. He also earned Academic All-State honors three times in football and twice in track and field.
"Marcel puts our cross country program in position to move up in the national standings and build upon the Top 15 finish at last year's NCAA Championships," Mann said. "And Nikko's addition is another indication of our plan to aggressively recruit in the state of Kentucky and build U of L track and field with local talent."
Up next for the Cards will be the NCAA Mideast Regional on May 25-26 in Columbia, Mo. U of L, ranked No. 4 in this week's Trackwire Men's Top 25, has a school record 26 qualifying marks for the regional event and will travel a record total of 18 athletes (nine men, nine women) to the meet.
Last weekend, the Cardinal men won the program's first conference title at the BIG EAST Outdoor Championships, while the women earned their best conference finish ever with second place overall. The Cardinal men and women combined to win 11 event titles and 21 medals, both of which are school records.