May 11, 2005
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The University of Louisville men's and women's track and field program will close out its 10-year Conference USA membership at the 2005 C-USA Outdoor Championships in Houston, Texas on May 12-14 at Carl Lewis/Tom Tellez Track on the campus of the University of Houston. The three-day meet will begin at 10 a.m. EDT on Thursday and will continue at 10 a.m. EDT on Friday and 1 p.m. EDT on Saturday.
"We're excited about competing in Houston and we're looking forward to a very competitive meet because there are a number of great teams and a number of great individual athletes in Conference USA," said U of L head coach Ron Mann. "I know there's been a great relationship between the University of Louisville and Conference USA over the last 10 years and we appreciate everything that's been accomplished in that time. We've enjoyed our time in C-USA and we're looking forward to our future as a member of the BIG EAST Conference."
This will mark the final C-USA Championship meet for the Cardinal track and field program with the school's move into the BIG EAST which will begin with the 2005 fall sports season.
U of L enters this weekend's C-USA meet with one athlete, junior pole vaulter Jennifer Hartig, having already qualified for the NCAA Mideast Regional on May 27-28 in Bloomington, Ind., while several other athletes are seeking to earn NCAA regional qualifying marks after narrowly missing in recent weeks. Those athletes include senior Ify Akubeze (long jump) and sophomore Aajah Showell (100m hurdles) on the women's side and junior P.J. Fox (800m), sophomore Wesley Korir (5,000m) and freshman Brad Keys (400m hurdles) on the men's side. The Cards had four athletes, Kelley Bowman (high jump), Brandon Cook (discus), Jacey Hughes (pole vault) and Arthur Turland (discus, hammer), qualify for last year's NCAA regionals while Bowman and Cook each advanced to the NCAA Championships. All four regional qualifiers from 2004 are redshirting in 2005 in preparation for the program's move into the BIG EAST next season.
"With Jennifer having already earned her NCAA regional mark this spring and five more athletes very close, we feel good about the direction of our program," Mann said. "We have four very good athletes that we're redshirting this year and we believe that each one of them will benefit greatly from this season and will come back even better next season."
The Cards also enter this weekend's meet having set three school records during the 2005 outdoor season. The most recent addition to that list was P.J. Fox in the 800-meter run after the native of Hebron, Ind., broke Bill Lowry's 25-year-old record in the event with a time of 1:50.82 at last week's Billy Hayes Invitational in Bloomington. The other school records set this season were by Aajah Showell (14.11 seconds, 100m hurdles, April 23) and Wesley Korir (14:15.89, 5000m, April 15).