Gipson Defends Long Jump Title With Record-Breaking Leap
Feb. 24, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The Horned Frog track and field program had a stellar day to begin the 2012 Mountain West Indoor Championships Friday, collecting two gold medals inside the Albuquerque Convention Center. TCU currently sits in third place on the women's side, while the men ended the day fifth overall.
"All in all, I thought it was a very productive day for us," TCU head coach Darryl Anderson said. "We got enough qualifiers and if everyone can come in tomorrow and do their job, we will have a great opportunity to win the meet on the women's side. There are some other teams that are sitting in good shape also, so tomorrow should be a lot of fun."
"We have a lot of qualifiers on the men's side, even though we always show up to this meet shorthanded," Anderson added. "I thought we did a pretty good job. Now we've got to let some positive things happen for us that our out of our control, depending on how the other teams do. We are in good shape and I feel good about our day. Our kids competed well today, but now we have to eat, get treatment and get well rested so that we can come in tomorrow and be ready to go. Tomorrow will be a big step for this team as far as defining who we are as we move into the outdoor season. That transition is always sweeter when you win a title."
Senior Whitney Gipson stood out for the Frogs, winning the gold medal in the women's long jump for the second-straight season, soaring to the tune of 21-10 ¾ feet. The North Richland Hills, Texas, native nailed her best leap on her fifth attempt, topping the nation's best mark heading into the day and breaking the MW Championships record for the event. She also set a new TCU program benchmark, surpassing Donna Thomas' jump of 21-5 ¼ feet from the 1985 season.
Gipson becomes the second Frog to ever win two indoor long jump titles, joining 2003 and 2004 Conference USA champion Aundre Edwards. Freshman Lorraine Ugen garnered silver medal honors behind Gipson after flying an NCAA automatic mark and personal-best leap of 21-4 ¼ feet (6.51m).
"I thought Whitney Gipson and Lorraine Ugen were outstanding in the long jump," Anderson said. "Whitney set the Mountain West meet record and school record and Lorraine got her personal best in the event to finish second. Both girls hit NCAA automatic marks. That's outstanding in itself."
Freshman Orlene Parris also collected a gold medal Friday, leading the way in the women's high jump. The Arlington, Texas product cleared 5-9 ¼ feet (1.76m) to become the first female Frog to ever win a conference title in the event and joins Jason Howard as the only other TCU athlete to win high jump gold. Howard was a two-time men's champion, leading C-USA in 1999 and 2001.
In other finals events Friday, junior Agnes Kemboi picked up silver medal standards in the women's 5K with a time of 17:00.69. The Eldoret, Kenya native is coming off of a cross country season where she finished third overall in the conference. She finished just eight seconds from the front of the pack.
"We were ecstatic about Agnes Kemboi running 17 minutes and finishing second in the women's 5K," Anderson said. "We are always at a disadvantage because we are at sea level and then have to come here and run at a higher altitude and I thought that was big for her to run that well today."
Junior Cameron Tabor also excelled from the infield, earning bronze medal honors in the men's weight throw. The Norman, Okla., product enjoyed a top throw of 62-1 feet (18.92m) on his fifth attempt to win his flight and garner third place. His mark also reset his personal-best and school record for the event.
Freshman Ramone Bailey and senior Cameron Parker stood out in the men's long jump. Bailey, a product of Kingston, Jamaica, finished with bronze honors with a top attempt of 23-9 ½ feet (7.25m). Parker followed closely for fourth overall at 23-4 ½ feet (7.12m)
From the track preliminary heats, TCU advanced four athletes into the final eight of the men's 60 meters. Junior Charles Silmon clocked the fastest time of the day, clocking in at 6.70 seconds. Mark Barnes, Jeffrey Josephs and OJ Stoneham followed Silmon with to reach the 60-meter finals on Saturday.
In the 200-meter prelims, each Frog that qualified for the finals won his respective heat as TCU enjoyed four of the top five times posted Friday. Silmon led the charge at 21.44 seconds, followed by Lavon Collins (21.68), Stoneham (21.70) and Barnes (21.75). TCU also pushed Narada Jackson, Joshua Washington and Collins into the 400-meter finals, while senior Jack O'Brien worked his way into the men's 800-meter finals by running 1:54.16 Friday.
On the women's side, the Frogs will send two qualifiers into the 60-meter finals Saturday. Junior Chaniqua Corinealdi had the fastest preliminary time of the afternoon, clocking in at 7.44 seconds, while Ugen chimed in at 7.51 seconds for third overall. Corinealdi (24.05) and Gipson (24.68) also qualified for the 200-meter finals.
In the women's 400 meters preliminary heats, the Frogs' advanced a trio of athletes into Saturday's finals, as senior Quinterra Charles led all runners with clocking of 55.19 seconds, while freshmen Ashley Collins (55.94) and Neferteria Hall (56.26) followed.
Junior Larissa Matthews qualified for the finals in the women's 60-meter hurdles, posting the top time in her preliminary heat and a seasonal-best time of 8.51 seconds. The Chandler, Ariz., native was the 2010 MWC champion and will return for the finals Saturday.
Other highlights on the women's side include Tricia Terry and Kelly Dawson working their way into the mile finals Saturday, while sophomore Briyanni Thomas finished third overall in the 800-meter prelims with a time of 2:11.46.
The Frogs closed the day with the distance medley relays. The women's team of Hanna Jane Stradinger, Hayley Shade, Lillian Chevallier and Katie Dalton finished fifth overall, while the men's group of Jake Rossmango, Justin Chambers, Connor Wilkins and Preston Newsome turned in a time to finish fifth as well.
TCU will return to the track for the finals Saturday, starting with the men's and women's 60-meter hurdles at 11:45 p.m. CT. The field action resumes with women's shot put and men's triple jump at 10:45 a.m. CT.