AKRON, Ohio --- The University of South Florida men's and women's track and field team had three first-place finishes at the 2011 BIG EAST Indoor Championships in the Stile Athletics Field House in Akron on Sunday.
The men's and women's teams finished 5th and 6th place, respectively, in the competition. The point totals (63.75 for the men and 58 for the women) and the team finishes were both program bests.
"We knew they could do it," said fifth-year head coach Warren Bye. "The thing about the conference is you can come in having the top mark, but you gotta be able to do it on that day. [Denise von Enyatten and Derrick Hopkins] both stepped up. Denise set the all-time BIG EAST meet record and Derrick won two events and earned male MVP award. But overall, everyone did a great job and our finishes were the best ever by USF. It was a great day overall for the Bulls."
Hopkins, a sophomore, had two first-place finishes for the Bulls (60m and 200m) to give USF 20 of their 63.75 points. For the feat, he was named the Most Outstanding Male Track Performer of the meet. It marked the first time a Bull has taken home the honor.
In the 60-meter dash, he ran a personal-best time of 6.77. He ran a 21.30 in the 200m, beating his personal-best time of 21.95 he set at the Jayhawk Invitational earlier this season.
Also in the 60 meters, fellow sophomore Kayvon Webster took fifth place (6.91) and senior Greg Fontus took eighth with a time of 6.96, his second-best time of the season.
Fontus also competed in the 200m and came in second, behind teammate Hopkins, with a time of 21.77 after finishing sixth at last year's championships. The time also set a new personal best for the fifth-year senior.
Also in the running events, sophomore Pascal Orelus placed fifth in the 400 meters for the Bulls. He finished the race with a time of 48.52, which is a new PR for him.
Neamen Wise placed second in the heptathlon with 5,299 points. The mark outscored his previous best of 5,142, which he set last year at Minnesota.
Freshman Sharif Hudson added five points for the Bulls, placing fourth in the high jump with a leap of 6-9.
On the women's side, the team scored a school-record 58 points on the weekend after only posting 34.5 at last year's meet. The Bulls also advanced four spots in the conference after placing 10th last year.
USF had several women place in the top three, including graduate student Denise von Enyatten (pole vault, first), sophomore Monique Williams (triple jump, second), and junior Shaniel Chambers (500m, third).
Von Eynatten set a new personal record with a height of 14-1.75 and also set a new BIG EAST meet record in the event. The previous BIG EAST record was set back in 2009 by Mary Saxer of Notre Dame with a 13-9.25 vault. The mark also moves her up to fifth place in the NCAA rankings.
In the triple jump, Williams had a huge personal-best leap of 40-11. The jump replaces her previous PR of 39-3 she set last year at Penn State's Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup. At last year's indoor championships, she took fifth in the triple jump with a 38-9.50 leap.
Junior Shaniel Chambers placed third with a time of 1:13.36 in the 500-meter run.
Yasmin Smith came into the mile run unranked in the event and earned a personal-best time of 4:52.30 to take fourth place in the event.
Freshman Marqueshia Stallworth also had a strong showing in her first BIG EAST Indoor Championships. She placed fifth in the triple jump after jumping 39-3.25. The mark is a new PR for her and the third consecutive meet she has set a new personal best.
Dariel Jackson competed in the 200m dash for the Bulls and came away with a sixth-place finish with a time of 24.25.
The Bulls will be back in action in two weeks on March 4 when they travel to Jacksonville, Fla. for the University of North Florida's Invitational.
Women's Results Day Two
6. Dariel Jackson, 24.25
3. Shaniel Chambers, 1:13.36
8. Rachael James, 1:14.68
4. Yasmin Smith, 4:52.30
4x400 Meter Relay
7. USF 'A', 3:48.37
1. Denis von Eynatten, 14-1.75
4. Stephanie Duffy, 13-3.50
9. Dana Webb, 12-1.50
11. Nicole Smith, 11-7.75
2. Monique Williams, 40-11
5. Marqueshia Stallworth, 39-3.25
14. MaShonda Rayner, 37-4.50
19. Tralanda Todd, 35-8
8. Atasha Warren, 47-11.75
Men's Results Day Two
1. Derrick Hopkins, 6.77
5. Kayvon Webster, 6.91
8. Greg Fontus, 6.96
1. Derrick Hopkins, 21.30
2. Greg Fontus, 21.77
5. Pascal Orelus, 48.52
11. Philip Wise, 4:18.05
4x400 Meter Run
USF 'A', 3:19.82
4. Sharif Hudson, 6-9
T7. Bryan Kilts, 6-5
5. Antillio Bastian, 48-10
8. Shane Lewis, 47-10.50
14. Jared Thomas, 47-9.75
2. Neamen Wise, 5,299 points