Riles' Effort in the 400-Meter Dash Highlights Tulane's Opening Day at C-USA Track & Field Champions

HOUSTON - Freshman Jamie Riles provided Tulane with its best finish on the opening day of the 2010 Conference USA Indoor Championships at the Yeoman Fieldhouse with a sixth-place performance in her preliminary heat in the 400-meter dash in a time of 56.93, which marked a personal best for the rookie. With her time, Riles advances to Saturday's final.

"Though the first day of the championships didn't go as well as we would have liked it to, we find ourselves in a place where we are certainly excited and pleased with some of the individual improvements we had in today's competition," Tulane head coach Eric Peterson said. "Jamie Riles entered the championships with the 20th best time in the 400-meter dash among Conference USA runners and posted a sixth place finish today. She's a tough competitor and this was the type of performance we've been hoping for all season. She's peaking at the right time. Tomorrow's final will be a great challenge for her."

Tulane competed in nine events today, including three six races, two field events and the always challenging pentathlon. Along with Riles in the 400-meter dash, the freshman duo of Danielle Pensack and Jerica Banksfinished 26th and 28th with times of 59.49 and 59.84, respectively.

In the 5,000-meter run, redshirt sophomore Julia Whitrock was 11th in the event with a time of 17:41.00. Whitrock's finished was a lifetime best indoors by 12 seconds.

"Julia has really taken advantage of the indoor season and used it as an opportunity to improve her racing skills and decision making. She has lowered her times in both the 5,000- and 3,000-meter events several times this season," Peterson said.

In field events action, freshman Kelsey Moran cleared 9-02.25 in the pole vault for a 13th place finish. She improved her seasonal-best mark by a foot and her lifetime best by two and half inches. Moran cleared each of her three bars today on her first attempt.

Senior Nicolette Taku and Collins were 13th and 15th in the long jump, respectively. Taku's longest jump was 18-00.50, which tied her season-best, while Collins recorded a jump of 17-08.00.

"I'm happy to see Nicolette maintain her consistency today. Her effort today was a warm up for her in the triple jump tomorrow," Peterson said.

The Green Wave competed in its first relay as the foursome of junior Rebecca Coady, freshman Candice St. Etienne, sophomore Johanna Gretschel and Pensack each ran on TU's distance medley relay team and the group posted an eighth place finish with a time of 12:21.15.

"Rebecca Coady got us off to a great start in the race. She ran aggressively and her split time of 3:35 was the best she has ever run," Peterson said.

In the 60-meter dash, sophomore Kasey Rodgers and senior Olivia Kizzee each finished with a time of 7.62 in their respective heats.

In the preliminaries heats of the 200-meter dash, Kizzee clocked a 14th place time of 24.98, while Riles was right behind the upperclassman with a 16th place effort in a time of 25:04. Rodgers was 22nd with her time of 25.67 and freshman Tiffanie Smith was 25th in a time of 26.44.

The Tulane tandem of sophomore Raquelle Collins and freshman Adiyah Crute each ran in the preliminaries of the 60-meter hurdles. Collins logged a time of 9.69 for a 24th place finish, while Crute was right behind her teammate in 26th place with a time of 9.74.

Sophomore Kelly Curtis competed for the Wave in the rigorous pentathlon where she finished 15th. Curtis registered a 19th place (9.64) finish in the 60-Meter Hurdles, was 10th (1.54) in the high jump, 12th (9.40) in the shot put, 11th (5.12) in the long jump and 18th (2:50.95) in the 800-meter run.

The final day of the Championships starts at 11 am on Saturday morning. The day begins with the men's heptathlon wrapping up with the 60-meter hurdles, pole vault and the 1000-meters.

Field events begin at 1 pm with the men's shot put and triple jump and the women's high jump. All running finals begin at 3 pm and culminate with the women's and men's 4x400-meter relays at approximately 6:20 pm.

60-Meter Dash (preliminaries)

13. Kasey Rodgers 7.62
14. Olivia Kizzee 7.62

200-Meter Dash (preliminaries)
14. Olivia Kizzee 24.98
16. Jamie Riles 25.04
22. Kasey Rodgers 25.67
25. Tiffanie Smith 26.44

400-Meter Dash (preliminaries)
6. Jamie Riles 56.93
26. Danielle Pensack 59.49
28. Jerica Banks 59.84
DNF Aieshia Brooks

5,000-Meter Run (finals)
11. Julia Whitrock 17:41.00

60-Meter Hurdles (preliminaries)
24. Raquelle Collins 9.69
26. Adiyah Crute 9.74

Distance Medley Relay (finals)
8. Tulane 12:21.15
(Coady, St. Etienne, Pensack, Gretschel)

Pole Vault (finals)
13. Kelsey Moran 2.80 (9-02.25)

Long Jump (finals)
13. Nicolette Taku 5.50 (18-00.50)
15. Raquelle Collins 5.38 (17-08.00)

Pentathlon (finals)
15. Kelly Curtis 2983.00

Pentathlon Events
60-Meter Hurdles
19. 9.64
High Jump
10. 1.54
Shot Put
12. 9.40
Long Jump
11. 5.12
800-Meter Run

18. 2:50.95