March 8, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The NCAA Indoor Championships are a big stage and Friday night at the Tyson Track Complex, the TCU track and field program got two big performances. Lorraine Ugen finished fifth in the women’s long jump with a best jump of 20-10 (6.35m), and Charles Silmon advanced to the eight-man finals in the men’s 60-meter dash in a career-best time of 6.60 seconds.
“We did well,” TCU head coach Darryl Anderson said. “We brought three people to the meet and two of them are going to leave as first-team All-Americans. This bodes well for the outdoor season. Hopefully the student-athletes at home were watching tonight and realize that if we can get to this meet, we can do good things.”
Ugen’s first trips to the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships last season were rough with all three of her jumps at both meets ending up as fouls. The evening did not get off to the best start with a foul on her first jump, and a moderate jump of 19-7 1/2 (5.98m) on her second jump left her in 11th in her pursuit to make the nine-woman final. With all the pressure mounted on her shoulders, Ugen produced a big jump of 20-6 1/2 (6.26m) to advance to three more jumps.
“To finally get on the board with all of her abilities she has is big,” Anderson said. “To make that step at the NCAA Championships bodes well for her future. The sky is the limit”
An unimpressive fourth jump and a solid 20-5 1/4 (6.23m) leap on her fifth effort saw multiple opponents pass her in the standings. When on the runway for her final jump, she was seated eighth in the standings. Once again, Ugen rose to the occasion with a huge final jump of 20-10 (6.60m). Her fifth place finish also gave TCU four points in the team standings, and Ugen earned the status of a first-team All-American.
“She didn’t land her final jump that well, we thought it could have been closer to 6.80 meters,” Anderson stated. “We are still very pleased we got fifth place. Putting points on the board at the Division I National Championships makes us relevant.”
There were many jittery nerves in the men’s 60-meter dash. It showed in the first heat prior to Silmon’s run when the top seed in the competition, Marvin Bracy of Florida State, was removed for a false start. Silmon’s heat had twice the drama as the field was recalled and Florida State’s Dentarius Locke was dismissed for a false start. The heat was recalled for a second time, but no one else was removed from the second heat.
“We work on this in practice,” Anderson said. “We do drills to demonstrate false starts so the guys have to come back, re-group and redirect their energy. When you are good, you are doing things because you have done them before. This is the wrong place to be experiencing something for the first time.”
Once a clean start occurred, Silmon was able to lead the pack across the line in first with a career-best time of 6.60 seconds. The time, 0.05 seconds faster than his previous best of 6.65 seconds, moved him to third in TCU history in the indoor 60-meter dash, with five-time Olympian Kim Collins at 6.53 seconds and Bryan Howard at 6.59 seconds ahead of the senior.
“This is huge for Charles,” Anderson noted. “When you win a heat in this meet, it shows to not just yourself, but the entire country, that you belong. He had great starts on the two false starts, and the third one was not as good. That bodes well for tomorrow. He has a great opportunity to do something very special.”
Chaniqua Corinealdi also competed for TCU Friday, running in the 60-meter dash. The senior finished 16th overall with a time of 7.48 seconds.
Silmon will compete in the men’s 60-meter dash final tomorrow at 7:10 p.m.