HOUSTON – Tulane’s track and field team posted big results during day three of the Conference USA Outdoor Championships thanks in part to pole vaulters Merritt Van Meter and Joanna Lapucha and freshman Devon Breaux – who placed in the top three in two events – to put their respective teams in high positions heading into the final day of the competition.
Three women scored for the Greenies on the day and three men scored points in four different events, including Breaux’s performances in the high jump and long jump. The women’s squad is currently tied for fifth with 21 points and the men’s team sits in sixth place with 28 total points.
“We feel like our kids are coming into the championship meet and performing at the level they are capable of, if not improving a bit,” said Tulane director of track and field Eric Peterson. “I’m really most proud of that, walking away from the meet today.”
Van Meter won the individual event title in the pole vault with a jump of 4.02 meters (13’ 2.25”) and Lapucha notched a 3.92 meter (12’ 10.25”) height – a new personal best – for a second place finish. The two alone scored 18 of the team’s 21 points on the evening. Lapucha’s mark is the second best in school history, and Van Meter becomes the first women pole vaulter in Tulane history to win a Conference USA Championship in the pole vault.
“Merritt had to work to win that title today,” added Peterson. “She had some trouble on her early bars. She did not get off to a good start, and her technique was off. But, to see her work through each new height, and really grind, is the mark of a champion. When you can come in and win and not have your best stuff is the mark of a champion. Joanna’s performance was one of the top individual efforts on the day, too.”