Track shines in rough weekend for USF
Rough weekend for USF athletics, with men's and women's basketball taking home losses, baseball getting swept in a season-opening series at Florida and softball losing its last two games in a weekend tournament on campus to fall to 5-4.
USF had a solid showing at the Big East indoor track championships in New York, as freshman football players Lindsey Lamar and Derrick Hopkins took third and fourth in the 60 meters. The two sprinters shared the same time of 6.80 seconds but Lamar finished just ahead and earning All-Big East honors by finishing in the top three. Also on the podium was Reshaw Exilien in the 400 meters, taking third with a time of 48.75 seconds.
Exilien also took third as part of USF's third-place entry in the 4x400 relay, along with Pascal Orelus, Mikail Ebanks and David Aristil. Aristil also took fifth in the 60-meter hurdles, and Josh Wimbley took fifth in the 200 meters, a split second ahead of teammate Gregory Fontus. Michael Kursteiner took fourth in the high jump.
On the whole, USF's men finished eighth out of 13 teams, two spots higher than last season and only three points behind Syracuse for seventh. USF's women finished 10th, a half-point behind Cincinnati.
-- USF baseball got a solid debut Sunday from 6-8 lefty Andrew Barbosa, but after rallying and taking a 6-3 lead into the ninth inning, the Bulls lost to Florida in 10 innings to open the year 0-3. Florida is one of the toughest opponents on USF's schedule, and the Bulls continue a challenging start with the Big East/Big Ten Challenge in Clearwater and St. Petersburg this weekend, facing Ohio State, Illinois and Michigan.
-- Softball lost its last two games, outhit 17-7 in losses to N.C. State and Hofstra, but started the weekend off strong -- Alison Savarese homered in four consecutive games, her streak ending with USF's 2-1 victory against Michigan State. That game saw sophomore Capri Catalano throw a two-hitter, striking out eight. Sophomore Janine Richardson went 4-for-4 with three RBIs in USF's Saturday win against North Dakota State.
-- Still no official word from USF, but there's further confirmation that longtime ECU assistant Steve Shankweiler will coach the Bulls' offensive line. In a Q&A with ESPN.com's Brian Bennett, Skip Holtz lists Shankweiler among the assistant coaches "in place right now." Holtz also mentions something we've speculated, that assistant Vernon Hargreaves will oversee special teams in addition to defensive ends, as he did at ECU. Here's the first part of Bennett's interview with Holtz.