Newcomers Win CUSA Challenge

Juco transfers Shawn Ablett and Ryan Fraser highlighted in CUSA Challenge belts

Team Ablett won the 2008 University of Memphis CUSA Challenge.

Team Ablett won the 2008 University of Memphis CUSA Challenge.

Nov. 18, 2008

2008 CUSA Challenge Photo Gallery

MEMPHIS, Tenn.-- The University of Memphis wrapped up its 2008 fall workouts with the fifth annual CUSA Challenge. The Memphis baseball semester-long competition was concluded with a series of six physical tests that included. Team Ablett won the team portion of the challenge, while juco transfer Ryan Fraser was the overall individual winner.

Individual testing consisted of the 60-yard dash, pull-ups, standing broad jump, vertical jumps, L-Drill, squats, cleans and pro shuttle. Each event was given points which were then divided into different classes, the highest being Ultimate Iron Tiger. Fraser was joined by Brennon Martin as the lone two Ultimate Iron Tigers. Martin reaches the top status for the second-straight year. 20 other student-athletes made the elite strength squads--Superior Iron Tiger (Shawn Ablett, Marc Ashley, Tyler Huelsing, Jonathan Jones and Chris Newsom), Super Iron Tigers (Brett Bowen, Eric Farrell, Garrett Hachtel, Chris Novikoff and Cole Shelton) and Iron Tigers (Marcus Barnes, Brach Davis, Heith Hatfield, Zach Helton, Drew Martinez, Adam McClain, Chase Sain, Dane Sharp, Duke Williams and Matt Yokley).

For the team segment of the contest, the Tigers were then broken up into five teams (that were determined before the semester) consisting of seven players each for the one day battle of body and mind. The teams were competed in events such as tug of war, the prowler zigzag, the farmer's walk, tire flip, move the mountain and the shuttle medley.

Each team was awarded points and a Champion was determined at the end of the day. The winning team of the 2008 CUSA Challenge was Team Ablett. Ablett, a catcher juco transfer from Richland Community College, finished third in the individual race with 240 points. His team consisted of Marcus Barnes, Chris Newsom, Chris Novikoff, Ben Paullus, Worth Tate and Chad Zurcher. Robby Graham was also on the team, but did not compete due to injury. Novikoff has been on the CUSA Challenge championship team for each of the last three year. His team claimed the 2007 CUSA Challenge crown.

Under the leadership of Ultimate Iron Tiger Martin, Team Martin was the runner of this year's competition. The squad included Zach Clark, Jonathan Jones, Dan Kaufmann, Martin, Josh Ross, Duke Williams and Jacob Wilson.

Team Ashley came in third, Team Bowen was fourth and Team Farrell rounded out the competition in fifth place.

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