On Sept. 6., we send Happy Birthday wishes to former Vols defensive lineman and current Denver Bronco Robert Ayers, who registered one sack in Denver's 49-27 victory over the Ravens last night.
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On September 5, we wish a very happy 52nd birthday to legendary Vols football and track star Willie Gault. The wideout played in the NFL for 11 seasons, winning Super Bowl XX with the Chicago Bears. The speedster finished his UT career holding 12 school records in football and three in track and field.
August 23rd marks the birthday of former Vol basketball and Chicago Bulls great Tom Boerwinkle, who passed away on March 26, 2013. The 4th pick in the 1968 NBA Draft, Boerwinkle was an All-American and helped lead UT to the 1967 SEC Championship.
Also celebrating birthdays today is men's swimmer Jimmy Dagley and former Vol track thrower Drew Thomas.
MOSCOW -- Former Lady Vol Jackie Areson recorded the 10th-best time in the preliminaries of the 5,000-meter run Wednesday to qualify for the finals at the IAAF World Championships.
Areson, who competes for Australia, was eighth in her heat in 15 minutes, 40.21 seconds. Meseret Defar of Ethiopia had the fastest time in 15:22.94.
The finals will be held Saturday.
In other former UT athlete results at the World Championships, Sarah Bowman Brown finished 22nd in the semifinals of the 1,500 on Tuesday, clocking a time of 4:12.16.
MOSCOW -- World-record holder and Olympic gold medalist Aries Merritt finished sixth in the 110-meter hurdles Monday at the IAAF World Championships.
Merritt crossed the finish line in 13.31. The USA had a 1-2 finish with David Oliver winning (13.00) and Ryan Wilson taking bronze.
"Obviously in a hurdle race, if you hit hurdles you don't win," Merritt told USA Track and Field. "Last year was the perfect year. I didn't hit any hurdles, I was flawless. This time I made mistakes and I'm not the champion. That's pretty much how it boils down.
"I'm not really disappointed. I'm happy that I could walk away from that race injury-free. Obviously, the semifinal was a huge scare. I had to expend so much energy, because I literally thought someone false started. So I sat in the blocks thinking they were going to shoot the gun twice. I expended way too much energy in the semifinal to run myself into the final. The guys who got it done here deserve all the credit and the utmost respect."
In 2012, Merritt won the Olympic gold in the 110 hurdles and set the world record later in the year. He was coming off a back injury at the World Championships.