Jan. 31, 2009
Tennessee sophomore Michael Ayers won the JRF Multi-Event Challenge on Saturday with a career-best and NCAA provisional -qualifying total of 5,590 points. He posted career-bests in two individual events and also moved into fifth place on Tennessee's all-time top-10 list with his score.
Ayers was the best man in a field of 16 competitors from several Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference schools. The winning point total was Ayers' first-career provisional mark in the heptathlon after qualifying for the NCAA Championships in the outdoor decathlon as a true freshman last season. Ayers' career-bests came in the pole vault on Saturday and in the 60m on Friday.
"I thought Michael did a nice job," Tennessee head coach Bill Webb said. "His total is a provisional mark, but it will probably be enough get him into the NCAA Championships. He also established himself as one of the favorites in the conference with his performance from this weekend."
Ayers entered the day with 3,028 points from Friday's events and opened competition on Saturday with a fourth-place finish in the 60m hurdles, clocking in at 8.63. He cleared a personal-best height of 5.10m (16-8.75) in the pole vault to win that event and finished the competition with a fifth-place time of 2:47.46 in the 1,000m.
Freshman Matthew Best fell from sixth place after day one to finish ninth with 4,558 points in his first collegiate multi-event competition. He ran a time of 8.85 in the 60m hurdles, cleared 3.30m (10-9.75) in the pole vault and finished the 1,000m in 3:08.61.
"Matt did well for his first competition at Tennessee," Webb said. "He will need to improve in the next few weeks to have a chance to score at the conference meet, but he competed hard and showed that can be a factor for us in the future."
Four Vols also competed at the Niswonger Invitational at East Tennessee State University on Saturday. Chris Rapp finished fifth in the invitational section of the 3,000m with a career-best time of 8:32.53 while Chris Kane crossed the line 10th in a career-best time of 8:42.22. Steve Tobin competed in the mile, placing fourth in the invitational section with a clocking of 4:17.84.
Jonathan Fluellen was the lone Vol in a field event, registering a mark of 6.60m (21-8) in the invitational section of the long jump to finish 12th.
The full Tennessee squad will resume competition next weekend at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational in New York, N.Y.
|1. Ayers, Mike|
|9. Best, Matt|
|1.||Cloyd, Josh||East Tenn. St.||7.29m 23-11.00|
|12.||Fluellen, Jonathan||Tennessee||6.60m 21-08.00|
|3000 Meter Run|
|1.||Crouch, Michael||Queens (N.C.)||8:16.66|
|1.||Ronoh, Ben||East Tenn. St.||4:15.71|