Blankenship Posts Runner-Up Finish At SECs

Feb. 24, 2013

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Final Results

Name Event/Place/Mark
Jake Blankenship Pole Vault/2nd/18-2.5 (5.55m)
Chase Brannon Pole Vault/4th/17-5.5 (5.32m)
Matthew Hoty Shot Put/5th/60-10.75 (18.56m)
DMR 5th/9:56.52
4x400m Relay 5th/3:10.83
Terry Benson 60m Hurdles/6th/8.05

» Final Results

Name Event/Place/Mark
Nijgia Snapp 800m/3rd/2:05.97
DMR 4th/11:23.77
4x400m Relay 6th/3:39.40
Jessie Harrison Weight Throw/7th/62-1.25 (18.93m)

» Final Results

Freshman // Blacklick, Ohio.

Finished as the SEC Indoor Championship runner-up in the men's pole vault with a mark of 18-feet, 2.5-inches. That extends his University of Tennessee freshman record. Blankenship missed just four times on Sunday and earned eight points for the Vols.

Senior // Mays Landing, N.J.

After sneaking into the finals of the 800-meter, Snapp matched her last season's finish at the SEC Indoor Championships in the event, taking third place in a season-best time of 2:05.97. Snapp earned six points for the Lady Vols.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Highlighted by a runner-up finish from freshman pole vaulter Jake Blankenship, the University of Tennessee track & field team concluded the 2013 Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships at the Randal Tyson Track Center on Sunday in Fayetteville, Ark.

"This was a championship that we had some underclassmen come through," said Tennessee Director of Track & Field/Cross Country J.J. Clark. "We had Cassie (Wertman), Cameron (Brown) and Jake all scoring as freshmen. Austin Whitelaw was ninth, just outside of scoring. Both DMRs are returning next year so it was kind of the theme throughout. We have some maturity to do in that area, but within a year's time I believe we'll see a totally different program.

"We have to definitely do some evaluation on how we can be in better contention for outdoors, but overall we have to continue to move to a higher level. At the same time, there were some people that definitely responded to the SEC Championships with having a higher level of intensity and transferring that into placing and scoring. We're looking to continuing to move forward as the outdoor season approaches."

Blankenship, who entered the meet ranked second in the conference and seventh in the nation in the event, posted the highest finish of the meet for the Big Orange. Seeking the Vols' 19th SEC indoor pole vault title and the sixth in the past eight seasons, the rookie went head-to-head against the defending indoor and outdoor SEC champion, Andrew Irwin of Arkansas.

The Blacklick, Ohio, native breezed through the first four heights, surpassing each of them on his first attempt. After passing 18-0.5 on his second attempt, Blankenship proceeded to improve his own UT freshman record with a vault of 18-2.5 (5.55m) on his first attempt. After missing it his first try, Irwin passed on the mark and went on to hit 18-4.5 on his second effort. The Vols 6-foot freshman, which entered the championships having won three meets in a row, took three shots at the height, but knocked the bar down each time to finish as the runner-up.

The effort improves the UT freshman record to 18-2.5, a mark which legendary pole vaulter Lawrence Johnson held entering this season. Blankenship now ranks third all-time in UT indoor pole vault history. In addition, he now sits fifth in the nation and second among rookies in 2013.

"Jake is doing a great job. Whenever you can take second as a freshman at the SEC meet is a tremendous accomplishment," said Clark. "He had some great attempts and we believe he'll eventually clear those heights. He's doing a great job and we're very proud of the competitiveness he showed today."

The Vol pole vaulters combined for 13 team points as junior Chase Brannon placed fourth in the event with a mark of 17-5.5 (5.32m). His classmate Tyler Porter was just outside the scoring, adding a ninth-place finish.

After sneaking into the finals of the women's 800m on Saturday, senior Nijgia Snapp matched her last year's finish at the meet, placing third in the event with a season-best mark of 2 minutes, 5.97 seconds - just off her personal record pace of 2:05.49.

"Nijgia did not have the best 800-meter prelim," Clark said. "She did not make it on an automatic finish, but she came back today and really turned the tables, running about three seconds faster than she did yesterday to place in the top three.

"Overall, we have to build off this. Our next meet will be a last-chance meet, then the NCAA Championships and then it's the outdoor season. We're still focused on the indoor season with the idea of thinking about how to do better this outdoor season as well as the years to come."

Snapp's teammate Kianna Ruff also performed well for the Lady Vols, running a blazing 800m split in the Lady Vols fourth-place distance medley relay squad with teammates Alexis Panisse, Charity Honeycutt and Amber Zimmerman. Tennessee's streak of six-consecutive indoor DMR SEC titles was snapped on Sunday. Ruff also put the Lady Vols' 4x400-meter relay squad out in front after a quick first leg. The Big Orange women finished sixth in that event.

The Vols DMR and 4x400m relays put forth season-best efforts, placing fifth in both events. Junior Terrance Livingston and sophomore Antonio Carter ran in both for the Orange and White. The DMR navigated the banked course in 9:56.52, while the 4x400m crew crossed the line in 3:10.83 - just outside the Vols' all-time top-12 list.

Senior Terry Benson also grabbed some points for UT, placing sixth in the men's 60-meter hurdles with a mark of 8.05 seconds. Benson finished third at last season's SEC Indoor Championships.

In the pit, sophomore Matthew Hoty placed fifth in the men's shot put with a mark of 60-feet, 10.75-inches on his third throw. Lady Vol senior thrower Jessie Harrison won the opening flight in the women's weight throw and went on to finish in seventh place in the finals. Harrison's best toss of 62-1.25 came on her second attempt in the final round. Her teammate ReJean Rouse notched a personal-best in the event with a mark of 46-4.25.

Arkansas doubled-up at the meet, claiming both the men's and the women's team titles with 152.50 and 114.50 points, respectively. It was the sixth-straight indoor championship for the Arkansas men. With 109.50 points, LSU took second on the women's side, while the Tigers' men's squad finished fifth (44 points). Newcomers Texas A&M recorded third-place finishes on both the men's (88.50) and women's (88) side. Florida placed second in the men's competition (117) and fourth in the women's (87.50), while Georgia rounded out the top five of the women's competition with 52.50 points. The Bulldogs also finished fourth on the men's side (56).

The Lady Vols finished alone in eighth place with 29 points, while the Vols tied with conference newcomers Missouri for eighth with 32 tallies.

800m: 3. Nijgia Snapp, 2:05.97b
Distance Medley Relay: 4. Alexis Panisse / Charity Honeycutt / Kianna Ruff / Amber Zimmerman, 11:23.77b
4x400m Relay: 6. Kianna Ruff / Martinique Octave / Felicia Brown / Brittney Jackson, 3:39.40b
Weight Throw: 7. Jessie Harrison, 62-1.25/18.93m; 20. ReJean Rouse, 46-4.25/14.13m!
Triple Jump: 11. Allison Outerbridge, 40-6/12.34m!; 19. Kasha McDougald, 38-5.5/11.72m
5000m: 24. Hannah Davidson, 17:37.18b

Pole Vault: 5. Linda Hadfield, 13-1.5/4.00m; 6. Erin Champion, 13-1.5/4.00m!
Long Jump: 6. Kia Jackson, 20-1/6.12m!; 25. Kasha McDougald, 16-3/4.95m
Shot Put: 6. Cassie Wertman, 52-4.5/15.96m!; 9. Aslynn Halvorson, 49-9.25/15.17m; 16. ReJean Rouse , 41-11.50/12.79m
3000m: 21. Hannah Davidson, 9:59.95b
800m Prelims: adv. Nijgia Snapp, 2:08.19b/Ht. 3, 3rd (7th); dna. Kianna Ruff, 2:09.46b/Ht. 2, 3rd (9th); dna. Brittney Jackson, 2:11.28b/Ht. 3, 5th (14th); dna. Charity Honeycutt, 2:11.82!b/Ht. 3, 6th (16th); dna. Ty-Vonna Johnson, 2:13.60!b/Ht. 1, 7th (18th)
Mile Prelims: dna. Alexis Panisse, 4:49.68b/Ht.1, 4th (11th); dna. Kelsey Kane, 4:50.22!b/Ht. 1, 6th (14th); dna. Amber Zimmerman, 4:52.31b/Ht. 2, 5th (16th); dna. Amirah Johnson, 4:57.51!b/Ht. 1, 8th (21st)
400m Prelims: dna. Felicia Brown, 54.48b/Ht. 2, 3rd (12th); dna. Martinique Octave, 55.40/Ht. 5, 1st (20th)
200m Prelims: dna. Felicia Brown, 23.86/Ht. 1, 4th (13th)
60m Hurdles Prelims: dna. Bianca Blair, 8.69/Ht. 3, 5th (15th)
60m Prelims: dna. Kia Jackson, 7.54/Ht. 1, 5th (16th)

Pole Vault: 2. Jake Blankenship, 18-2.5/5.55m!fr; 4. Chase Brannon, 17-5.5/5.32m; 9. Tyler Porter, 16-7.5/5.07m; nm. Michael Maira
Shot Put: 5. Matthew Hoty, 60-10.75/18.56m; 12. Tavis Bailey, 55-4.75/16.88m
Distance Medley Relay: 5. Jeremy Dickie / Terrance Livingston / Antonio Carter / Kyle Walter, 9:56.52b
4x400m Relay: 5. Jarael Nelvis / Terrance Livingston / Terry Benson / Antonio Carter, 3:10.83b
60m Hurdles Finals: 6. Terry Benson, 8.05
5000m: 10. Peter Okwera, 14:18.06b; 12. Chris Bodary, 14:23.07b; 19. Austin Whitelaw, 14:55.15b; 24. Stephen Derlath, 15:06.97b

Weight Throw: 5. Cameron Brown, 64-4.5/19.62m!fr; 12. Drew Thomas, 59-11.75/18.28m!; 24. Deon McAdoo, 54-2.5/16.52m!; 26. Tavis Bailey, 49-3.75/15.03m
3000m: 9. Austin Whitelaw, 8:11.68!b; 13. Peter Okwera, 8:17.21b; 18. Chris Bodary, 8:27.57b; 21. Kyle Walter, 8:33.54b
Long Jump: 12. Jamol James, 17-7/5.36m
60m Hurdles Prelims: adv. Terry Benson, 8.12/Ht. 2, 3rd (6th)
60m Prelims: dna. Jamol James, 6.74/Ht. 4, 3rd (11th); dna. Arnez Hardnick, 6.88/Ht. 4, 4th (20th); dna. Reggie Juin, 7.11/Ht. 4, 7th (32nd)
200m Prelims: dna. Jarael Nelvis, 21.20!b/Ht. 3. 3rd (12th); dna. Arnez Hardnick,
21.44!b/Ht. 3, 4th (18th); dna. Reggie Juin, 22.10b/Ht. 6, 3rd (29th)
800m Prelims: dna. Terrance Livingston, 1:52.53!b/Ht. 2, 6th (16th); dna. Antonio Carter, 1:53.69b/Ht. 2, 7th (18th); Breon Dixon, 1:53.91b/Ht. 3, 8th (19th); dna. Joe Franklin, 1:57.87b/Ht. 3, 8th (23rd)
Mile Prelims: dna. Jeremy Dickie, 4:17.56b/Ht. 3, 6th (21st); dna. Daniel Tobin, 4:19.11b/Ht. 3, 7th (22nd); dna. Jordan Chaney, 4:26.84b/Ht. 1, 9th (26th)
400m Prelims: dna. Michael Williams, 49.81b/Ht. 6, 3rd (29th)

! - Personal Best, ^ - Oversized Track, $ - SEC Record, a - American Record, b - Banked Track, c - Collegiate Record, adv. - Advanced, dna - Did Not Advance, dnf - Did Not Finish, dnr - Did Not Run, dq - Disqualified, F - Foul, f - Facility Record, fr - Freshman Record, fr* - Tied Freshman Record fs - False Start, H - Heptathlon, h - Hand-Timed, mr - Meet Record, nm - No Mark, p - Time Run In Prelims, P - Pentathlon, sr - School Record, u - Undersized Track, wr - World Record

Final SEC Indoors Team Standings
Team, Points

1. Arkansas, 114.50
2. LSU, 109.50
3. Texas A&M, 88
4. Florida, 87.50
5. Georgia, 52.50
6. South Carolina, 50
7. Kentucky, 34
8. Tennessee, 29
9. Missouri, 28
10. Alabama, 25
11. Mississippi State, 18
12. Ole Miss, 11
13. Auburn, 9
14. Vanderbilt, 5

Team, Points

1. Arkansas, 152.50
2. Florida, 117
3. Texas A&M, 88.50
4. Georgia, 56
5. LSU, 44
6. Auburn, 41
7. Alabama, 40
T8. Tennessee, 32
T8. Missouri, 32
10. Kentucky, 30
11. Ole Miss, 22
12. South Carolina, 7





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