April 11, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - With only the men's and women's hammer competitions on the opening night of the 47th annual Sea Ray Relays, the Tennessee track & field team recorded three personal bests and had a Vol For Life beat the weather to finish as the runner-up.
With a severe thunderstorm closing in on Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium, Vols Carson Frost, Cameron Brown, Deon McAdoo and Drew Thomas took to the circle. They were joined by former Vol and seventh-place finisher at the 2012 U.S. Track & Field Olympic Trials Garland Porter and 28 other competitors under the lights.
Thomas and McAdoo both had big nights as the pair each recorded a lifetime best in the event. Thomas, a senior that will be honored on Saturday, finished 11th with a mark of 188-feet, 11-inches (52.01m), while McAdoo heaved the hammer 177-6 (54.10m) on his opening throw to finish in 18th.
Porter, defending champion Kevin Becker - who trains with UT throws coach John Frazier - and former Kentucky standout Andy Fryman remained tight at the top throughout the night. In the end, it was Fryman, who was competing for Mjolnir Throwers Club that won the title. Fryman, who finished sixth at the same Olympic Trials as Porter, recorded a winning mark of 226-9 (69.11m) on his opening throw and it held up.
Porter finished with a toss of 224-7 (68.45m), which he notched on his sixth and final attempt. Becker rounded out the top three (220-5/67.18m), while Indiana State's Brandon Pounds was the top collegiate finisher at 213-0 (64.92m).
In the women's competition, senior Jessie Harrison - who will also be honored for Senior Day on Saturday - advanced to the final nine with a toss of 168-feet, 1-inch (51.24m) on her second attempt. The Collierville, Tenn., native upped that mark with her sixth and final throw of the competition to 170-8 (52.01m) to finish in eighth place.
Competing unattached, Lady Vol freshman ReJean Rouse recorded a personal record on her opening throw of the night (136-8/41.65m).
University of Findlay's Jessica Rowland won the event with a mark of 189-10 (57.86m). Indiana State's Felisha Johnson finished second (186-2/56.75m), while Purdue's Dani Bunch claimed third place (180-9/55.09m).
Action resumes at Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium on Friday at 12:15 p.m. with the men's open discus. The first running event of the meet, the women's 3,000-meter, will take place at 12:35 p.m.
! - Personal Best, a - American Record, c - Collegiate Record, adv. - Advanced, dna - Did Not Advance, dnf - Did Not Finish, dnr - Did Not Run, dns - Did Not Start, dq - Disqualified, F - Foul, f - Facility Record, fr - Freshman Record, fr* - Tied Freshman Record, fs - False Start, mr - Meet Record, nh - No Height, nm - No Mark, sr - School Record, tr - Track Record, w - wind-aided, wr - World Record