April 12, 2014
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee's throwers led the way Saturday to close the three-day Tennessee Relays presented by Sea Ray with Kyle Quinn throwing the NCAA's top distance in the javelin.
Outside of competition, the final day at Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium was highlighted with the honoring of Tennessee coaching great Stan Huntsman in the afternoon. Huntsman, who coached the Vols from 1971-85, led the Vols to two NCAA team titles and 31 SEC championships during his tenure.
"This was a phenomenal weekend for our alumni," Tennessee director of track and field J.J. Clark said. "Stan Huntsman, one of the great collegiate coaches, was honored today and more than 100 alumni came here. It was a really atmosphere for our alumni, our team, our coaches.
"It was a good event. Our first Tennessee Relays was a success and we'll continue building from here."
Now midway through the outdoor track and field season, Tennessee collected career bests across the board during its first of two home meets. The team is competing at the LSU Relays and the Mt. SAC Invitational next week.
"It was a good solid meet for us," Clark said. "We have to continue to grow on these great personal bests that were nationally ranked. This is what we need to to. We need to continue to get healthy and push forward."
THE NATION'S BESTIn one of the final field events of the meet, Kyle Quinn came in second place in the javelin throw, finishing with a 78.28 meter mark, almost three meters longer than his previous personal best. and No. 1 distance in collegiate javelin in 78.28 meters.
"It was good to get a nice throw like that finally," said Quinn. "I had a pretty rough series before, kept trying to kill all my throws. That one finally just came together."
The redshirt sophomore from Somerset, Mass., currently holds the highest distance of any collegiate javelin thrower this year, but Quinn is anything but satisfied.
"There's another four more weeks until conference and then four more weeks until nationals," said Quinn. "In that time, someone is liable to hit marks like that. This is where we practice, so I felt pretty comfortable, but this isn't where it really matters. You need it at NCAAs and you need it at nationals, where it matters."
BAILEY WINS AGAIN IN DISCUSThree meets, three discus wins for Tavis Bailey to open up the outdoor season.
Bailey grabbed his third consecutive victory in his home ring Saturday afternoon, winning the discus invitational with a throw of 199 feet, 3 inches (60.37 meters) to close the Tennessee Relays powered by Sea Ray.
On his final, Bailey nearly wound up breaking his own school record set a few weeks ago. After three solid throws of more than 60 meters, he went for "icing on the cake" to finish the day. He blasted his final throw nearly two meters beyond his best of the day but stepped out of the ring, resulting in a scratch.
The power's been there, so the improvement has been about putting power into the implement while staying in the ring," Bailey said. "Today, I couldn't stay in the ring on my best one. Knowing that it's there, I know I can throw it that far. It's a direction to move in."
With his family and friends in attendance, it was a good home meet for Bailey. The Kannapolis, N.C., native finished second in the shot put on Friday night with a career-best throw of 63-3.5 (19.29m), the fourth-best throw in program history.
The shot put result was a long time coming for Bailey. He spent much of the fall and winter seasons focusing on improving his secondary event. He said his focus in shot put is now starting to benefit his discus performances as well.
"It feels good to have a good shot put mark outdoors," Bailey said. "I had it indoors but hadn't put it together outdoors."
The Tennessee Relays turned out to be a good one for the men's throwers with Bailey, Quinn and Cameron Brown scoring career bests in their respective events. On Saturday, Catherine Dresch threw a career-best 145-04 (44.30m) in the javelin and Cassie Wertman was fourth in 48-3.25 (14.71m). Aslynn Halvorson was third in the women's discus (163-4/49.79m).
"Overall, it was another good meet in the throwing area with Tavis throwing well in the shot and Kyle throwing a bomb, No. 1 in the country at this moment," Clark said. "That is huge. Also, Cam Brown threw over 60 meters (in the hammer)."
SENIORS HONOREDTennessee's 17 seniors, family and friends were recognized on the track at noon. This is the first of two final home events for the UT veterans.
Lady Vol seniors include: Katherine Dresch, Linda Hadfield, Aslynn Halvorson, Brittney Jackson, Ty-Vonna Johnson, Kianna Ruff, Patavia Lowery and Allison Outerbridge. Vol seniors include: Chase Brannon, Jordan Chaney, Stephen Derlath, Lucas Hadden, Reggie Juin, Deon McAdoo, Jarael Nelvis, Daniel Tobin and Jake Rainey.
TONY WILSON MEMORIAL TROPHY AWARDSAt the end of the meet, the Tony Wilson Memorial Trophy was given to the top men's and women's runner and field event athlete.
Pittsburgh's Carvin Nkanata was named the top men's runner. He won the 200 meter invitational (20.17), placed second in the 100 meters (10.28) and was on the third-place 4x100 meter team (40.68). Shawnee Carnett of Concord took the women's honor by winning the 800 meters (2:06.19).
Professional javelin thrower Tim Glover won the men's field award after throwing the best distance in the world this year (275-7/84.01m). Nike/New York Athletic Club's Gwendolyn Berry took the women's field award after winning the hammer throw with 223 feet (67.97m).