May 25, 2013
GREENSBORO, N.C. - The Volunteer 4x100-meter relay became Tennessee's ninth 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championship qualifier on Saturday, the final day of competition at the NCAA East Preliminary Round at Irwin Belk Track at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, N.C.
The quartet, made up of Arnez Hardnick, Jarael Nelvis, Reggie Juin and Jamol James, returns to nationals for the second straight season after posting a seventh-place finish and earning first team All-America status in 2012.
With three heats of competitors, the top three teams from each heat and the next three fastest teams advanced to NCAAs, slated for June 5-8 at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. Hardnick, Nelvis, Juin and James - running in that order - finished the lap in a season-best time of 39.58 seconds. The Vols finished fifth overall and earned an automatic bid with a second-place finish in the third heat.
"We came to Greensboro and had some solid performances," said Director of Track & Field/Cross Country J.J. Clark. "We expected some and others were unexpected. We also had athletes that we expected to qualify not make it. But as a whole, the team stepped up and had some good performances. The group that's going to NCAAs - with the exception of Nijgia - is all returning next season. That is a huge positive for us and the start of something good for Tennessee track & field.
"I was very happy to see Kyle bounce back after his injury at the SEC meet, Felicia really stepped up with her PR in the 400m and the 4x1 ran a great race," Clark said. "Those are positives for our program and we're looking forward to building upon those at nationals."
In other action Saturday, redshirt senior Bianca Blair posted a lifetime-best in the 100m hurdles, but her 15th-place finish just missed the NCAA cut. Blair crossed the line in 13.38 seconds. She posted a wind-aided mark of 13.35 in the opening round on Friday.
Lady Vol thrower Cassie Wertman also carded a 15th-place finish on the final day of competition, ending up just three spots outside of the qualifiers. Wertman recorded a mark of 51-feet, 4.5-inches (15.66m) in the shot put.
Back on the track, the Vol 4x400m relay finished just off the pace of their season-best time, clocking in at 3 minutes, 8.97 seconds. Finishing sixth in the third and final heat, Nelvis, Antonio Carter, Michael Williams and Terrance Livingston closed the night with a 16th-place finish, just four spots outside of national qualifying.
The eight individual qualifiers and the Vol 4x1 will head to Eugene, Ore., for the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships from Wednesday, June 5 - Saturday, June 8. The Vol pole vault trio will be the first to compete at nationals, slated for a 7 p.m. ET start on June 5.
VOL RESULTS AT THE NCAA EAST PRELIMINARY ROUND
4x100m Quarterfinal: NCAA Qual. - Arnez Hardnick / Jarael Nelvis / Reggie Juin / Jamol James, 39.58/Ht. 3, 2nd (5th)
4x400m Quarterfinal: DNA. - Jarael Nelvis / Antonio Carter / Michael Williams / Terrance Livingston, 3:08.97 (16th)
Hammer Throw: DNA. - Drew Thomas, 188-5/57.44m (27th); DNA. - Cameron Brown, 138-1/42.10m (44th)
Javelin Throw: NCAA Qual. - Kyle Quinn, 231-7/70.59m! (7th)
100m Quarterfinal: DNA. - Jarael Nelvis, 10.39/Ht. 2, 6th (16th)
Shot Put: DNA. - Matthew Hoty, 57-8.25/17.58m (18th); DNA. - Tavis Bailey, F
Pole Vault: NCAA Qual. - Jake Blankenship, 17-2.25/5.25m (t1st); NCAA Qual. - Tyler Porter, 17-2.75/5.25m (t1st); NCAA Qual. - Chase Brannon, 17-2.25/5.25m (11th)
Discus Throw: NCAA Qual. - Tavis Bailey, 178-9/54.49m (12th)
100m First Round: Adv. Jarael Nelvis, 10.38! (w: 0.3)/Ht. 3, 4th (20th); DNA. - Jamol James, 10.47 (w: 0.1)/Ht. 2, 5th (32nd)
400m First Round: DNA. - Terrance Livingston, 46.91/Ht. 1, 6th (27th)
LADY VOL RESULTS AT THE NCAA EAST PRELIMINARY ROUND
100m Hurdles Quarterfinal: DNA. - Bianca Blair, 13.38! (w: 0.7)/Ht. 2, 5th (15th)
Shot Put: DNA. - Cassie Wertman, 51-4.5/15.66m (15th)
5,000m Quarterfinal: DNA. - Hannah Davidson, 17:40.80 (45th)
200m Quarterfinal: DNA. - Felicia Brown, FS
400m Quarterfinal: NCAA Qual. - Felicia Brown, 52.33!fr/Ht. 2, 2nd (4th)
800m Quarterfinal: NCAA Qual. - Nijgia Snapp, 2:07.50/Ht. 1, 4th (11th); DNA. - Kianna Ruff, 2:11.48/Ht. 3, 7th (21st)
200m First Round: Adv. Felicia Brown, 23.59 (w: 1.5)/Ht. 2, 2nd (9th)
100m Hurdles First Round: Adv. Bianca Blair, 13.35 (w: 2.5)/Ht. 2, 3rd (15th)
100m Quarterfinal: DNA. - Kia Jackson, 11.56 (w: 3.6)/Ht. 3, 5th (21st)
Pole Vault: DNA. - Erin Champion, 12-7.5/3.85m (t21st); DNA. - Linda Hadfield, 12-7.5/3.85m (t26th)
Long Jump: NCAA Qual. - Kia Jackson, 20-1/6.12m! (w: 1.9) (9th)
400m First Round: Adv. Felicia Brown, 52.64!/Ht. 6, 2nd (9th)
800m First Round: Adv. Kianna Ruff, 2:05.63/Ht. 6, 3rd (14th); Adv. Nijgia Snapp, 2:07.59/Ht. 2, 3rd (18th)
100m First Round: Adv. Kia Jackson, 11.50 (w: 1.7)/Ht. 1, 4th (17th)
Discus Throw: DNA. - Aslynn Halvorson, 147-2/44.87m (33rd); DNA. - Cassie Wertman, 140-10/42.92m (39th)
! - Personal Best, !* - Tied Personal Best, a - American Record, c - Collegiate Record, adv. - Advanced, dna - Did Not Advance, dnf - Did Not Finish, 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, w - wind-aided, wr - World Record