June 5, 2013
EUGENE, Ore. - Capping off an outstanding campaign for the Tennessee pole vaulters, sophomore Tyler Porter scored a lifetime best at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Wednesday night, resulting in a tie for seventh place at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
Despite entering the meet with a personal record of 17-feet, 5-inches (5.31-meters), Porter cleared 16-8.75 (5.10m), 17-2.75 (5.25m) and 17-8.50 (5.40m) on his first attempts, before coming up shy at 18-0.50 (5.50m). On his second attempt at 5.50m, Porter actually snapped his pole into three pieces.
Finishing in a four-way tie for seventh, the Jefferson, Ga., native earned .75 points for the Volunteers on the opening day of action. With teammate Chase Brannon finishing eighth a season ago, Porter becomes just the third UT vaulter to score at the NCAA Outdoor Championships since 2002. Michael Hogue placed seventh in 2007.
Brannon ended up reaching the same height as Porter on Wednesday evening, but with two more misses he was bumped to 14th place. Freshman Jake Blankenship, who entered the meet with the No. 5 mark in the NCAA, cleared 5.10m and 5.25m on his first attempts, but fell short of the 5.25m mark to end up in a tie for 15th. Tennessee was the only team to have three vaulters in the 24-man field.
On the track, the Vol 4x100-meter relay entered the meet with the sixth-fastest time (39.58s) at NCAA Regionals, but had a hiccup in the first exchange in the semifinals on Wednesday. Leadoff leg Arnez Hardnick was off to a good start out of lane six for the Vols, but the baton hit the track during the exchange with Jarael Nelvis, resulting in disqualification. Hardnick, Nelvis, Reggie Juin and Jamol James - the same foursome as this season - finished seventh at last season's NCAA Outdoor Championships. All four return for the Vols next year.
The Lady Vols were unable to advance any of their three participants on Wednesday. Coming off a UT freshman record performance of 52.33 seconds at the NCAA East Preliminary meet, Felicia Brown finished 15th in the 400m in a time of 53.05. In the women's 800m, senior Nijgia Snapp crossed the line in 2 minutes, 9.07 seconds to finish 20th overall.
After recording a lifetime best mark of 20-1 (6.12m) in the long jump at the NCAA East Prelims, senior Kia Jackson closed her Tennessee career with a 24th-place finish in the event. Jackson hit 18-3.25 (5.57m) on her first attempt and fouled on her final two jumps. Jackson had a great second leap which appeared to be over 20-feet, but her foot was inches over the board.
The Big Orange does not have any athletes competing on Thursday, but will return to action on Friday in Track Town, USA. Making his first NCAA appearance, sophomore thrower Tavis Bailey will compete in the men's discus competition at 7 p.m. ET on Friday. Vol redshirt freshman Kyle Quinn will conclude the meet for UT on Saturday in the javelin at 3:30 p.m. ET.
For in-meet updates throughout the NCAA Outdoor Championships, be sure to follow @Vol_Track on Twitter.
VOL RESULTS AT THE NCAA OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
Pole Vault Finals: t7. Tyler Porter, 17-8.50/5.40m!; 14. Chase Brannon, 17-8.50/5.40m; t15. Jake Blankenship, 17-2.75/5.25m
4x100m Relay Semifinals: DNA. - Arnez Hardnick / Jarael Nelvis / Reggie Juin / Jamol James, DNF
LADY VOL RESULTS AT THE NCAA OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
400m Semifinals: DNA. - Felicia Brown, 53.05/Ht. 3, 8th (15th)
800m Semifinals: DNA. - Nijgia Snapp, 2:09.07/Ht. 3, 7th (20th)
Long Jump Finals: 24. Kia Jackson, 18-3.25/5.57m
! - 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