“We have seven performances in the NCAA championship meet already,” head coach Bill Webb said. “Those guys will stay home and train. We are sending our 800-meter guys to a highly-competitive meet at Iowa State. Michael Hogue is very close and trying to protect his spot in the (NCAA) meet. There are six or seven last-chance meets around the country where someone could jump a centimeter or two higher so he will try to stay in the NCAAs. Matthieu Pritchett and De’Lon Isom are trying to run their way into the national championship meet.”
Tennessee is sending three 800 runners to Ames, Iowa, for the Cyclone Last Chance Qualifier. The group is led by senior Yarrick Kincaid, who finished fourth at the SEC Indoor Championships in an indoor personal-best time of 1:49.37. Freshman Axel Mostrag recorded a personal-best time of 1:50.25 for sixth at the conference meet, and senior Andrew Dawson finished eighth in 1:50.96. All three athletes have recorded NCAA provisional-qualifying times this season and are ranked among the top-35 collegians in the 800.
Team captains Hogue and Pritchett lead Tennessee’s squad traveling to the Virginia Tech Last Chance. Hogue is currently 13th in the NCAA in the pole vault after his season-best clearance of 17 feet, 6 1/2 inches at last weekend’s SEC Indoor Championships made him just the second pole vaulter in conference history to win three consecutive SEC indoor pole vault crowns. Pritchett enters with the 22nd-fastest 60 time, 6.70, in the nation and the 27th-fastest 200 time, 21.21, after making the finals in both and finishing seventh in the 60 at the conference championship meet.
Isom is 25th on the NCAA list in the 60 hurdles after moving to sixth on Tennessee’s all-time performance list in the event with a personal-best time of 7.86 and a sixth-place finish at the SEC championships. Joseph Berry returns to action after his runner-up SEC finish in the pole vault, which made him the first freshman pole vaulter since Hogue in 2005 to finish that high at his first conference championship meet. Freshman Michael Ayers competes for the Vols after his third-place finish in the conference heptathlon, and junior Brad Holtz returns to competition after a sixth-place conference finish in the pole vault.
Junior Richard Wooten is Tennessee’s only representative in the throws following his sixth-place finish in the weight throw at the SEC Indoor Championships. Senior Kris Fant and freshman Charlton Rolle are slated to handle Tennessee’s hurdle duties for the weekend, while freshmen Mike Brodsky and Chris Rapp and sophomores John Hewitt and Kyle Stevenson round out UT’s contingent on the track.
The Virginia Tech Last Chance meet starts at noon Eastern Time with the shot put. The 800 is scheduled to run at 2:30 p.m. at the Cyclone Last Chance Qualifier. Live results will be available at UTsports.com.