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TRACK & FIELD CENTRAL: Conference Challenge

March 21, 2013


MISSISSIPPI STATE CONFERENCE CHALLENGE
March 22-23, 2013   |   All Day
Carl Maddox Track   |   Starkville, Miss.

STARTING BLOCKS
  • After training on Rocky Top for the past week, the Tennessee track & field team will open its 2013 outdoor schedule this weekend when it travels to Starkville, Miss., to compete in Mississippi State's Conference Challenge at the newly-renovated Carl Maddox Track.
  • The Bulldogs, which hosted the SEC vs. Big Ten Challenge for the previous two years, have expanded the home meet. This season, the Lady Vols and Vols will join forces with Ole Miss and Mississippi State to represent the SEC, while Illinois and Purdue will carry the banner for the Big Ten.
  • Missouri State (women only) and Louisiana Tech will represent the Missouri Valley Conference and the Western Athletic Conference, respectively. The men's squads for the Rebels and Bulldogs enter the contest ranked 11th and 14th, respectively.

  • The event will begin on Friday evening at 5 p.m. ET with the women's hammer, with the men's hammer throw to follow at 6:30 p.m. ET. UT will have seven athletes, including five Vols, competing in the hammer.
  • Action continues on Saturday with a full slate of events beginning at 11 a.m. ET. The final races of the meet, the women's and men's 4x400-meter relay, will begin at approximately 5:55 p.m. ET and 6:10 p.m. ET, respectively.
  • The meet will feature a conference vs. conference scoring format, with the top-six places in each event earning point totals of 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 and 1, respectively. The points will be pooled together by conference and both a men's and women's team champion will be crowned.

FOLLOW THE ACTION

  • Live results and additional information for the meet can be found at the Track & Field Meet Central page on UTSports.com.
  • Also be sure to follow the Tennessee track & field team on twitter at @Vol_Track.

THE OUTDOOR SLATE

  • Tennessee heads to the legendary 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays next week, in addition to sending contingents to NC State and Stanford. The Lady Vols and Vols will then move onto the Pepsi Florida Relays from April 5-6.
  • The Big Orange hosts the 47th annual Sea Ray Relays at Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium from April 11-13. The second annual "Sea Ray Showcase," which features the men's and women's 200m, 1500m, 800m, 400m, 100m, DMR and the 4x100m relays will take place from 12:30 p.m. ET to 1:45 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 13.
  • The Big Orange will participate in the Mt. SAC Relays and Vanderbilt Invitational before heading north for the 119th edition of the Penn Relays from Thursday, April 25-27.
  • The championship portion of the season consisting of the SEC Championships, NCAA East Prelims, NCAA Championships and USATF Championships kicks off from May 9-12 with the league championship meet in Columbia, Mo.

THE CLARK EFFECT

  • The Lady Vols have won two NCAA Indoor team titles in 2005 and 2009, both coming under J.J. Clark, while the Vols claimed the 2002 team title.
  • The Lady Vols have won four NCAA Indoor titles in the distance medley relay, coming in 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2010, all under Clark. The 2009 unit set world, American and NCAA meet records at 10:50.98.
  • The UT women have seven top-10 NCAA Indoor finishes in Clark's previous 10 seasons, including titles in 2005 and 2009, a runner-up effort in 2010 and a third-place result in 2007.
  • Clark, a three-time SEC Indoor Women's Coach of the Year, also piloted the Lady Vols to SEC Indoor titles in 2005, 2007 and 2009.
  • In 10 full seasons leading the Lady Vols and three with the Vols, Clark's athletes have won 60 SEC titles (Women 31 in/27 Out; Men: 1 in/1 Out).
  • Tennessee has now had 295 combined indoor and outdoor All-Americans in program history. Under Clark, the Lady Vols and Vols have combined for 202 All-America certificates.

ALL-AMERICAN SPRINTERS?

  • A pair of Vol pole vault All-Americans will be taking on an additional task this weekend in Starkville, as freshman Jake Blankenship and junior Chase Brannon are entered into the men's 100-meter field.

RETURNING OUTDOOR ALL-AMERICANS

INDOOR ALL-AMERICANS

  • The Tennessee trio of Blankenship, Linda Hadfield and Nijgia Snapp earned All-America acclaim for the 2013 indoor season.
  • Blankenship earned first team honors for his fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships in the men's pole vault. The rookie had a remarkable indoor season, winning four individual pole vault titles and finishing as the runner-up at the SEC Championships.
  • He capped his first indoor season with the Vols by clearing the first six heights on his first attempt and besting his own UT freshman record with a final vault of 18-feet, 4.5-inches (5.60m) at nationals.
  • His fourth-place mark was the best Vol vaulter finish at nationals since Laurence Johnson won the indoor title in 1996. Blankenship's final vault of the indoor season ties him for second all-time in the UT record books with legendary Vol and 2004 Olympic gold medalist Tim Mack.
  • Now a four-time Indoor All-American, Snapp garnered Second Team honors for her 16th-place finish in the women's 800-meter at nationals. Having previously earned the accolade in the distance medley relay and 4x400m relay, this is the first individual All-America award for the senior.
  • Hadfield, the school record holder in the women's pole vault, was awarded Honorable Mention honors for her performance at nationals. A first-time indoor honoree, the junior went big at Virginia Tech, recording a double PR and besting her own school record with vaults of 13-7 (4.14m) and 13-11 (4.24m) to finish as the 11th-ranked vaulter in the country. At nationals, Hadfield was unable to record a height as she missed her three attempts at 13-1.5 (4.00m).

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