“This is a meet we look forward to every year,” head coach Bill Webb said. “It’s highly competitive and close (to Knoxville) and we have a lot of athletes from the area. We have had good results here in the past and we are also looking to build on our successes from Arizona State (last weekend).”
Tennessee has four athletes from the state of Georgia and three from the Atlanta area. Three-time SEC champion and three-time All-America Jangy Addy hails from Norcross and is entered in the 110 hurdles, shot put and discus. Four-time All-America Evander Wells, from Stone Mountain, is one of four Vols expected to contest the 200. Fayetteville native Akeem Hardnett is Tennessee’s lone entry in the triple jump. Valdosta native Jonathan Fluellen is entered in the long jump.
Regional qualifiers Nick Panezich and Richard Wooten headline Tennessee’s throwing corps. Both juniors surpassed the regional standard in the hammer throw at last weekend’s season-opening Baldy Castillo Invitational and also are contesting the shot put. Panezich also is entered in the discus, along with decathletes Michael Ayers and Brad Holtz. All-America Matthew Maloney returns in the javelin after finishing ninth in the event at last year’s NCAA Outdoor Championships and is entered in the hammer.
Four-time SEC champion and three-time All-America Michael Hogue leads Tennessee’s pole vault contingent. The senior is joined by sophomore Holtz and freshmen Ayers and Joseph Berry. Holtz earned a regional-qualifying clearance with his 16-10 3/4 vault last weekend. Berry finished second, behind Hogue, at this year’s SEC Indoor Championships. Sophomore Brenard Wilson has a long jump-high jump double on schedule this weekend and is joined in the high jump by Ayers and Holtz.
Sophomore De’Lon Isom and freshman regional qualifier Charlton Rolle, who won both the 110 hurdles and 400 hurdles last weekend, line up with Ayers and Holtz in the 110 hurdles. Rolle and Isom are scheduled for a 110 hurdles-400 hurdles double, with sophomore John Hewitt joining for the 400 hurdles. Seniors Blake Jones and Matthieu Pritchett, along with sophomore Kyle Stevenson, join Wells in the 200. Jones also is Tennessee’s lone representative in the 100.
Seniors Dusty Miller and Brent Smith, along with junior Steve Tobin and freshman Mike Brodsky, are entered in the 1,500. Smith and Tobin are slated for double duty as well, with the senior tackling the 800 and the junior running the 5,000. Tennessee sends a sophomore trio of Samdi Fraser, Nathan Grace and Justin Hansen to the 400. Fraser and Grace teamed up with Hewitt and Stevenson to race to a regional-qualifying time in the 4x400 relay last weekend.
The teams expected to compete this weekend include sixth-ranked Georgia, ninth-ranked Auburn and 23rd-ranked Clemson, as well as host Georgia Tech, SEC rival Kentucky and in-state foes Tennessee-Chattanooga and Middle Tennessee State.
The Yellow Jacket Invitational begins Friday night with the hammer throw. The rest of the meet kicks off at 10:30 a.m. Eastern time Saturday with the shot put and continues through the 4x400 relay at 5:15 p.m. Live results can be found throughout the weekend at UTsports.com.