KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee track and field will split the squad this weekend as the distance runners will head to Charlottesville, Va. for the Virginia Challenge while the rest of the squad travels to the USC Open in Columbia S.C.
The USC Open is a one-day meet that starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday with the women's hammer throw featuring Stamatia Scarvelis, Candice Butler and Savannah Marlow. Tennessee will step on the Sheila & Morris Cregger Track at 11 a.m. for the women's 4x100m relay.
The Virginia Challenge will be a two-day meet starting on Friday as Trey Quealy competes in the 800m at 3:45 p.m. while All-American Chelsea Blaase will open the outdoor season at 9:20 p.m. in the 10,000m race. Day two of the competition starts on Saturday at 9:35 a.m. as Brad Swiney and Wesley Robinson compete in the 5000m race at Lannigan Field.
Tennessee enters the weekend ranked 11th on the women's side and 15th on the men's side in the weekly USTFCCCA rankings.
"We look to get back into action after a long weekend off," director of track & field/cross country Beth Alford-Sullivan said. "We are excited to see the facility down at South Carolina and get on the runways, in the rings and on the track at their brand new facility. We will also take a small contingent of distance runners up to Virginia, who over the last couple of years has really put together a great distance classic night on Friday and Saturday night. I feel like everyone on the squad is prepared for this final drive. We've got three meets, then we head into the postseason, into championship time. We are looking forward to taking advantage of every opportunity. We are healthy and ready to go."
Tennessee will head to the site of the 2017 SEC Outdoor Championship this weekend, as the team will make the trip to South Carolina.
Christian Coleman will look to open in the 200m after competing in the 100m two weekends ago and posting a time of 10.03. The 200m is the only school record of his four primary individual events that Coleman has not obtained. He is already the school record holder in the 60m and 200m indoors as well as the 100m outdoors. Coleman will be chasing Justin Gatlin's school mark of 19.86, but his career best mark is 20.26, which he ran at the NCAA Championship last year as he took second place.
Darryl Sullivan will return to competition in the high jump after qualifying for nationals during the indoor season. Sullivan also set the freshman indoor school record in the event with a jump of 2.20m at the Clemson Invitational.
Cameron Brown and Seth Whitener are ranked second and fourth in school history in the men's hammer throw. Brown and Whitener both posted career bests at the Florida Relays with marks of 66.47m and 65.41m. Whitener won the college division and Brown placed eighth in the invitational section.
On the women's side, Shania Collins, Maia McCoy and Lenysse Dyer will compete in both the 100m and 200m. It will be the first 100m competition of Dyer's two-year collegiate career after running primarily in the 400m last year. Collins moved onto the school's all-time top 10 list in the 200m dash as she recorded a time of 23.08 at the Tennessee Rust Buster to tie for 10th in school history.
Sophomore Stamatia Scarvelis will compete in the hammer throw and the shot put. She owns the school record in the hammer throw, setting her top mark at the Florida Relays. That mark places her eighth in the country. Some of Scarvelis' top competition in the shot put will come from teammate Cassie Wertman. Wertman ranks sixth in the NCAA in the event right now as Scarvelis sits in 30th.
The Virginia Challenge will feature more than 50 schools and 1,100 student-athletes in a meet known for its distance races. Blaase, an eight-time All-American and three-time SEC Champion, has missed most of her senior campaign due to injury. However, she is set to make her debut in the 10,000m race. You can watch her competition live on Friday at 9:20 p.m. on the ACC Digital Network/WatchESPN.
Zach Long leads a group of four in the men's 1500m competition. Long will compete in heat two after running a personal best in the 1500m at the Tennessee Relays. Long finished in fourth place with a time of 3:46.45, a mark that ranks 84th in the country this year. He will be joined by Drew Kelley, Tyler Woodrome and Adam Johnston, who set a personal best of 3:55.70 in the event at the Tennessee Relays. On the women's side, Peighton Meske will run in the 1500m for the first time this year.
Wesley Robinson and Brad Swiney will compete in the men's 5000m competition as they both posted top 20 finishes at the Tennessee Relays. Trey Quealy will compete in the 800m race as his best time of the year came in the season opener as he ran 1:54.50 and finished in fifth place at the Tennessee Rust Buster.
Last Time Out -- Tennessee Relays
Tennessee track and field hosted the 50th running of the Tennessee Relays at Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium featuring 6 schools and eight ranked teams. Tennessee claimed six event wins, 18 personal bests and 24 top-five finishes over the three days of competition.
Christian Coleman opened his outdoor season in the 100m competition, posting a time of 10.03 seconds. He blazed past the rest of the field, winning by .28 seconds despite slowing up over the final five meters and running against a -0.8 wind. He was awarded the Tony Wilson Award as the most outstanding men's track athlete of the meet and was named SEC Co-Runner of the Week. Bruce DeGrilla took fifth place with a personal best time of 10.57.
Tennessee swept the 4x100m and 4x400m relays on both the men's and women's sides. The men's 4x100m team of Bruce DeGrilla, Coleman, Malik Elion and Nathan Strother took first with a mark of 39.65. While Coleman, Elion and Strother were joined by Ari Cogdell on the 4x400m team which put down a time of 3:05.61
The women's 4x100m team took first place as Cidae'a Woods, Maia McCoy, Lenysse Dyer and Shania Collins took first place with a time of 44.16 which is the 13th-best time in the NCAA this year. The 4x400m group of Dyer, McCoy, Brooklynn Broadwater and Collins claimed the 14th-fastest time in the NCAA with a mark of 3:34.93 in the win.
In the women's long jump, Woods claimed victory with a distance of 6.15m (20-2.25). It was Woods' second career victory in the long jump.
Tristan Slater claimed a second place finish in the men's pole vault, clearing 5.10m (16-8.75) on his final attempt at that height. Zach Long placed fourth in the men's 800m run, finishing with a time of 3:46.45.
Cameron Brown launched the second best hammer throw of his career on his final attempt with a toss of 66.09m (216-10) to take second. Seth Whitener notched a throw of 63.15m (207-2) on his first attempt of the competition to finish in third.
Shania Collins recorded a time of 11.54 seconds in the 100m, good for second place, and Woods and Maia McCoy both crossed the line in 11.73 seconds to claim fifth and sixth. Brooklynn Broadwater finished third in the 400m hurdles with a time of 59.60. Three Vols placed in the top seven of the women's shot put competition. Cassie Wertman and Stamatia Scarvelis notched third and fourth place finishes, respectively, and Tamia Crockett finished seventh with a personal best throw of 15.21m (49-11).
USC Open Schedule of Events
100m: Shania Collins, Maia McCoy, Lenysse Dyer
200m: Shania Collins, Maia McCoy, Lenysse Dyer, Layla White, Domonique Turner
400m: Layla White
100m Hurdles: Domonique Turner, Maya Neal
400m Hurdles: Brooklynn Broadwater
4x100m Relay: Tennessee
4x400m Relay: Tennessee
Triple Jump: Cidae'a Woods, Brielyn Rogers
Hammer: Stamatia Scarvelis, Candice Butler, Savannah Marlow
Shot Put: Cassie Wertman, Stamatia Scarvelis, Tamia Crockett
Discus: Tamia Crockett
100m: Christian Coleman, Mustaqeem Williams, Malik Elion, Matthew Moore
200m: Christian Coleman, Nathan Strother, Mustaqeem Williams, Darryl Harris, Malik Elion, Matthew Moore
400m: Nathan Strother, Ari Cogdell
400m Hurdles: Joshua McLemore
4x100m Relay: Tennessee
4x400m Relay: Tennessee
Pole Vault: Tristan Slater, Nate Harper
High Jump: Darryl Sullivan
Long Jump: Bruce DeGrilla
Triple Jump: Marcellus Fletcher, Weldon Wright
Hammer: Cameron Brown, Seth Whitener, Matthew Zajac
Discus: Matthew Zajac
Javelin: Nick Hassler
Virginia Challenge Schedule of Events