April 30, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – After leading the Volunteer pole vaulters to a podium sweep at the 119th Penn Relays at historic Franklin Field this past weekend, Tennessee track & field freshman Jake Blankenship has been named the Southeastern Conference Co-Men’s Freshman of the Week.
In front of 48,871 – the eighth-largest Saturday crowd in meet history – Blankenship captured the Vols’ 73rd overall Penn Relays title and the first since 2009. The rookie was the only competitor to clear the 18-foot mark to become the Vols’ sixth Penn Relays pole vault champion.
The 2013 SEC Indoor Freshman Field Athlete of the Year finished with a winning mark of 18-feet, 0.5-inches (5.50m) to pick up his second meet title of the outdoor season and the sixth of his freshman campaign.
The Blacklick, Ohio, native led a trio of Vols on the podium as junior teammates Tyler Porter and Chase Brannon following in second and third place, respectively. The Tennessee competitors were the only ones in the competition to eclipse 17-4.5 (5.30m). The duo finished at that height, but Porter earned the silver with only the three misses – one fewer than Brannon.
With a current outdoor personal record of 18-4.75 (5.61m) – set this season at the Texas Relays – Blankenship ranks fifth in the nation and third in the conference in the event. Among freshmen, he is currently second in the country and first in the SEC.
The Orange and White returns to Rocky Top for a week of training before heading to Columbia, Mo., for the 2013 SEC Outdoor Championships from May 9-12. New league member Missouri will host the meet at Audrey J. Walton Stadium.
SEC Track and Field Athletes of the Week (April 30, 2013)
SEC Men’s Runner of the Week: Ameer Webb, Texas A&M
SEC Men’s Field Athlete of the Week: Jeremy Postin, Florida
SEC Co-Men’s Freshman of the Week: Jake Blankenship, Tennessee
SEC Co-Men’s Freshman of the Week: Aldrich Bailey, Jr., Texas A&M
SEC Women’s Runner of the Week: Cory McGee, Florida
SEC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week: LaQue Moen-Davis, Texas A&M
SEC Women’s Freshman of the Week: Freya Jones, Georgia