Vols Complete First Day of Niswonger Invitational

Jan. 21, 2005

Jim Sexton opened Tennessee's Niswonger Invitational effort Friday by finishing third in the weight throw with another big season-best improvement at ETSU's Memorial Center. On the track, the Volunteer 4x400-meter relay team and Jacob Dennis in the 400 advanced swiftly through Friday's preliminary action.

Sexton finished third in the weight throw after registering a 59-feet, 3/4-inch mark, adding another two feet to his previous season-best from last weekend's Kentucky Invitational. Sexton, a Knoxville Central alum, has improved his mark in each of his three meets this season.

Tennessee's 4x400 relay team of Jeremy Burton, Cade Liverman, Dennis and Kenny Schappert got the baton around the track in 3 minutes, 14.61 seconds to post the day's second-fastest prelim time. The Vols qualified for the finals just behind ancient rival Alabama's 3:13.85 time. The splits on the first three legs fell within two-tenths of a second of each other. Liverman led with a 48.3 split. Burton's leadoff leg timed out at 48.4, while Dennis' 48.5 third leg stacked up with the first two. Anchor Schappert is primarily a middle-distance runner but unselfishly helped out on the relay.

Earlier in the evening, Dennis also took third with a season-best time of 48.74 in the 400 preliminaries. Dennis secured one of six spots in Saturday's 400 final. Burton, who ran the 400 hurdles last outdoor season, followed in 20th with a 49.87 time. Liverman crossed next in 21st with a 49.99 worksheet. Liverman also led Tennessee's hurdlers with an 18th-place, 8.30 in the 60 hurdles.

Freshman Matthieu Pritchett matched his season best with a 6.86 clocking to place 11th in the 60 preliminaries. In an unusual occurrence of taking consistency to the extreme, Pritchett has run three consecutive 60s in exactly 6.86.



Eric Pierce took 10th in the triple jump with a 47-5 measurement.

Kevin Yeager continued training in the 60 and 60 hurdles with his eye set squarely on next weekend's Penn State heptathlon, the first multievent test of the year for the Volunteers.

More Vols step on the track Saturday at the Niswonger Invitational. Zach Sabatino and Andy Baksa are scheduled to run the mile to open their season. Rubin Williams chases an NCAA qualifier in the 60. Pierce competes in the long jump. Ell Ash, Jangy Addy, Yeager and Alex Hritcu are scheduled in the shot put. Additionally, Addy and Yeager are set to brush up on the pole vault.

Tennessee's three vaulters by trade, Andy Lane, Jeff Trembley and Michael Hogue, compete in Saturday's 2005 Pole Vault Summit in the ballroom of the Hilton in Reno, Nev.

Niswonger Invitational, Johnson City, Tenn.
Friday, Jan. 21, 2005

1. Ernest Wiggins, Holyfield Intl. 6.69 Q *
11. Matthieu Pritchett, Tenn. 6.86 SB
65-t. Kevin Yeager, Tenn. 7.18

1. Ricardo Chambers, Fla. St. 47.67 Q
3. Jacob Dennis, Tenn. 48.74 Q SB
20. Jeremy Burton, Tenn. 49.87
21. Cade Liverman, Tenn. 49.99

1. Kevin Hicks, Fla. A&M 1:49.28
22. Kenny Schappert, Tenn. 1:59.47
23. Dusty Miller, Tenn. 2:00.53
24. Jeff Day, Tenn. 2:03.49

60 hurdles-preliminaries
1. Ladji Doucoure, France 7.78 Q *
18. Cade Liverman, Tenn. 8.30
57. Kevin Yeager, Tenn. 9.06

4x400 relay-preliminaries
1. Alabama 3:13.85 Q
2. Tennessee 3:14.61 Q
(Burton, Liverman 48.3, Dennis, Schappert)

Triple jump
1. Brandon Via, N.C. A&T 52-2 1/2 *
10. Eric Pierce, Tenn. 47-5

Weight throw
1. Garland Porter, Unatt. 64-7 *
3. Jim Sexton, Tenn. 59-0 3/4 SB

Q-qualified for event finals; SB-season best mark; PR-personal record/career best; *-NCAA indoor provisional qualifier; **-NCAA indoor automatic qualifer.



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