Vol Sprinters and Hurdlers Dominant on First Day of Penn State National Meet

Jan. 29, 2005

Head coach Bill Webb suited up a full squad for the first time of the season Friday night at the Penn State National Meet in State College, Pa. His Volunteers didn't disappoint, as Tennessee swept the 60-meter and 60 hurdles with provisional qualifiers and posted improvement across nearly every event.

"Tennessee really came on strong today," Webb said. "It was really strong to reserve four of the eight lanes in the hurdles final and two lanes in the 60 final. We were competitive in the mile. Our guys are right in there in the heptathlon. We had improvements up and down the line on a good first day.

Assistant coach Norbert Elliott's hurdlers and sprinters put on a show. Aries Merritt, an outdoor All-America in the 110 hurdles last year as a freshman, led a Tennessee quartet in the 60 hurdles final. Merritt won the race in a season-best 7.80 seconds, a strong provisional qualifier for the NCAA indoor championships. Robert Boulware nabbed silver in 8.02. Clarksville's Damond Campbell finished sixth in 8.09, after running a lifetime-best 8.07 in the preliminaries. Freshman Drew Brunson crossed in 8.14 to earn seventh. Brunson's preliminary time of 8.13 stands as his lifetime-best effort. Freshman Cade Liverman also pitched in a career-best 8.22 to tie for 10th in the preliminaries and just miss qualifying for the final.

Freshman sprinter Rubin Williams became the first Vol to secure provisional qualifiers in two events with his golden effort in the 60 Friday night. Williams broke the tape in 6.69 to earn an NCAA indoor provisional qualifier in the 60 to go along with an earlier provisional time in the 200. Jonathan Wade took sixth in 6.82 but tied his season-best time of 6.80 in the preliminaries. Matthieu Pritchett just missed the finals with a ninth-place, 6.89 in the prelims.



Knoxville Central's Jim Sexton continued his streak of four consecutive meets marking improvement in the weight throw. Sexton finished third with a season-best 59-4 1/4 mark, just 11 inches off his lifetime best.

Eric Pierce took third in the long jump with a 22-10 1/2 measurement down the sand pit.

Tennessee's distance corps also showed spark Friday night. Dusty Miller, a Knoxville West alum, finished ninth in the mile in 4:07.79, a competitive early season time for him. Miller's 4:07.79 stands less than a second off his school freshman indoor mile record last season. After missing cross country season because of injury, West Virginia transfer Tyler DeVault opened his Tennessee career with a 4:13.41 finish in a crowded mile field. Jeff Day (4:21.18) and Kenny Schappert (4:24.30) also got in their first miles of the season.

Tennessee's heptathletes also wrapped up competition on the first four of seven events Friday. Jangy Addy, who got great benefit from a redshirt season in 2004, leads the Tennessee four with a first-day score of 3,008 to stand third. Farragut's Kevin Yeager stands fifth with 2,905 points. Alex Hritcu ranks eighth with 2,645 points. Returning indoor heptathlon All-America Chris Helwick stands 12th after summing 1,941 points. Helwick entered the meet a little banged up and did not register a mark in the heptathlon long jump according to Webb. Individual finishes for the first four events of the heptathlon were not available from Penn State.

The Vols conclude the Penn State National Meet Saturday evening.

Penn State National Meet, State College, Pa.
Friday, Jan. 28, 2005

1.Rubin Williams, Tenn.6.72 Q *
6.Jonathan Wade, Tenn.6.80 Q, SB
9.Matthieu Pritchett, Tenn.6.89
1.Rubin Williams, Tenn.6.69 PR *
6.Jonathan Wade, Tenn.6.82
1.Alphonsus Suravicz, St. Francis4:02.99 *
9.Dusty Miller, Tenn.4:07.79
19.Tyler DeVault, Tenn.4:13.41
31.Jeff Day, Tenn.4:21.18
34.Kenny Schappert, Tenn.4:24.30
1.Kevin Pool, Allegheny14:32.13
14.Matt Piccarello, Tenn.14:52.33
19.Ben Lukowski, Tenn.14:59.05
60 hurdles-preliminaries
1.Aries Merritt, Tenn.8.01 Q
2.Robert Boulware, Tenn.8.02 Q
3.Damond Campbell, Tenn.8.04 Q, PR
6t.Drew Brunson, Tenn.8.13 Q, PR
10t.Cade Liverman, Tenn.8.22 PR
60 hurdles-final
1.Aries Merritt, Tenn.7.80 SB *
2.Robert Boulware, Tenn.8.02
6.Damond Campbell, Tenn.8.09
7.Drew Brunson, Tenn.8.14
Long jump
1.Davion Lambert, Va. Common.23-10 1/4
3.Eric Pierce, Tenn.22-10 1/2
Weight throw
1.Scott Vernon, Penn St.64-1 1/4**
3.Jim Sexton, Tenn.59-4 1/4 SB
Heptathlon (after four events)
1.Stephen Harris, Unatt.3,350
3.Jangy Addy, Tenn.3,008
5.Kevin Yeager, Tenn.2,905
8.Alex Hritcu, Tenn.2,645
12.Chris Helwick, Tenn.1,941

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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