UT Track & Field Teams Get Work In On Wintry Friday Night

Jan. 29, 2010

By Eric Trainer, Associate Director of Media Relations

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Big Orange Throwers Notch Trio Of Personal Bests At Rod McCravy Memorial

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Despite a change in travel plans, the University of Tennessee throwers made the best of the situation and produced three career-best marks in the weight throw Friday night at the Rod McCravy Memorial meet at Nutter Field House.

With the ice storm closing the Oklahoma City airport, the UT throwers were unable to travel to Norman for Saturday's J.D. Martin Invitational. Instead, throws coach John Frazier entered his crew in the University of Kentucky's meet and headed north this morning.

Norman or Lexington, it didn't seem to matter to Lady Vol freshman Jessie Harrison, who unleashed a career-best toss in the weight throw for the third consecutive meet. Her mark of 58-4 3/4 earned her ninth place in the competition and moved her past Sara Vigil, current teammate Annie Alexander, Janine Tessarzik and April Thomas into fourth on UT's all-time performers list in that event. Sophomore Laquoya also landed a PR throw, stretching the tape to 55-7.

In the men's weight throw, the only other event involving Tennessee competitors on Friday night in Kentucky, redshirt freshman Drew Thomas placed 11th with a career-best toss of 54-2.50 in the weight throw.

Tennessee returns to action on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.


Weight Throw: 11. Drew Thomas, 54-2.50/16.52m!


Weight Throw: 9. Jessie Harrison, 58-4.75/17.80m!; 13. Laquoya Kelly, 55-7/16.94m!; 24. Taylor Rotella, 42-9/13.03m; 25. Akeela Bravo, 39-6/12.04m

Wortham Produces NCAA Provisional In Pentathlon At Penn State Meet

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- University of Tennessee sophomore Ellen Wortham turned in the finest pentathlon performance of her career Friday afternoon, placing fifth with an NCAA provisional-qualifying total of 3,899 points at the Penn State National Invitational.

Wortham, who endured lengthy travel delays with her teammates on Thursday and didn't get to the hotel until around 8:30 p.m. last night after a 5:30 a.m. bus ride to the Knoxville airport, showed no ill effects in bettering her previous high pentathlon score by 163 points and moving to fourth nationally in that event this season. Her old mark of 3,736 had come in a fifth-place finish at the 2009 SEC Indoor Championships.

A product of Maryville High School, Wortham started the competition in strong fashion and ended the same way. She began the day with a career best in the 60-meter hurdles, placing fourth in 8.65 seconds to generate 984 points. She followed that by tying for fourth in the high jump at 5-6 1/2 (842 points) and charted a PR of 31-3 in the shot put that was only good for 12th and 498 points.

To wrap up the five-event competition, Wortham stretched the tape measure to a near-career-best 19-0 1/2 to take third and accumulate 789 points in the long jump, and she closed things with a runner-up outcome in the 800 meters at 2:22.80 to place second among collegians at the Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track. A year ago at this meet, Wortham placed ninth at 3,502.

While the Lady Vols didn't run their top four legs, they did get in their first distance medley relay work of the season. Brittany Sheffey, who was a member of UT's 2008 NCAA champion unit, joined Kim White, Ally Colvin and Michele Levy for a quartet that finished sixth in 12:00.16.

Elsewhere, freshman Tyler Stepp placed eighth in the long jump with a personal-best leap of 22-9 1/2, while Kia Jackson wound up 20th in the long jump at 17-7. She also logged a time of 7.78 in the prelims of the 60-meter dash but did not advance.

The meet continues at 10 a.m. on Saturday.


Pentathlon: 5. Ellen Wortham, 3,899!+ (4th, 60mH, 8.65!, 984 pts.; t4th, HJ, 5-6.50/1.69m, 842; 12th, SP, 31-3/9.52m!, 498; 3rd, LJ, 19-0.50/5.80m/789; 2nd, 800m, 2:22.80b, 786 pts.), DNF - Kirstyn Sweeney

Long Jump: 20. Kia Jackson, 17-7/5.36m

60m Prelims: 27. Kia Jackson, 7.78p (7th, ht. 2)

Distance Medley Relay: 6. Brittany Sheffey / Kim White / Ally Colvin / Michele Levy, 12:00.16


Long Jump: 8. Tyler Stepp, 22-9.50/6.94m!; NM - Desmond Brown, F; NM - Patrick Crum, F

* NCAA automatic qualifier, + - NCAA provisional qualifier, ! - Personal best, F - Foul, m - meters, NM - No mark, p - Prelims





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