Jan. 30, 2010
By Eric Trainer, Associate Director of Media Relations
UT's Wells Lowers Sprint Times, Rasnick Soars To Provisional In Vault At UK Meet
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Evander Wells and Kyle Stevenson lowered their times in the sprints and Robert Rasnick cleared an NCAA provisional height in the pole vault to pace the University of Tennessee track & field team Saturday at the Rod McCravy Memorial.
In the 60-meter dash, seniors Evander Wells and Kyle Stevenson continued to display consistent improvement. Wells lowered his NCAA provisional mark from 6.70 to 6.66 in finishing second overall, first among collegians. The UT speedster rose to fourth on the national qualifying list with his effort.
Only unattached competitor Adam Harris was faster than Wells, checking in first at 6.65. Stevenson, meanwhile, crossed the line fifth, matching his 2009 career best of 6.73.
In the 200 meters, Wells improved his 2010 best to 20.99 en route to a runner-up outcome behind Kentucky's Rondell Sorrillo (20.77). That time moved Wells to third on the national list. Stevenson, meanwhile, rolled to a career-topping 21.38 to finish fourth and moved into the top 10 on UT's all-time performers list.
"It was nice to have Evander improve his season bests and provisionals in the sprints," UT Director of Track & Field J.J. Clark said. "Kyle improving his personal bests in those events also adds to the strength of the men's sprint group as the season progresses and helps our team as we head toward the latter part of the season."
Sophomore Robert Rasnick became the second Vol this season to register an NCAA mark, doing so in the pole vault with a career-best indoor clearance of 17-0 3/4 to wind up in second place. Rasnick, a transfer from Cedarville University in Ohio, redshirted last season at UT and entered 2010 with an indoor PR of 16-2 3/4. Vol junior Joe Berry, who has won three out of four SEC vault titles during his career, opened his campaign with a top mark of 16-6 3/4 to tie for fourth place.
"It was not a surprise to have Robert get a provisional in the vault," Clark said. "Coach (Russ) Johnson has been saying good things about him. It's pleasing to see that he is maturing and his marks are continuing to improve each week."
In the women's shot put, Lady Vol junior Annie Alexander came up with a third-place toss of 52-6 1/2 but was unable to chart an improvement in her NCAA provisional and fifth-ranked national mark. Jeneva McCall of Southern Illinois claimed the title at 53- 5 3/4.
Senior Samdi Fraser led a group of four Vols finishing in the top 10 of the 400 meters. Fraser, who placed fourth, navigated the distance in a season-best 48.18, while Varick Tucker was seventh in 48.35, John Hewitt was eighth in 48.42 and Terrance Livingston was ninth in 48.60. Tucker and Hewitt's marks were season bests, while Livingston's was a career topper.
Hewitt, Wells, Stevenson and Livingston returned to the track later to notch a fifth-place result in the 4x400m relay at 3:14.34. Seniors Alan Bachman, Fraser and Nathan Grace, and sophomore Varick Tucker were right behind in sixth with a time of 3:16.07.
"It was a good weekend for our entire team," Clark said. "Our throws group got snowed out in Oklahoma, but they turned it around and made a postive out of it by getting some good performances last night and today."
Saturday UT Men's Results At Rod McCravy Memorial
Mile: 17. Mike Brodsky, 4:15.17
Saturday UT Women's Results At Rod McCravy Memorial
Shot Put: 3. Annie Alexander, 52-6.50/16.01+; 17. Laquoya Kelly, 43-3/13.18
Areson, Wright, Price Pace Big Orange At Penn State National Invitational
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Spectacular showings by distance standouts Jackie Areson, Phoebe Wright and Chanelle Price helped the University of Tennessee track & field team close out its stay in a big way Saturday at the Penn State National Invitational.
Areson gave the Tennessee women their third automatic qualifier of the season, logging a school-record time of nine minutes, 7.27 seconds to win the 3000 meters in dramatic fashion over Elizabeth Maloy of New York Athletic Club (9:07.77). The UT senior's performance, which ranks No. 1 in the NCAA in that event this season, snapped the 19-year-old school record of Patty Wiegand, who won the 1991 NCAA Indoor title with her 9:09.83 output at the time.
"Jackie has been showing signs of being able to do something like this," UT Director of Track & Field J.J. Clark said. "Being able and doing it are two different things. That record had been around a long time, so it is very rewarding to see her break one like that and also run the top time in the country."
Wright, who leads the NCAA ranks thus far in the 800 meters, got some speed work in on Saturday and turned in an impressive clocking in the process. Reporting in with the number-five time ever run by a collegiate woman, Wright finished second overall and first among collegians in the 500 meters. Her mark of 1:09.70 left her in second place behind the 1:08.70 readout produced by Shana Cox of adidas, a former Penn State star and 2008 NCAA champion at 400 meters.
The Big Orange senior, whose previous best of 1:15.60 in the 500 came in 2007 on the same track, stands behind only Cathy Rattray (1:09.38) in UT history. Nationally, on the collegiate level, only Francena McCorory of Hampton (1:09.16, 2007), Cox (1:09.19, 2007), Aliann Pompey of Manhattan (1:09.23, 2000) and Rattray posted faster clockings.
Cox's effort also had ramifications for J.J. Clark's family. Cox's effort Saturday was 1/100th of a second better than the American record of 1:08.71 set by Clark's wife, Jearl Miles-Clark, on the same oval in 2004. It also bumped Clark's elder sister, Joetta Clark-Diggs, to third on the U.S. list at 1:08.82. Wright ranks No. 8 all-time among American women.
As for Price, who stands second behind Wright in the 800 on the national list, the sophomore came through with a victory in the 1000 meters. She cruised to a career-best and meet-record clocking of 2:42.71, which stands as the all-time No. 7 clocking by a college woman and the fourth best ever run by a Tennessee woman. Teammate Brittany Sheffey was fifth, covering the distance in a personal best of 2:49.69.
"Phoebe and Chanelle ran a couple of races for training and conditioning today that years ago were actually NCAA events, so the times are legitimate," Clark said. "Phoebe ran against a tough competitor, recorded one of the fastest times by an American and looked very good doing it. Chanelle appeared to be very comfortable and running extremely strong, and I look forward to seeing her next week in an open event."
Wright and Price also ran the second and third legs on UT's 4x400m relay unit, which place fifth in 3:45.74. Sophomore Ellen Wortham, who had a provisional and No. 5 national mark in the pentathlon on Friday night, and freshman Nyosha Bryant handled the baton on the front and back ends for Tennessee.
In other top-10 finishes, Price was fifth in the unseeded section of the 400 meters at 56.52, freshman Kia Jackson was fifth in the unseeded 200 meters in 24.78 for the Lady Vols, while Vol freshman Tyler Stepp placed ninth in the high jump with a clearance of 6-8 1/4.
Saturday UT Women's Results At Penn State National Invitational
Invitational 200m: 5. Kia Jackson, 24.78
Unseeded 400m: 5. Chanelle Price, 56.52; 16. Martinique Octave, 58.82!
Invitational 500m: 2. Phoebe Wright, 1:09.70!
Unseeded 800m: 16. Charity Honeycutt, 2:19.13!; 19. Kim White, 2:20.19!
Invitational 1000m: 1. Chanelle Price, 2:42.71!mr; 5. Brittany Sheffey, 2:49.69!
Unseeded Mile: 15. Ally Colvin, 5:23.52
Invitational 3000m: 1. Jackie Areson, 9:07.27!*sr
Unseeded 3000m: 16. Michele Levy, 10:37.14; 20. Elizabeth Tiller, 11:01.56!; 21. Andrea Ferri, 11:11.49!
Invitational 4x400m Relay: 5. Ellen Wortham / Phoebe Wright / Chanelle Price / Nyosha Bryant, 3:45.74
Unseeded 4x400m Relay: 15. Charity Honeycutt / Martinique Octave / Kia Jackson / Kim White, 3:52.74
Saturday UT Men's Results At Penn State National Invitational
High Jump: 9. Tyler Stepp, 6-8.25/2.04m
Triple Jump: 16. Julius Tate, 46-1.25/14.05m
* NCAA automatic qualifier, + - NCAA provisional qualifier, ! - Personal best, Adv. - Advanced to next round, DNF - Chris Kane, F - Foul, m - meters, mr - Meet record, NM - No mark, p - Prelims, sr - School record