Feb. 8, 2003
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After a two-week training cycle, distance coach George Watts wanted to see some lifetime bests Saturday in the distance events at the Rod McCravy Memorial. The distance Volunteers answered his call five times at Kentucky's Nutter Field House. The theme of improvement continued with two more personal bests in non-distance events and two season bests in various other events.
In the mile, Farragut native Eric Bell whacked seven seconds off his lifetime-best mile run time. Bell took eighth with a 4:10.17 clocking.
Not to be outdone, a quartet of Vols in the 3,000m run lowered their lifetime-best times, as well. Patrick Gildea led the orange contingent with an 8:31.67 offering, about a second and a half faster than he has ever run the race, to take 10th. Scott DeFilippis followed about a blink slower, taking 11th in 8:31.70. DeFilippis shaved about half a second off his previous best. Meanwhile, freshman Ed Davis finished 13th in 8:35.63, also about half a second faster than his previous lifetime best. Freshman Matthew Lapp finished in 8:43.88, about a six-second PR, to earn 19th.
Although, hardly a distance runner, Craig Sutherland likewise offered up a lifetime-best time of 8.29 to take fifth in the 60m hurdles. Meanwhile, decathlete Blake Sabo cleared 14-0 for a personal record in the sometimes pesky pole vault Friday night.
Newcomer Joakim Daun posted a season-best time of 1:52.91 to take eighth in the 800m run. The other season-best effort came courtesy of Farragut's Kevin Yeager with a 6-2, 12th-place finish in the high jump.
In all, Tennessee got what it sought at the Rod McCravy Memorial--improvement in the distance events and a well-rounded workout to help its decathletes prepare for the SEC pentathlon at the end of the month.
More Vols will take to the track and field Sunday at the Gator Invitational in Gainesville, Fla.