Feb. 12, 2011
By Eric Trainer
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The University of Tennessee women's and men's track & field teams took part in the Texas A&M Challenge Saturday afternoon at Gilliam Indoor Track & Field Stadium, joining forces with two other SEC schools in a four-conference showdown.
The Big 12 Conference swept the men's and women's competitions with 329 and 297 points, respectively. The Pac-10 was second on the women's side with 176, followed by the SEC (119) and Conference-USA (60). The Pac-10 also was second on the men's side with 140 points, followed by Conference-USA (107.50) and the SEC (81.50).
Competing for the Big 12 were host Texas A&M, Baylor and Nebraska. The SEC was represented by Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi State, leaving the league severely undermanned on the male side because UA did not bring its men's team, and MSU does not have one indoors. Scoring for the Pac-10 were Arizona, Arizona State and USC. Counting toward the Conference-USA point total were Houston, Rice and UTEP.
For the Lady Vols, junior Chanelle Price posted a victory in the mile run and ran a solid 800m leg on UT's distance medley relay to aid the SEC fight. Price followed classmate Brittany Sheffey for all but the final 160 meters of the mile run, kicking past her teammate and holding on with a career-best clocking of 4:44.44. Sheffey trailed her across the line in 4:46.01 for runner-up distinction and 18 points for the SEC.
In the distance medley relay, Sheffey opened with a 3:30.89 1200m leg and Price added a 2:06.85 800m hitch as the Lady Vols finished second to Nebraska. Tennessee, with freshman Brittney Jackson handling the 400m leg and sophomore Ramzee Fondren running the 1200m anchor leg, finished in 11:42.45. Nebraska checked in first at 11:39.85.
Tennessee also helped the league in the 800 meters in a major way, accumulating 17 points via indoor personal records by a trio of newcomers. Sophomore transfer Nijgia Snapp had the best effort, nailing a 2:07.16 PR to wind up second. True freshmen Kianna Ruff and Brittney Jackson posted PRs of 2:08.02 and 2:09.97, respectively, to finish third and sixth.
"We had some nice PRs with Nijgia, Kianna and Brittney - 2:07, 2:08 and 2:09," Clark said. "Chanelle had a nice PR in the mile, and it was an outstanding run for her as well. We just have to continue with that type of development, and we'll be fine."
The Lady Vol 4x400m relay unit closed the meet with a three-second season best to nab fourth place. Junior Ellen Wortham, Snapp, sophomore Martinique Octave and Ruff navigated the distance in 3:36.83, which is also about three seconds ahead of UT's best indoor time from 2010.
"We ended up with the 4x4 putting a decent mark on the board," Clark said. "We are using some sprinters and half-milers there, and we're coming up with a good combination. We'll have to wait and see if that will get in (to the NCAA meet).
"Overall, we did some good things throughout the course of the meet that allowed us to keep preparing for the SEC Championships. It seems like we are coming around at the right time."
Others chipping into the league's scoring tally were Wortham in two individual events (4th, 400m, career-best 54.36 and 6th, long jump, 18-9 3/4), Kia Jackson in the 60m (5th, 7.52) and junior Laquoya Kelly in the weight throw (5th, 57-11 1/4).
On the men's side, senior Joe Berry produced a runner-up result in the pole vault for the second straight week. The No. 4-ranked vaulter in the nation cleared 16-9 1/2 today to earn eight points for the SEC. Freshman Tyler Porter also got into the action, sailing over the bar at 16-1 3/4 to match his personal record and place fourth for five points.
The Vol distance medley relay unit carded the team's second-best performance of the day. The quartet of redshirt freshmen Jordan Chaney and Dentarius Locke, true freshman Ford Bell and senior Chris Rapp moved the baton around the track in 10:11.83 to grab fourth place.
Also contributing to the men's SEC point total were sophomore Chris Bodary in the 3000m (5th, career-best 8:14.85), senior Chris Rapp in the mile (6th, career-best 4:12.12), redshirt freshman Dentarius Locke in the 60m dash (6th, 6.76), sophomore Drew Thomas in the weight throw (7th, 51-9 1/4) and redshirt freshman Jordan Chaney in the 800m (8th, career-best 1:53.50).
"We had some PRs from several areas and some good positive movement from Jordan Chaney in the 800 and DMR," Clark said. "Bodary looked good today and had a nice-sized PR in the 3K, and we're going to need all of those PRs as we approach the conference meet. Both the men's and women's teams will have to be sharp and get more on their "A" game as we approach these final days of preparation for the SEC Championships."
- results folllow -
60m Final: 6. Dentarius Locke, 6.76
Weight Throw: 7. Drew Thomas, 51-9.25/15.78m
Mile: 1. Chanelle Price, 4:44.44b!; 2. Brittany Sheffey, 4:46.01; 10. Elizabeth Altizer, 5:03.02b!; 25. Kelsey Kane, 5:34.55b
800m: 2. Nijgia Snapp, 2:07.16p!; 3. Kianna Ruff, 2:08.02b!; 6. Brittney Jackson, 2:09.97b!; 10. Ramzee Fondren, 2:13.08b; 15. Ty-Vonna Johnson, 2:17.73b; 22. Kim White, 2:21.56b; 27. Chelsea Knotts, 2:25.50b
Distance Medley Relay: 2. Brittany Sheffey / Brittney Jackson / Chanelle Price / Ramzee Fondren, 11:42.45b
400m: 4. Ellen Wortham, 54.36b!; 15. Martinique Octave, 56.17b
4x400m Relay: 4. Ellen Wortham / Nijgia Snapp / Martinique Octave / Kianna Ruff, 3:36.83b; 10. Ashley Harris / Chanelle Price / Kim White / Elizabeth Altizer, 3:48.79b;
60m Final: 5. Kia Jackson, 7.52
60m Prelims: Adv. Kia Jackson, 7.59p/2nd, ht. 1 (6th); 18. Ashley Harris, 7.76p/5th, ht. 2; 19. Martinique Octave, 7.77p/3rd, ht. 5; 26. Brittany Jones, 7.85p/5th, ht. 3
Weight Throw: 5. Laquoya Kelly, 57-11.25/17.66m; 9. Jessie Harrison, 56-10.25/17.33m
Long Jump: 6. Ellen Wortham, 18-9.75/5.73m; 15. Jazmen Townsend, 17-2.75/5.25m
Pole Vault: 10. Linda Hadfield, 11-2.50/3.42m
60mH Prelims: 10. Ellen Wortham, 8.61p/3rd, ht. 3; 27. Bianca Blair, 9.17p/4th, ht. 5
Shot Put: 14. Aslynn Halvorson, 45-0.25/13.72m; 18. Laquoya Kelly, 41-10/12.75m
3000m: 15. Elizabeth Tiller, 10:33.35b!
200m: 16. Ashley Harris, 24.52b!; 23. Kia Jackson, 24.91b; 46. Bianca Blair, 26.09b!
Triple Jump: NM - Allison Outerbridge, F
* - NCAA automatic qualifying mark, ! - personal record, ^ - oversized track, b - banked track, DNF - did not finish, DQ - disqualified, F - foul, fr - facility record, FS - false start, h - heat, m - meters, mr - meet record, NM - no mark registered, NH - no height registered, p - preliminary round, sr - school record