Tennessee Drives SEC to Victory in Gatorade Classic

April 9, 2005

Results | Photo Gallery | Gatorade Classic

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.-- Tennessee piled up four wins and a mountain of points to carry the Southeastern Conference past the Big Ten Conference 420-298 in the men's clash Saturday to close the 33rd Gatorade Classic at Tom Black Track in Knoxville, Tenn.

"I like the concept of the meet," head coach Bill Webb said. "I like competing at home with great weather. All in all, I think this meet sets us up for a good Sea Ray Relays. I think we're moving toward what we want to do at the conference championships."

Paul Cross rang up the most noteworthy win in the 800 meters. The sophomore Cross broke the tape first with a 1-minute, 48.06-second time, a regional qualifier and solid outdoor opener. Based on times entering this competitive weekend, Cross' 1:48.06 time stands third among all collegians this outdoor season. The 2004 SEC outdoor 800 champ, Cross stayed within striking distance but hung back until the last curve. He made his move with about 130 meters left in the race, taking the lead and accelerating to the finish line. Kenny Schappert lopped more than three seconds off his previous season-best time by taking seventh in 1:51.99.

"Coach (George) Watts has me training hard with the milers," Cross said. "All that endurance work has helped me. I already feel good about my speed work."

After ragged stickwork resulted in a disqualification last week, Tennessee recovered nicely with a win in the 4x100 relay. The Vols clocked in at 39.29, a season best and regional qualifier, with Matthieu Pritchett, Jonathan Wade, Aries Merritt and Rubin Williams passing the baton. The time ranks as the sixth-fastest collegiate effort in the nation, factoring in four steamers run this weekend at the Texas Relays. The time lacks just 29 hundredths of a second from matching the Gatorade record set in 2002 by Sean Lambert, Justin Gatlin, Hassaan Stamps and Leonard Scott.

Germantown native Michael Hogue took the win in the pole vault with a season-best, regional-qualifying 16-feet, 6 3/4-inch clearance. The height stands as the best in the SEC, according to marks entering this weekend's competition. Co-captain and Maryville grad Jeff Trembley finished fourth with a 16-0 3/4. Knoxville West grad Andy Lane also scored with his fifth-place, 16-0 3/4 leap.

Chris Platt won the 3,000 in 8:16.61. Platt chopped about 12 seconds off his lifetime-best effort in the event which is usually contested in the indoor season. Platt will be focusing on the steeplechase and 5,000 the rest of the outdoor season. Platt had been widening his lead on the last lap before former Vol Patrick Gildea began whittling away the lead on the final curve. Gildea looked like he would pass Platt for the win, but the redshirt freshman found a kick of his own to hold off the Vol alum.

"I've been battling a lot of injuries and redshirted the indoor season," Platt said. "I just ran the pace and tried to stay with them. I had a pretty good kick and held them off. I've been putting in a lot of miles and the times are starting to drop."

The Vols accumulated a boatload of points in the 3,000 by hogging four of the top-six scoring spots. In addition to Platt, Zach Sabatino took second in 8:28.14. Gildea didn't count in the final rankings because only the collegiate competitors scored. Ed Davis captured fourth in a lifetime-best 8:33.19. Matt Piccarello took sixth in a lifetime-best 8:38.07. Ben Lukowski finished ninth in 8:43.54.

The Vols also used a crush of points in the 110 hurdles to swing the count in favor of the SEC. Aries Merritt finished second in 14.04. Merritt led the entire way before stumbling between the last hurdle and the finish line. Bringing his arm back, Merritt got spiked in the forearm on the lead leg of South Carolina's Jason Richardson. Merritt lost his balance, and Richardson went on to nip him by one-hundredth of a second.

Co-captain Robert Boulware finished third in 14.36 in the 110 hurdles. Cade Liverman took fourth with a 14.43 time. Drew Brunson placed sixth in 14.45, wrapping up the Vols' foursome in the top six.

Tennessee's 100 men notched two regional qualifiers. In his first 100 as a Vol, freshman Williams took third with a 10.36 time. Fellow freshman Pritchett finished fourth in 10.38, a career best. Decathlete Chris Helwick also chipped in a point with his eighth-place, 11.50 effort. In the 200, Pritchett also finished fourth in 21.58.

In the long jump, Eric Pierce took second with a lifetime-best, regional-qualifying leap of 24-1 1/2. Pierce also contributed a third-place, 49-6 1/4 regional qualifier in the triple jump. In the long jump, Farragut grads and decathletes Kevin Yeager (fifth, 22-11) and Chris Martland (10th, 21-5 1/4) also competed. Helwick finished eighth with a 22-5 1/4 long jump. In the triple jump, Memphis native Alonzo Williams finished fifth with a 46-5 1/4 measurement.

Helwick finished second in the javelin, registering a lifetime-best and regional-qualifying mark of 203-9 in the process. Anthony Immediate finished sixth with a 179-10 heave. Martland took eighth with a 171-7 mark. Yeager improved his career-best distance to 150-6 to place 13th.

Josh Whisman led a host of Vol shot putters with a regional-qualifying and season-best mark of 55-7 to finish fourth. Garland Porter finished seventh with a 53-6 1/2 measurement. Knoxville Central grad Jim Sexton earned a PR in the shot with a 51-11 mark to place ninth. Decathlete Jangy Addy finished 12th with a 46-3 1/4 heave. Tim Nguyen finished 14th with a 45-2 1/4 distance.

Rounding out the throws, Porter took sixth in the discus with a 156-11 fling. Addy rang up a lifetime-best discus mark of 131-5 to finish 16th.

Tennessee's 4x400 relay team finished second with a season-best time of 3:10.55, now just half a second off the regional standard. Jeremy Burton, Jacob Dennis, Rubin Williams and Kenny Schappert comprised the Tennessee `A' squad. Though only one relay team from each school scored, Tennessee's `B' squad of Brunson, Frank Francois, Liverman and Yarrick Kincaid finished seventh with a 3:17.27 time.

In the 400 hurdles, Burton finished fourth in 52.57. Liverman took eighth in 53.59 in his first collegiate 400 hurdles race.

Tyler DeVault neared the regional steeplechase standard with his 9:08.50 opener to claim fourth. Doug Brown finished fifth with a 9:27.42 time.

In more distance action, Sabatino led the Tennessee 1,500 men with a fifth-place, 3:53.73, though he usually runs longer races. Karns grad Kincaid finished eighth with a career-best time of 3:59.32. Jeff Day placed 10th in 4:02.97.

Brunson and Halls grad Chris Wilson tied for seventh in the high jump after clearing 6-6 3/4.

Francois finished the 400 in 49.71 to take 11th after dropping down from his 800 specialty.

The Volunteers continue their homestand Wednesday through Saturday as the 39th Sea Ray Relays, the jewel of the home outdoor schedule, takes over Tom Black Track. Wednesday and Thursday are dominated by the decathlon. The bulk of the action occurs all day on Friday and Saturday. Meet management officials expect approximately 1,350 men's and women's competitors for the 2005 Sea Ray Relays. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

Gatorade Classic, Knoxville, Tenn.
Score (final)
1. SEC 420
2. Big Ten 298
1. Rodney Martin, S.C. 10.32 *
3. Rubin Williams, Tenn. 10.36 *
4. Matthieu Pritchett, Tenn. 10.38 *, PR
8. Chris Helwick, Tenn. 11.50
1. Rodney Martin, S.C. 20.73 *
4. Matthieu Pritchett, Tenn. 21.58
1. Aaron Buzard, Minn. 46.53 *
11. Frank Francois, Tenn. 49.71
1. Paul Cross, Tenn. 1:48.06 *
7. Kenny Schappert, Tenn. 1:51.99 SB
1. Ryan Ford, Minn. 3:48.99
5. Zach Sabatino, Tenn. 3:53.73
8. Yarrick Kincaid, Tenn. 3:59.32 PR
10. Jeff Day, Tenn. 4:02.97
1. Chris Platt, Tenn. 8:16.61 PR
2. Zach Sabatino, Tenn. 8:28.14
4. Ed Davis, Tenn. 8:33.19 PR
6. Matt Piccarello, Tenn. 8:38.07 PR
9. Ben Lukowski, Tenn. 8:43.54
1. Chris Foster, Penn St. 9:02.30 *
4. Tyler DeVault, Tenn. 9:08.50
5. Doug Brown, Tenn. 9:27.42
110 hurdles
1. Jason Richardson, S.C. 14.03 *
2. Aries Merritt, Tenn. 14.04 *
3. Robert Boulware, Tenn. 14.36
4. Cade Liverman, Tenn. 14.43
6. Drew Brunson, Tenn. 14.45
400 hurdles
1. Jaret Campisi, Penn St. 51.17 *
4. Jeremy Burton, Tenn. 52.57
8. Cade Liverman, Tenn. 53.59
4x100 relay
1. Tennessee
(Pritchett, Wade, Merritt, R. Williams)
39.29 SB, *
4x400 relay
1. Kentucky 3:08.99 *
2. Tennessee 'A'
(Burton, Dennis, R. Williams, Schappert)
3:10.55 SB
7. Tennessee 'B'
(Brunson, Francois, Liverman, Kincaid)
High jump
1. John Albert, Minn. 7-1 1/2 *
7t. Drew Brunson, Tenn. 6-6 3/4
7t. Chris Wilson, Tenn. 6-6 3/4
Pole vault
1. Michael Hogue, Tenn. 16-6 3/4 *, SB
4. Jeff Trembley, Tenn. 16-0 3/4
5. Andy Lane, Tenn. 16-0 3/4
Long jump
1. Greig Cryer, S.C. 24-6 1/2 *
2. Eric Pierce, Tenn. 24-1 1/2 *, PR
5. Kevin Yeager, Tenn. 22-11 SB
8. Chris Helwick, Tenn. 22-5 1/4
10. Chris Martland, Tenn. 21-5 1/4
Triple jump
1. Alonzo Moore, Wis. 50-10 1/4 *
3. Eric Pierce, Tenn. 49-6 1/4 *, SB
5. Alonzo Williams, Tenn. 46-5 1/4
Shot put
1. Jeff Chakouian, Ky. 66-2 1/2 *
4. Josh Whisman, Tenn. 55-7 *, SB
7. Garland Porter, Tenn. 53-6 1/2
9. Jim Sexton, Tenn. 51-11 PR
12. Jangy Addy, Tenn. 46-3 1/4
14. Tim Nguyen, Tenn. 45-2 1/4
1. Joe Thomas, Wis. 167-9 *
6. Garland Porter, Tenn. 156-11 SB
16. Jangy Addy, Tenn. 131-5 PR
1. Jason Swenson, Minn. 215-2 *
2. Chris Helwick, Tenn. 203-9 *, PR
6. Anthony Immediate, Tenn. 179-10
8. Chris Martland, Tenn. 171-7
13. Kevin Yeager, Tenn. 150-6 PR
SB-season-best mark, PR-personal record/career-best mark, *-NCAA regional qualifier.





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