April 14, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Competing on a splendid Saturday afternoon at Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium, the Tennessee track & field teams combined for nine event victories, including six in the higher-caliber "Showcase" races, on the final day of the 46th-annual Sea Ray Relays.
On a day in which 23 UT student-athletes were recognized on Senior Day, Ellen Wortham made her final home appearance one for the record books. The local product from Maryville cruised to an NCAA-leading and meet-record-tying time of 55.93 seconds to win the Showcase 400m hurdles by three seconds. It marked the third-straight season she won that event at this meet, and she matched the 2005 effort of South Carolina's Tiffany Ross-Williams to do it.
After running on UT's victorious 4x400m relay and winning the long jump at 19-11 3/4, Wortham was named the Tony Wilson Award winner for women's running events for the second year in a row. Wortham joins Aleen Bailey of South Carolina (2002, 2003) as the only two-time winners for running events. Pittsburgh's Trecia Smith (1999, 2000) and Annie Alexander of Tennessee (2010, 2011) twice won the award for field events.
Joining Wortham as the 2012 Tony Wilson Award winners at the meet were Brittany Smith of Illinois State for women's field events, Tim Glover of Illinois State for men's field events and Brycen Spratling of Pittsburgh for men's running events. Smith won the shot put with an NCAA-leading mark of 58-9 1/2, finished second in the Invitational discus (180-11) and was second in the hammer throw at 197-8. Glover, the defending NCAA champion, launched the javelin 266-9 to card a meet record and NCAA leader, while Spratling won the Showcase 400m (46.03), finished third in the open 200m (21.21) and anchored Pitt's Showcase 4x400m relay team (3:08.22).
While Annie Alexander wasn't able to earn her third Tony Wilson Award this year, the senior from Trinidad &Tobago started her day by winning her fourth Sea Rays discus crown, stretching the tape measure to a season-best 181-11 that ranks No. 4 nationally. She attempted to win her third meet title in the shot put later in the day, but she came up short with a season-best mark of 56-8 3/4 that left in her second behind Smith, the new NCAA leader this season. Alexander stands fifth on that list.
Vol freshman Jamol James and Lady Vol junior Kia Jackson made it a Big Orange sweep of the Showcase 100m dash crowns. James took care of business in the men's race, winning in 10.24 with a slightly-illegal breeze of 2.2 meters per second at this back. Jackson won her battle with a career-best time, shooting down the straightaway in a legal 11.49.
"It was really good for our guys," UT Director of Track & Field J.J. Clark said. "Jamol beat a very good field, with Kyle Stevenson (former Vol) and some others in there. A very noble mark by Terry Benson in the 400m hurdles (51.79). That's the type of performance we're looking for. We got what we needed.
"We got the stick around well in the 4x100 and ran another good, solid mark for the team in 40.22. Overall, we had some other PRs. Daniel Tobin and Chris Bodary stepped up and ran PRs for us. It's good to have Joe Franklin back in the mix, as he's knocking his times down every week. We just have to keep our nose to the grindstone and keep moving in a positive, forward direction."
Brittany Sheffey produced another NCAA-caliber readout for the women. The senior covered the Showcase 1500m in 4:19.14 to pick up her third-straight win in that event this season. She also ran the leadoff leg for Tennessee's 4x800m relay unit, which won in 8:44.31. Joining her for that triumph were Elizabeth Altizer, Kianna Ruff and Brittney Jackson.
"On the women's side, Annie was consistent, as usual, in the discus," Clark said. "We look for leadership and consistency. Brittany Sheffey put a solid mark on the board, just a little over her PR. Ellen...what can you say about Ellen? She came here, ran a nation-leading mark and a meet record, and that's saying something. This is a very prestigious and old meet. It's very good progression and great leadership from Ellen.
"We had a host of PRs from our team, Clark said. "Kianna Ruff ran 2:06. Kelsey Kane had a PR. There were a bunch on the women's side, including Katherine Dresch in the javelin. The cylinders are clicking, and Ellen has become one of our leaders along with Annie. We're very happy to have gotten through this healthy and in good form."
The UT women's sprint corps supplied the final two wins via baton events. Wortham, Martinique Octave, Ashley Harris and Kianna Ruff worked together to finish first in the Showcase 4x400m relay (season-best 3:39.57), while Harris, senior Brittany Jones, Octave and Jackson collaborated on a season-best 44.44, first-place readout in the Showcase 4x100m event.
The Vols checked in with a pair of runner-up finishes and five third-place efforts. Terry Benson's personal-record run of 51.79 in the Showcase 400m hurdles came as the senior charged hard down the stretch and worked himself into a second-place result. Benson also opened a third-place Showcase 4x4 unit for Tennessee, moving the stick with Jamol James, Jarael Nelvis and Varick Tucker to a season-best 3:10.97 count.
James and seniors Joe Franklin and Varick Tucker tossed in third-place Showcase performances. James earned his in the 200m dash in 21.39, Franklin posted a season-best 1:51.72 readout in the 800m and Tucker delivered a career-best time of 47.36 in the 400m for Team Orange.
The home team also added a third-place finish in the Showcase distance medley relay. The quartet of junior Chris Bodary, junior Breon Dixon, senior Scott March and senior Tom Gilmartin moved around the oval in 10:19.02.
Lady Vols Harris and Octave added two more third-place individual efforts. Harris wound up third in the 200m with a career best of 23.04, while Octave was third in the 400 at 54.92.
"I think the Sea Ray Showcase was very successful," Clark said. "A lot of people came for that part. We need to tweak it a bit and move the 4x400 down. We had to make a few changes, but we had a very solid meet. If the weather holds up like it did this week, we could definitely establish this meet as one of the top meets in the country again. That's the goal, and we'll march forward to do that."
The squads return to action on April 20-21, as they compete in the Vanderbilt Invitational in Nashville.
"We're going to tune up at Vanderbilt," Clark said. "We're going to take some youngsters to Vanderbilt and have them run and maybe some won't run at Penn. Those who will run at Penn will use it to sharpen up. We'll take a lighter load to Vanderbilt, and then we'll go to Penn and do what we normally do. Then it's' time for SECs."
Showcase 100m: 1. Jamol James, 10.24w (w: 2.2)
Showcase 4x100m Relay: 2. Reggie Juin / Jamol James / Jarael Nelvis / Arnez Hardnick, 40.22
Showcase 400m Hurdles: 2. Terry Benson, 51.79!
Showcase 200m: 3. Jamol James, 21.39 (w: 1.2); 4. Arnez Hardnick, 21.42! (w: 1.2)
Showcase 800m: 3. Joe Franklin, 1:51.72; 5. Nick Kaiser, 1:52.36; 8. Antonio Carter, 1:53.68; 9. Garrek Thompson, 1:53.94
Showcase 400m: 3. Varick Tucker, 47.36!
Showcase Distance Medley Relay: 3. Chris Bodary / Breon Dixon / Scott March / Tom Gilmartin, 10:19.02
Showcase 4x400m Relay: 3. Terry Benson / Jamol James / Jarael Nelvis / Varick Tucker, 3:10.97
Javelin: 4. Luke Hadden, 198-11/60.63m
Long Jump: 4. Desmond Brown, 24-6.25/7.47m (w: 1.7); 5. Tyler Anderson, 24-1/7.34m (w: 2.8)
Invitational Pole Vault: 4. Robert Rasnick, 17-4.50/5.30m!; 7. Chase Brannon, 17-0.75/5.20m!
Showcase 1500: 4. Chris Bodary, 3:52.66!; 9. Daniel Tobin, 3:58.13!
Hammer Throw: 8. Drew Thomas, 182-4/55.57m; 15. Deon McAdoo, 159-8/48.66m
4x400m Relay: 2. Michael Williams / Nick Kaiser / Garrek Thompson / Antonio Carter, 3:15.14
Inv. Discus Throw: 1. Tavis Bailey, 176-9/53.87m; 8. Matthew Hoty, 154-6/47.10m
100m: 2. Arnez Hardnick, 10.60! (w: 0.5); 7. Reggie Juin, 10.78 (w: 0.5)
Shot Put: 3. Matthew Hoty, 55-10.50/17.03m; 5. Tavis Bailey, 51-5 .75/15.69m
400m Hurdles: 3. Michael Williams, 54.13
110m Hurdles: 5. Terry Benson, 14.16w (w: 2.2)
400m: 5. Deaundra Dailey, 48.79
3000m Steeplechase: 5. Tom Gilmartin, 9:24.11!; 7. Daniel Tobin, 9:46.60
Triple Jump: 6. Tyler Anderson, 46-11/14.30m (w: -1.2)
Pole Vault: 6. Michael Maira, 15-1/4.60m!
5000m: 8. Stephen Derlath, 15:07.62!
200m: 11. Reggie Juin, 21.79 (w: 1.7)
800m: 16. Scott March, 1:56.41; 27. Breon Dixon, 1:58.33
Showcase 400m Hurdles: 1. Ellen Wortham, 55.93mr; 5. Bianca Blair, 1:01.43
Long Jump: 1. Ellen Wortham, 19-11.75/6.09mw (w: 2.5); 8. Kia Jackson, 18-10.75/5.76mw (w: 3.1); 11. Kasha McDougald, 18-2.25/5.54mw (w: 2.7); NM - Allison Outerbridge, F; NM - Jazmen Townsend, F
Invitational Discus Throw: 1. Annie Alexander, 181-11/55.45m; 7. Aslynn Halvorson, 162-4/49.48m; 13. Jessie Harrison, 142-5/43.40m
Showcase 1500: 1. Brittany Sheffey, 4:19.14; 10. Kelsey Kane, 4:33.93!; 11. Amber Zimmerman, 4:38.42; 12. Elizabeth Altizer, 5:03.08; DNF - Chanelle Price
Showcase 100m: 1. Kia Jackson, 11.49! (w: 1.4)
Showcase 4x100m Relay: 1. Ashley Harris / Brittany Jones / Martinique Octave / Kia Jackson, 44.44
Showcase 4x400m Relay: 1. Ellen Wortham / Martinique Octave / Ashley Harris / Kianna Ruff, 3:39.37; 5. Julia Petree / Chanelle Price / Charity Honeycutt / Ty-Vonna Johnson, 3:46.39
4x800m Relay: 1. Brittany Sheffey / Elizabeth Altizer / Kianna Ruff / Brittney Jackson, 8:44.31; 5. Amirah Johnson / Ty-Vonna Johnson /l Patavia Lowery / Kelsey Kane, 9:11.84
Shot Put: 2. Annie Alexander, 56-8.75/17.29m; 12. Aslynn Halvorson, 43-10.75/13.38m
Showcase 200m: 3. Ashley Harris, 24.03! (w: 0.2)
Showcase 400m: 3. Martinique Octave, 54.92
Showcase 800m: 4. Kianna Ruff, 2:06.32!; 9. Brittney Jackson, 2:09.62
Javelin Throw: 6. Katherine Dresch, 130-1/39.64m!
200m: 1. Martinique Octave, 23.95 (w: -0.8); 3. Kia Jackson, 24.15 (-0.8)
100m: 2. Brittany Jones, 11.66 (w: 0.9)
100m Hurdles: 3. Bianca Blair, 13.70 (w: 1.8); 15. Kasha McDougald, 14.34 (w: 1.8)
Pole Vault: 4. Linda Hadfield, 13-1.50/4.00m
400m: 4. Ashley Harris, 54.66!; 11. Chanelle Price, 55.61
800m: 4. Elizabeth Altizer, 2:13.25!; 6. Charity Honeycutt, 2:13.53!; 8. Patavia Lowery, 2:14.24!; 11. Julia Petree, 2:15.37!; 17. Ty-Vonna Johnson, 2:17.29
Triple Jump: 4. Allison Outerbridge, 40-5.50/12.33m! (w: -0.7)
400m Hurdles: 7. Brittney Jackson, 1:03.47
3000m: 9. Elizabeth Tiller, 11:40.52
1500m: 9. Amirah Johnson, 4:41.17!
Hammer Throw: 5. Jessie Harrison, 177-0/53.94m; 9. Laquoya Kelly, 160-6/48.92m
! - personal record, DNF - did not finish, DNS - did not start, 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, w - wind-aided