May 5, 2009
The Tennessee men's track and field team concluded the regular season by winning 10 events and adding one NCAA regional qualifier Tuesday evening in the Smoky Mountain Twilight at Tom Black Track. Freshman Emerson Peacock clocked an 800m time of 1:48.34 to win the event and become Tennessee's 14th individual qualifier. His time was a lifetime best and ranks as the top time in the Southeastern Conference and the seventh-fastest time in the NCAA this season.
"Emerson has wanted to run under 1:49 all season, and he did a great job of finishing the race tonight to get there," Tennessee head coach Bill Webb said. "We had a few others improve regional marks, and we also had some lifetime-best performances. It was exactly what we wanted from this last meet before the SEC Championships."
Joseph Morris improved on his lifetime-best clocking and his regional qualifying mark with a time of 10.46 en route to a win in the 100m. Charlton Rolle improved his regional standing in the 110m hurdles with a third-place finish and a time of 14.03, and Tennessee's 4x100 relay also shaved .06 seconds from its regional qualifier with a win and a clocking of 39.98.
Morris also notched a career-best time of 21.31 in the 200m, improving on his previous top time by .07 seconds. Michael Ayers tossed the javelin a career-best distance of 56.89m (186-8), bettering his previous career-best by almost three meters.
Other Tennessee athletes earning wins were Michael Spooner in the mile with a lifetime-best clocking of 4:10.34, Nick Panezich in the shot put and discus with marks of 17.44m (52-2.75) and 53.15m (174-4), Brenard Wilson in the long jump with a season-best leap of 7.22m (23-8.25), Akeem Hardnett in the triple jump with a mark of 14.71m (48-3.25) and Michael Seaman in the pole vault with a clearance of 5.05m (16-6.75). The 4x400 relay also earned a victory with a time of 3:12.08.
Other Vols posting season-best performances included three 400m runners: Nathan Grace at 48.15, Alan Bachman at 48.23 and Deandra Dailey at 48.39. Richard Wooten also managed a season-best mark in the shot put at 16.14m (52-11.5), while Jonathan Fluellen accomplished the same feat in the long jump at 6.90m (22-7.75).
Entering the conference meet, Tennessee has a total of 20 regional qualifying marks from 14 individual athletes and two relay units. The SEC Championships will be run May 14-17 in Gainesville, Fla.