May 12, 2012
BATON ROUGE, La. -- The Tennessee track & field teams celebrated their first SEC champion of the meet, a runner-up finish and three other scoring efforts on Saturday, and they moved along a total of four runners to the finals in three events on day three at the SEC Outdoor Championships.
After nine women's events scored at LSU's Bernie Moore Stadium, the Lady Vols stand in sixth place with 26 points, while Georgia holds the lead with 76. On the men's side, the Vols are in seventh place with 13 points through six events tallied, while Arkansas sits in the catbird's seat with 70.
The favorite to repeat as champion in the women's shot put, UT senior Annie Alexander did not disappoint. After fouling on her first attempt, she easily claimed her third league outdoor shot put crown (2008, 2011, 2012) and brought her total of SEC titles to seven, carding a toss of 56-feet, 3 3/4 inches on her fifth attempt to collect 10 points for the Big Orange. She became the fourth woman in SEC history to claim three or more outdoor shot crowns.
"Annie winning again just shows her consistency and domination in the event during her tenure here," UT Director of Track & Field J.J. Clark said. "It was good to see that."
"It feels great (to win)," Alexander said. "After the team meeting this morning, Coach (John) Frazier (UT throws coach) spoke to me and said `all you have to go out there and do is please yourself.' No pressure - just do what you came here to do. I think it helped a lot and took away a lot of the nervousness. I am really happy to go out there and accomplish what I set out for myself to do."
"After my first throw, I saw indoor nationals flash before me, and I told myself I can't have that (not making finals) happen again. I had to calm down, go back to the drawing board and just be patient. Sometimes we get caught up in being explosive, and sometimes we just have to be relaxed. I had to depend on my relaxation today."
Redshirt freshman Tavis Bailey delivered an equally-big performance for the Volunteers. His career-best toss of 177-1 enabled him to collect eight points for runner-up honors in the men's discus. He had entered the weekend ranked fifth in the league with a previous best mark of 176-9. Fellowed redshirt rookie Matthew Hoty just missed breaking into the scoring eight, finishing ninth at 165-3.
"Having Tavis take second in the discus is huge for our men's program," Clark said. "We need all the points we can get, and we appreciate his contribution today."
Senior Ellen Wortham and sophomore Linda Hadfield delivered their best marks of the season to finish fourth in the long jump and fifth in the pole vault, respectively. Wortham soared to a wind-aided 20-5 3/4 to contribute five points into the Lady Vol account, while Hadfield matched her career-best height with a clearance of 13-4 1/4 to nab fifth and score four points. They had finished fourth and sixth, respectively, at this meet in 2011.
"Ellen is alway valuable for our team," Clark said. "Scoring fourth in the long jump is just exciting for her and exciting for our program to have her come through again. For Linda placing fifth, we knew she was jumping well, but it was good for her to do it here. I tip my hat to her and to Ellen in her senior year giving everything she's got for the Big Orange."
Tom Gilmartin made his final meet as a Vol a memorable one, overcoming a spill on the water jump to aid his team. The senior from Knoxville became an SEC scorer for the first time in his career when he finished seventh in the men's 3000m steeplechase in a time of 9:16.43. He had finished 11th a year ago and 13th in 2010.
Besides Hoty's ninth-place finish in the discus, Tennessee had a couple of other near misses on points. Freshman Tyler Anderson was ninth in the men's long jump with a wind-aided mark of 24-5 3/4, and sophomore Katherine Dresch was ninth in the women's javelin throw with a career-best fling of 133-11.
The Lady Vols and Vols also set themselves up for points on the final day by advancing four runners. Defending women's 1500m champ Brittany Sheffey moved on by winning heat three and posting the No. 2 qualifying time in 4:21.13. Terry Benson ran a PR of 14.10, fifth best of the qualifiers, to advance to the men's 110m hurdles final. UT also added two more in the women's 100m dash, as Brittany Jones (11.39) and Kia Jackson (11.49) qualified with wind-aided times that ranked sixth and tied for eighth in the prelims, respectively.
"Advancing Terry Benson in the hurdles was expected, but it was good to see that it happened," Clark said. "Also, getting points in the steeplechase out of Tommy G. also was a plus for the men. We need some big things to happen for the guys, we need some consistency over the next several years to make this the program that it needs to be.
"For now, we are looking forward to getting Hoty out there tomorrow, as well as our pole vaulters, 4x1 and 4x4 and some other events on the men's side.
"On the women's side, it was great to have Sheffey advance, looking good. We know she's a proven champion. It also was exciting and a plus for our team to move along two in the 100m dash. We did get some things going, but we need to have some big scorers tomorrow on both sides."
Final day action begins on Sunday at 1 p.m. Central time (2 p.m. ET) with field events and at 3 p.m. CT (4 p.m. ET) with running events. ESPN3 will live stream the meet from 3-7 p.m. CT (4-8 ET).
Discus Throw: 2. Tavis Bailey, 177-1/53.98m!; 9. Matthew Hoty, 165-3/50.36m
3000m Steeplechase Final: 7. Tom Gilmartin, 9:16.43; 11. Daniel Tobin, 9:23.74
Long Jump: 9. Tyler Anderson, 24-5.75/7.46mw (w: 3.4); 16. Desmond Brown, 22-7.25/6.89m (w: 1.6)
110m Hurdles Prelims: Adv. Terry Benson, 14.10p! (w: 0.7)/3rd, ht. 2 (5th)
100m Prelims: 13. Jamol James, 10.43pw (w: 2.5)/4th, ht. 2; 19. Arnez Hardnick, 10.52pw (w: 2.5)/5th, ht. 1; 23. Reggie Juin, 10.81w (w: 2.5)/7th, ht. 2
400m Prelims: 15. Varick Tucker, 47.43p/4th, ht. 1; 30. Deaundra Dailey, 50.49p/6th, ht. 2
Hammer Throw: 7. Drew Thomas, 184-4/56.19m; 12. Deon McAdoo, 155-11/47.53m
10000m Final: 8. Chris Bodary, 30:38.32; 19. Stephen Derlath, 32:31.68!
400m Hurdles Prelims: Adv. Terry Benson, 51.50p!/3rd, ht. 3 (8th); 12. Michael Williams, 52.97p!/5th, ht. 2
800m Prelims: 13. Nick Kaiser, 1:51.88p/4th. ht. 1; 20. Garrek Thompson, 1:53.70p/5th, ht. 4; 22. Joe Franklin, 1:54.60p/5th, ht. 2; 23. Antonio Carter, 1:54.84p/7th, ht. 1
200m Prelims: 16. Jarael Nelvis, 21.66p (w:-0.5)/5th, ht. 1; 18. Arnez Hardnick, 21.73p (w: -1.2)/6th, ht. 3; 19. Jamol James, 21.76p (w: -1.1)/4th, ht. 4; 24. Reggie Juin, 22.11p (w: -0.5)/6th, ht. 1
Shot Put: 1. Annie Alexander, 56-3.75/17.16m; 11. Aslynn Halvorson, 43-3/13.18m
Long Jump: 4. Ellen Wortham, 20-5.75/6.24mw (w: 3.7); 10. Kia Jackson, 19-11.75/6.09mw (w: 4.5); 24. Jazmen Townsend, 18-2.50/5.55m (w: 2.0); 26. Kasha McDougald, 16-4.25/4.98m (w: 1.9)
Pole Vault: 5. Linda Hadfield, 13-4.25/4.07m!
Javelin Throw: 9. Katherine Dresch, 133-11/40.81m!
100m Prelims: Adv. Brittany Jones, 11.39pw (w: 3.3)/3rd, ht. 3 (6th); Adv. Kia Jackson, 11.49pw (w: 2.8)/4th, ht. 1 (t8th)
1500m Prelims: Adv. Brittany Sheffey, 4:21.13p/1st, ht. 3 (2nd); 17. Kelsey Kane, 4:34.40p/6th, ht. 3; 19. Amirah Johnson, 4:35.34p!/8th, ht. 3; 20. Amber Zimmerman, 4:35.54p!/6th, ht. 1; 24. Elizabeth Altizer, 4:37.17p/8th, ht. 1; 33. Patavia Lowery, 4:47.68p/11th, ht. 2
100m Hurdles Prelims: 10. Bianca Blair, 13.67p (w: 1.8)/4th, ht. 1; 18. Kasha McDougald, 14.42pw (w: 2.4)/5th, ht. 2
400m Prelims: 15. Ashley Harris, 54.55p!/4th, ht. 1; 24. Martinique Octave, 55.70p/5th, ht. 4; 27. Julia Petree, 55.85p/6th, ht. 2
Hammer Throw: 5. Laquoya Kelly, 180-11/55.15m! ; 6. Jessie Harrison, 176-9/53.88m
800m Prelims: Adv. Chanelle Price, 2:04.25p/1st, ht. 3 (1st); Adv. Kianna Ruff, 2:04.88p!/2nd, ht. 3 (2nd); Adv. Nijgia Snapp, 2:06.10p!/1st, ht. 1 (4th); 12. Elizabeth Altizer, 2:09.34p!/6th, ht. 1; 13. Brittney Jackson, 2:09.83p/4th, ht. 3; 15. Amirah Johnson, 2:11.05p!/7th, ht. 1; 16. Ty-Vonna Johnson, 2:11.12p/8th, ht. 1; 19. Charity Honeycutt, 2:12.38p!/5th, ht. 3; 21. Patavia Lowery, 2:16.98p/7th, ht. 2; 22. Julia Petree, 2:17.77p/7th, ht. 3
400m Hurdles Prelims: Adv. Ellen Wortham, 56.62p/1st, ht. 1 (1st); Adv. Bianca Blair, 1:00.10p/4th, ht. 2 (9th)
200m Prelims: Adv. Brittany Jones, 23.24pw (w: 2.7)/1st. ht. 1 (2nd); 12. Martinique Octave, 24.00p (w: -0.5)/3rd, ht. 3; 14. Ashley Harris, 24.14p (w: -1.2)/3rd, ht. 2; 17. Kia Jackson, 24.34p (w: -0.5) /5th, ht. 3
! - personal record, Adv. - Advanced to next round, 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