June 12, 2009
Tennessee sophomore Michael Ayers claimed his third career All-America certificate by virtue of a fourth place finish in the decathlon Thursday at the NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. The Nashville, Tenn., native posted a career-best total of 7,794 points. Ashton Eaton of Oregon won with 8,241 points.
The score moves Ayers into eighth place on Tennessee's all-time performance list. His previous career-best point total was 7,480 from the Sea Ray Relays on April 8-9. He also earned All-America honors in multi-event competitions outdoors in 2008 and indoors earlier this season.
"I'm very proud of how well Mike competed," Tennessee head coach Bill Webb said. "It was an outstanding 10 events he put together over the last two days. He was able to come back out today and keep his focus and intensity. It was a really, really good effort."
Ayers opened day two with an 18th-place finish in the 110m hurdles at 15.71. He followed that performance with a throw of 38.36m (125-10) in the discus, which ranked 15th in the field.
In Ayers' best event, the pole vault, he tied for the highest clearance among all competitors at 5.00m (16-4.75). As the two-day test reached its close, Ayers posted a mark of 57.78m (189-7) in the javelin to finish fourth in the field and a time of 4:44.07 in the 1,500m for a 16th-place finish.
"I'm really happy with how I did," Ayers said. "I felt like I was able come out today and finish stronger than I have in previous competitions. Even though I didn't post any PRs, I came pretty close in every event."
Ayers' day one marks were 10.73 in the 100m, 7.36m (24-1.75) in the long jump, 12.82m (42-0.75) in the shot put, 1.99m (6-6.25) in the high jump and 49.12 in the 400m. The 100m time, the long jump mark and the 400m time were lifetime bests.
The only other UT athlete in action Thursday was sophomore Charlton Rolle, who earned a spot in the 110m hurdles semifinals with an 18th-place finish in the prelims at 14.16.
Akeem Hardnett will compete Friday at 5:30 p.m. ET in the qualifying round of the triple jump. Rolle runs in the 110m hurdles semifinal at 8:05 p.m.
|110 Meter Hurdles - Prelims|
|1.||Jason Richardson||South Carolina||13.41Q|