The third-ranked Tennessee men’s track and field team concluded competition at the Penn State National Invitational on Saturday with two wins, one NCAA automatic qualifier and three new NCAA provisional qualifiers.
Rubin Williams, one day after clocking a meet-record time in the 60, won the invitational section of the 200 in an NCAA automatic-qualifying time of 20.76, the fastest time in the world based on marks entering the weekend, in his first 200 this season. Williams, the defending SEC champion in the 200, earned Tennessee’s first NCAA automatic-qualifying mark of the season. He was followed in the 200 by sophomore Evander Wells, who finished second in a season-best, NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 21.00, and Kyle Stevenson, who finished ninth with a season-best clocking of his own at 21.92.
“I’m happy with my results this weekend,” Williams said. “It’s my best opening weekend ever. It was just a blessing with all the hard work I put in over the summer and the fall. I had an idea I could run this fast, but I didn’t know it would come so soon. I’m happy and blessed I was able to run this fast this early.”
In addition to his individual accolades, Williams ran the third leg on Tennessee’s second-place 4x400 relay team. Samdi Fraser led off the relay and was followed by Stevenson with Wells running the anchor leg as the quartet ran to an NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 3:10.26.
Andrew Dawson secured Tennessee’s seventh NCAA provisional-qualifying mark of the young season with his 1:50.12 clocking that led to a third-place finish in the invitational section of the 800. The senior joins Jangy Addy (55 hurdles), Michael Hogue (pole vault), Evander Wells (60 and 200), Rubin Williams (60) and the 4x400 relay team on the list of NCAA provisional qualifiers.
Juniors Richard Wooten and Nick Panezich finished first and second, respectively, in the shot put. Wooten, who tied his personal-best mark in the weight throw Friday night, won the shot put with a season-best mark of 56-0 1/2. Panezich’s throw of 55-8 1/4 was good for runner-up honors. Akeem Hardnett finished 12th in the triple jump with his 47-9 1/4 leap.
“Rubin had a great weekend,” head coach Bill Webb said. “We had a real solid finish to the meet. We had a good 800-meter race, it was a good, solid open for those guys, and Rubin and Evander ran great in the 200. We won a couple of events that broke our little drought, so that was nice. Our next full-team meet will be New York (the Armory Collegiate Invitational) in two weeks.”
Senior Matthieu Pritchett recorded a season-best time of 21.63 and finished fourth in the open section of the 200. Sophomore Samdi Fraser finished ninth in the invitational section of the 400 in a season-best time of 48.17. John Hewitt recorded a season-best time of his own in the open 400, crossing the finish line in 49.32, while Nathan Grace stopped the clock at 49.31.
Freshman Axel Mostrag tied for eighth in the invitational 800 with his time of 1:51.93. Sophomore Justin Hansen ran to a personal-best time of 1:54.69, more than a two second improvement from his previous personal-best clocking, and a 10th-place finish in the open section of the 800. Senior Chris Platt ran to an indoor personal-best time in the 3,000 for the second consecutive week, with his 8:21.14 clocking placing him eighth in the invitational section. Junior Andrew Press finished 16th in the invitational section of the 3,000 with his time of 8:38.46 in his first race at that distance this season.
Freshman Michael Ayers placed fourth in the first heptathlon of his collegiate career with 5,087 points. Junior Brad Holtz, a converted pole vaulter, finished eighth in his first career heptathlon.
Senior Paul Cross finished 11th in the invitational section of the 1,000, and fellow senior Yarrick Kincaid ran to a 19th-place finish in the mile invitational section. Senior Matt Piccarello and freshman Michael Spooner each made their season debuts for the Vols by running in the open section of the 3,000. Piccarello finished eighth in 8:35.59, while Spooner crossed the finish line in 8:52.25 for 14th place.
Tennessee returns to competition next weekend at the Rod McCravy Memorial in Lexington, Ky.
Penn State National Invitational, University Park, Pa.
Saturday, Jan. 26, 2008
|200 invitational section|
|1.||Rubin Williams, Tenn.||20.76**|
|2.||Evander Wells, Tenn.||21.00* SB|
|9.||Kyle Stevenson, Tenn.||21.92 SB|
|1.||Michael Tinsley, Unatt.||21.37|
|4.||Matthieu Pritchett, Tenn.||21.63 SB|
|400 invitational section|
|1.||Bershawn Jackson, GW Express||46.76*|
|9.||Samdi Fraser, Tenn.||48.17 SB|
|1.||Adrian Findlay, Unatt.||47.59|
|9.||John Hewitt, Tenn.||49.23 SB|
|12.||Nathan Grace, Tenn.||49.31|
|800 invitational section|
|1.||Paul Harris, Navy||1:49.29*|
|3.||Andrew Dawson, Tenn.||1:50.12*|
|8-t.||Axel Mostrag, Tenn.||1:51.93|
|1.||Johnny Shuping, Unatt.||1:50.84|
|10.||Justin Hansen, Tenn.||1:54.69 PR|
|1,000 invitational section|
|1.||Michael Kerrigan, Villanova||2:26.59|
|11.||Paul Cross, Tenn.||2:32.84|
|Mile invitational section|
|1.||Mircea Bogdan, Unatt.||3:59.15** FR|
|19.||Yarrick Kincaid, Tenn.||4:20.02|
|3,000 invitational section|
|1.||Ryan Blood, Unatt.||8:07.91|
|8.||Chris Platt, Tenn.||8:21.14 SB|
|16.||Andrew Press, Tenn.||8:38.46|
|1.||Jonathan Anderson, Army||8:22.17|
|8.||Matt Piccarello, Tenn.||8:35.59|
|14.||Michael Spooner, Tenn.||8:54.25|
|4x400 relay invitational section|
|(Fraser, Stevenson, Williams and Wells)|
|(Isom, Cross, Hewitt and Hansen)|
|1.||Marc Kellman, UNA||54-0**|
|12.||Akeem Hardnett, Tenn.||47-9 1/4|
|1.||Richard Wooten, Tenn.||56-0 1/2 SB|
|2.||Nick Panezich, Tenn.||55-8 1/4|
|1.||Steven Harris, Unatt.||5,586|
|4.||Michael Ayers, Tenn.||5,087|
|8.||Brad Holtz, Tenn.||4,272|
|**-NCAA automatic-qualifying mark; *-NCAA provisional-qualifying mark; FR-Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track Facility Record; PR-personal best/career best mark; SB-season-best mark.|