Feb. 8, 2011
By Eric Trainer
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- For the second time this season, University of Tennessee jumper Justin Hunter has been named the Southeastern Conference Track & Field Men's Freshman of the Week, the league office announced on Tuesday.
After earning the honor on Jan. 18, the Big Orange rookie collected kudos again this week after winning the Championship division of the long jump on Feb. 4 at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational in New York City. Hunter carded a top mark of 25 feet, 10 1/4 inches to win his third consecutive competition to open the 2011 indoor campaign.
While the measurement was shy of his career best of 26-1 1/2 that he recorded at the Penn State National meet on Jan. 28, he managed to finish ahead of a pair of competitors who rank in front of him on the NCAA and SEC lists this season. He currently stands at No. 7 nationally and No. 4 in the SEC.
The only freshman long jumper in the country who is automatically qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championship meet thus far, Hunter is UT's freshman record-holder in that event and rates No. 3 on UT's all-time indoor performers list after only four meets.
On Saturday, Hunter and his teammates will be in College Station, Texas, for the Texas A&M Conference Challenge, presented by Polytan. The meet features men's and women's scored, four-conference showdowns with three teams representing those conferences and trying to generate points for their respective leagues. A&M will host the NCAA Championships next month on March 11-12.
The SEC will be represented this weekend by Tennessee, Alabama (women only) and Mississippi State. The Big 12 will send out Texas A&M, Baylor and Nebraska. The Pac-10 will feature Arizona, Arizona State and USC. Conference-USA will have Houston, Rice and UTEP on hand. Action begins at Noon Central time (1 p.m. ET).
Justin Hunter's winning long jump effort of 25-10 1/4.