March 31, 2010
By Eric Trainer, Associate Director of Media Relations
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The University of Tennessee track & field teams gear up for week number two of the outdoor campaign, as they travel to Gainesville, Fla., to compete in the Pepsi Florida Relays on Friday and Saturday at James G. Pressley Stadium at Percy Beard Track.
Action gets underway around noon on Friday with running events, capped by the evening's "distance carnival," while field events begin at 2 p.m. Saturday's races on the track also begin at noon, while the field athletes swing into gear at 11:30 a.m.
The Big Orange men and women are making their second straight trip to the Sunshine State after competing in Tallahassee at the FSU Relays last weekend. At the outdoor season-opener, the squads from Rocky Top came away with five wins on the men's side and three in the women's competition in what UT Director of Track & Field J.J. Clark classified as a successful first foray in the second half of the season.
Vols coming off victorious efforts at FSU are senior Samdi Fraser (400m, 47.71), sophomore Emerson Peacock (800m, 1:52.55), senior Matt Maloney (javelin, 223-3), junior Michael Spooner (3000mSC, 9:32.13) and senior Evander Wells (200m, 21.24). Lady Vol first-week victors included sophomore Brittany Sheffey (1500m, 4:22.44), sophomore Ellen Wortham (400mH, 59.05) and senior Phoebe Wright (800m, 2:05.58). Wright ranks second in the nation, while Wortham is seventh and Sheffey is 10th.
The UT men's 4x100m relay and women's 4x400m relay posted times that rank among the top 20 in NCAA Division I thus far. The Lady Vol 4x4 combo of freshman Martinique Octave, Wright, Wortham and Kim White logged a readout of 3:40.80 that stacks up seventh in the nation, while the men's 4x1 quartet of senior Kyle Stevenson, Wells, Fraser and sophomore Desmond Brown ran 40.65 to post the No. 18 mark in the land. Maloney's javelin effort doesn't rate in the top 20 nationally, but it does lead the SEC through two weeks of action.
Lady Vol Jackie Areson tops the nation in the 5000 meters with her career-best 15:51.56 effort at the Stanford Invitational last Friday night. Areson, though, is not expected to make the trip to Gainesville. Neither is junior Annie Alexander, who is taking a planned redshirt during the outdoor season at the urging of throws coach John Frazier.
Areson should be back in action April 7-10, however, as Tennessee plays host to its first home meet of the 2010 campaign. On tap will be the 44th-annual Sea Ray Relays, which will take place at UT's newly-refurbished Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium.