“This meet is close by and contested on a nice Mondo track,” head coach Bill Webb said. “We have competition in most events and will hope for our first weekend of good weather. We are not taking people that competed in a lot of events at Sea Rays (last week), and we have some others training through the weekend.”
Michael Hogue, the Vanderbilt Track and Vanderbilt Invitational record holder in the pole vault, returns to the complex where he cleared 17-0 3/4 last year to break former Vol Chad Smith’s records of 17-0. Hogue is joined by freshman Joseph Berry, who broke the Hutsell-Rosen Track record in Auburn, Ala., two weeks ago, and sophomore Brad Holtz, who owns the highest clearance in the SEC this season at 16-10 3/4. All three vaulters are qualified for the NCAA Mideast Regional. Holtz also is entered in the 110 hurdles.
Tennessee sends its biggest contingent to the starting line in the 1,500, with six Vols entered. All-America Yarrick Kincaid leads the group that includes indoor SEC All-Freshman honoree Axel Mostrag, senior Chris Platt, junior Steve Tobin and freshmen Michael Spooner and Mike Brodsky. Sophomore Justin Hansen, who ran to a personal-best clocking in the 800 at the Sea Ray Relays last week, and senior All-America Paul Cross are both entered in the 800.
Sophomore Kyle Stevenson is entered in the 100 and 200, with senior Blake Jones set to join him in the 100. Sophomores Samdi Fraser and Nathan Grace make up Tennessee’s representation in the 400. Sophomores John Hewitt and De’Lon Isom are entered in the 400 hurdles. Freshman Chris Rapp and senior Brent Smith are entered in the steeplechase after finishing fourth and seventh, respectively, in the open section of the race at the Sea Ray Relays.
Junior Nick Panezich is Tennessee’s only thrower in the discus after improving his personal-best mark in the event by eight feet last weekend, but will join fellow junior Richard Wooten in the shot put. Both throwers, in addition to Matthew Maloney who is also throwing the javelin, are entered in the hammer throw. Sophomore Jonathan Fluellen is entered in the long jump one week after extending his personal-best leap in the event by almost a foot. Fellow sophomore Brenard Wilson joins Fluellen in the long jump and is the only Vol entered in the high jump.
The Vanderbilt Invitational begins Friday at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time with the long jump, shot put and pole vault. Competition ends Friday night at 9:45 p.m. with the 3,000 and begins Saturday at 1:00 p.m. with the hammer throw and high jump. The 4x400 relay ends the meet Saturday at 4:30 p.m.