“This meet features a compact schedule,” head coach Bill Webb said. “It is a home meet nine days before the conference meet so it is a chance for people to have a final tune up before the SEC Outdoor Championships. It is probably going to be the first good weather day of the season and we are looking forward to that. There are different guys that have different needs during this meet. We have people chasing marks for regionals as well as the US Juniors.”
Six Vols look to defend their respective Smoky Mountain Twilight titles Tuesday night. Seniors Michael Hogue and Yarrick Kincaid won the pole vault and 800, respectively, on their way to All-America honors last season. Junior Steve Tobin took top honors in the 1,500, while fellow juniors Akeem Hardnett and Richard Wooten won the triple jump and shot put, respectively. Sophomore Brenard Wilson earned the highest clearance in the high jump last year.
Tennessee’s deepest event is the 1,500, with six athletes, including Tobin, entered. Seniors Andrew Dawson, Chris Platt and Matt Piccarello join Tobin and freshmen Axel Mostrag and Michael Spooner. In addition to the 1,500, Piccarello, Platt, Spooner and Tobin also are entered in the 10,000. Senior Paul Cross and sophomore Justin Hansen join Kincaid in the 800, while senior Brent Smith and freshman Chris Rapp contest the steeplechase.
All-Americas Matthieu Pritchett, Kyle Stevenson and Evander Wells lead Tennessee’s sprint group. All three athletes, along with senior Blake Jones, are entered in the 100 and 200. Sophomore De’Lon Isom and freshman Charlton Rolle make up the Vol hurdlers, and sophomores Samdi Fraser and Nathan Grace join Kincaid in the 400. Fraser and Grace, along with sophomore John Hewitt and senior Jangy Addy, also are expected to contest the decathlon 300.
Hogue leads Tennessee’s deepest field event. Joining the team captain in the pole vault is sophomore Brad Holtz, freshman Joseph Berry and decathletes Addy and freshman Michael Ayers. Berry enters the meet with the second-highest clearance in the SEC this year, while Holtz is tied for third on the conference list. Wooten is entered in three throwing events, as he takes on the hammer, shot put and discus, and is joined by fellow junior Nick Panezich in all three events. Panezich is the only athlete in Tennessee history to meet the regional-qualifying standard in three individual events, a feat he reached for the second consecutive season this year.
All-America Matthew Maloney takes on his specialty, the javelin, as well as the hammer throw. He is joined by Ayers and Addy in the javelin. The decathlete duo also takes on the discus, with Ayers also entered in the long jump. Sophomore Jonathan Fluellen is entered in his sixth long jump competition of the season and, along with Ayers, is joined by Rolle and Wilson.
Tennessee currently has 24 regionally-qualified marks that have been earned by 16 individuals and two relay teams.
The Smoky Mountain Twilight begins at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time with the hammer throw and concludes at 9:35 p.m. with the decathlon 300. Admission to the Smoky Mountain Twilight is free. Live results can be found at UTsports.com.