Jan. 14, 2005


BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Three sprinters raced to NCAA provisionals in the 60-meter dash prelims and senior Jessica Andrews claimed victory in the pole vault Friday night to pace the number-one-ranked University of Tennessee women's track & field team at the Virginia Tech Invitational at Rector Field House.

For the second-straight weekend, the Lady Vol sprint corps performed in impressive fashion. Freshman Courtney Champion (Lawrenceville, Ga.), senior Toyin Olupona (Orillia, Ontario, Canada) and sophomore Tianna Madison (Elryia, Ohio) were speedy enough to earn lanes in the 60-meter dash finals on Saturday, logging NCAA provisional readouts of 7.35, 7.39 and 7.42, respectively. Champion's performance makes her the fourth-fastest UT woman ever in the 60 meters, ranking her behind Olupona, Kelli White and Madison.

Former Lady Vol Dee Dee Trotter also qualified for the finals, finishing third in heat two in 7.46. Only Olupona will run in the "money race", however, as the others instead focus their efforts on the 200 meters on the meet's final day.

Rookie LaTonya Loche (Bastrop, La.) also made the 60m semifinal round but came up short of advancing to the finals. Still, she matched her career best with a clocking of 7.54 in taking fifth in heat two and 10th overall.

Earlier in the evening, during the 60-meter dash prelims, Madison, Champion and Olupona won heats three, five and two, respectively, with provisional times of 7.40, 7.42 and 7.44. Loche was third in heat one in a career-best 7.54 and also easily advanced to the semifinals. Trotter, meanwhile, qualified for the semis by notching a 7.47 opening-round effort.



Andrews (Knoxville, Tenn.), meanwhile, came through with her first collegiate victory in the pole vault, clearing a career-best height of 11-11.75 to take top honors. Her previous indoor best was 11-6.25/3.51m, set at last season's SEC Indoor Championships. Teammate Jessica Reust (Knoxville, Tenn.) settled for third, as the junior registered a clearance of 11-5.75/3.50m.

In the throws, April Thomas (Albany, Ga.) and Shanna Dickenson (Cincinnati, Ohio) came away with finishes of fourth and sixth, respectively, in the weight throw and ascended to those identical positions on UT's all-time performers list in that event. Thomas, a junior, took fourth with a career-best toss of 56-4.75/17.19m, while rookie Dickenson wound up sixth with a heave of 51-5.75/15.69m in her first meet of wearing Tennessee orange. Unattached competitor Tamara Burns claimed victory by registering a throw of 65-6/19.96m.

In the 60-meter hurdles, sophomore Edra Finley (Mobile, Ala.) and junior Catherine Wright (Knoxville, Tenn.) recorded personal bests, but neither was able to make the finals. After logging a PR time of 9.27 in the prelims, Finley lowered it to 9.24 in the semifinals to place eighth in heat one and wind up 15th overall. Wright, meanwhile, logged a 9.62 clocking to finish fifth in prelim heat three, and junior Caitlin Ward (Gibsonia, Pa.) was fifth in prelim heat one at 9.61.

In the final event of the evening, Tennessee put two distance medley relay lineups together, and the results included finishes of fourth and fifth. The "A" quartet of sophomore Mindy Sullivan (Lubbock, Texas), senior Antoinette Gorham (Glenarden, Md.), senior Nicole Cook (Petersburg, Va.) and junior Katie Flaute (Dayton, Ohio) finished in 11:36.64. The "B" unit of senior Elizabeth McCalley (Knoxville, Tenn.), Ward, sophomore Leslie Treherne (Chesapeake, Va.) and sophomore Felicia Guliford (Gallup, N.M.) covered the distance in 11:46.83.

A pair of Knoxville Elite DMR combos ran away from the field, with the "B" lineup winning in 11:19.92 and the "A" foursome crossing the line in 11:20.36. Former Lady Vols Kameisha Bennett, Sharon Dickie and Lindsay Hyatt had a hand in those relays, as did a number of other post-collegiate standouts who now live in Knoxville and train with Clark on the UT campus.

Elsewhere, Clark's wife, Jearl Miles-Clark, won her section of the 500-meter run and took first overall. The long-time U.S. 400- and 800-meter champion triumphed by a second-and-a-half with a time of 1:13.80.

The Lady Vols will return to action at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Tennessee has athletes entered in 10 different events on the final day of the meet. The last women's event of the day is the 4x400m relay.

60mH Trials (Auto: 8.15; Prov: 8.43) 4:30 p.m.
Adv. Edra Finley 9.27p!/5th, ht 5
Caitlin Ward 9.61p/5th, ht. 1
Catherine Wright 9.62p!/5th, ht. 3
Pole Vault (Auto: 4.20, Prov: 3.95) 5:00 p.m.
1st Jessica Andrews 11-11.75/3.65m
3rd Jessica Reust 11-5.75/3.50m
Wt. Throw (Auto: 20.50, Prov: 18.50) 5:00 p.m.
4th April Thomas 53-8.25/16.36m
6th Shanna Dickenson 51-5.75/15.69m
60m Trials (Auto: 7.27; Prov: 7.44) 5:10 p.m.
Adv. Tianna Madison 7.40p+/1st, ht. 3
Adv. Courtney Champion 7.42p+/1st, ht. 5
Adv. Toyin Olupona 7.44p+/1st, ht. 2
Adv. LaTonya Loche 7.54p!/3rd, ht. 1
60mH Semis (Auto: 8.15; Prov: 8.43) 7:05 p.m.
15th Edra Finley 9.24p!/8th, ht. 1
60m Semis (Auto: 7.27; Prov: 7.44) 7:20 p.m.
Adv./Scr. Courtney Champion 7.35p!+/1st, ht. 2
Adv./Scr. Toyin Olupona 7.39p+/3rd, ht. 1
Adv./Scr. Tianna Madison 7.42p+/2nd, ht. 2
LaTonya Loche 7.54p!/5th, ht. 2
Adv./Scr.: Qualified for finals but scratched/will run 200m Saturday
DMR (Auto: 11:12.50; Prov: 11:32.20) 8:20 p.m.
4th Mindy Sullivan/Antoinette Gorham
Nicole Cook/Katie Flaute
5th Elizabeth McCalley/Caitlin Ward
Leslie Treherne/Felicia Guliford
High Jump (Auto: 1.84, Prov: 1.78) 10:00 a.m.
Edra Finley
Caitlin Ward
Shot Put (Auto: 16.90, Prov: 15.40) 11:00 a.m.
April Thomas
Shanna Dickenson
400m (Auto: 52.40, Prov: 54.40)b 11:00 a.m.
Patricia Hall
Leslie Treherne
Antoinette Gorham
Mile (Auto: 4:38.50; Prov: 4:47.00)b 12:05 p.m.
Nicole Cook
Mindy Sullivan
Elizabeth McCalley
Katie Flaute
Felicia Guliford
Megan Cauble
Carly Matthews
60mH Final (Auto: 8.15; Prov: 8.43) 12:50 p.m.
Long Jump (Auto: 6.40, Prov: 6.10) 1:00 p.m.
Tianna Madison
Edra Finley
Caitlin Ward
60m Final (Auto: 7.27; Prov: 7.44) 1:05 p.m.
Toyin Olupona
800m (Auto: 2:05.65, Prov: 2:09.00)b 1:15 p.m.
Nicole Cook
Mindy Sullivan
200m (Auto: 23.30; Prov: 23.90)b 2:05 p.m.
Cleo Tyson
Courtney Champion
Toyin Olupona
Tianna Madison
LaTonya Loche
3000m (Auto: 9:16.00; Prov: 9:35.00)b 2:45 p.m.
Brooke Novak
Elizabeth McCalley
Felicia Guliford
Katie Flaute
Megan Cauble
Carly Matthews
4x400mR (Auto: 3:33.50; Prov: 3:40.00)b 4:15 p.m.
Lineups TBA

KEY: Adv. - Advanced to next round, b - Banked Track Qualifying Standard, dnf - Did Not Finish, dnr - Did Not Run, f - Facility Record, m - Meters, mr - Meet Record, nm - No Mark Recorded, p - Prelims, s - School Record (Indoors), Scr - Scratched, u - Undersized Track Qualifying Standard, * - NCAA Automatic Qualifier, + - NCAA Provisional Qualifier, ! - Personal Record (Indoors), ^ - Oversized Track Qualifying Standard



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