Jan. 17, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Two-time Southeastern Conference 3000-meter champ Sarah Bowman served notice Saturday night at Nutter Field House that she is ready for a sensational senior season. The University of Tennessee All-American cruised to victory in that event at the Kentucky Invitational in an NCAA automatic qualifying time, narrowly missing the school record in her opening race of the 2009 campaign.
Bowman, who hails from Warrenton, Va., covered the distance in nine minutes, 11.31 seconds to easily win the race, dip under the NCAA auto mark of 9:15 and break the 2007 Nutter Field House record of 9:13.42 by Michigan's Erin Webster. Her nearest challenger was Knoxvillian and U.S. professional runner Treniere Clement, who claimed runner-up honors in 9:31.65. Bowman's teammates, sophomore Brittany Sheffey (Bellport, N.Y.) and junior Jackie Areson (Delray Beach, Fla.), logged career-best readouts of 9:38.67 and 9:40.35 to finish third and fourth, respectively.
To put Bowman's clocking into perspective, no SEC female ran that fast all of last season, and the league's indoor meet record is 9:15.69. In terms of UT standards, Bowman's time ranks as the third-best ever turned in by a Lady Vol, falling behind Patty Wiegand's 1991 and 1990 NCAA Indoor Championship marks of 9:09.83 and 9:10.26. It is also the first 3K time run in January to break into the program's all-time top 10. Her previous PR was 9:20.43, which came when she won the 2007 SEC title.
"We were aiming to run an automatic qualifier in the 3K tonight, which we did," Lady Vol Head Coach J.J. Clark said. "It was great to see Sarah run a really quality time, and I only believe it will help her in the mile. She was very close to the school record, and winning by over 20 seconds in this race was an outstanding effort."
UT picked up its first victory of the day in the long jump, where junior Lynne Layne (New Rochelle, N.Y.) extended her frame to 19 feet, 4 3/4 inches to seize first-place honors. It was the second-best indoor mark of her career, following a sixth-place jump of 20-1 1/2 at last year's SEC Indoor meet.
Sophomore Annie Alexander (Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago) carded a second-place outcome in the shot put, but more importantly she landed a provisional qualifying throw of 54-7 1/4 on attempt number five. Only Florida's Mariam Kevkhishvili was better on this day, winning with a toss of 55-10 1/2.
Alexander also had a runner-up finish in the indoor discus throw late on Friday night. She stretched the tape to 152-8 in the non-NCAA event.
In the mile run, junior Phoebe Wright (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) just missed the NCAA provisional cut-off, charting a career-best readout of 4:48.62 to cross the line in third. Senior Rolanda Bell (Laurelton, N.Y.) was seventh in 4:54.21.
Tennessee had finalists in the short sprints and hurdles. After running an 8.57 in the prelims of the 60-meter hurdles, senior Celriece Law (Denver, Colo.) produced an 8.60 in the final to wind up ninth. Layne, meanwhile made the final in the 60m dash, carding a 7.51 in the prelims. The coaching staff, however, opted not to run her in the final.
Local product Ellen Wortham (Maryville, Tenn.) posted a top-10 finish in the high jump. Her career-best indoor clearance of 5-5 1/4 was good for eighth place. Bell also had a top-10 effort in the 800 meters, covering the distance in 2:17.99 to place 10th. The Lady Vol 4x400m relay unit of senior Kimarra McDonald (Lumberton, N.J.), Wright, Bowman and Wortham closed out the meet with an eighth-place result of 3:45.58.
"Last night, Alicia Essex opened up by tying her PR," Clark said. "It was a great start, and she got a provisional in the process. I believe there is a lot more room for improvement there for her.
"Annie started her season with a mark in the shot that was a foot farther than she opened with last season. She competed well and has one of the top marks in the country now.
"In the long jump, Lynne Layne had the best opener of her college career, too. She's looking like she's capable of jumping 21 feet this season, which would be a big plus for her and our team."
Tennessee will return to action next Saturday, as the Lady Vols take on No. 1 Texas A&M in a rare dual meet. Action will begin at 2 p.m. Central Time at the Gilliam Indoor Track at the McFerrin Athletic Center in College Station.
|FRIDAY, JAN. 16|
|EVENT (NCAA DIV. I QUALIFYING MARKS)|
|Wt. Throw (Auto: 21.00, Prov: 18.75) 5:00 p.m.|
|Pole Vault (Auto: 4.20, Prov: 3.95) 6:00 p.m.|
|Discus (Not An NCAA Event Indoors) 8:30 p.m.|
|SATURDAY, JAN. 17|
|EVENT (NCAA DIV. I QUALIFYING MARKS)|
|High Jump (Auto: 1.85, Prov: 1.78) 10:30 a.m.|
|Long Jump (Auto: 6.35, Prov: 6.10) 11:00 a.m.|
|Shot Put (Auto: 16.90, Prov: 15.20) 11:30 a.m.|
|60mH Prelims (Auto: 8.14; Prov: 8.43) 12:30 p.m.|
|Adv.||Celriece Law||8.57p/2nd, ht. 3 (10th)|
|25th||Ellen Wortham||9.09p!/5th, ht. 2|
|60m Prelims (Auto: 7.26; Prov: 7.44) 12:50 p.m.|
|Adv.||Lynne Layne||7.51p/2nd, ht. 3|
|35th||Ashley Harris||7.87p!/5th, ht. 6|
|38th||Celriece Law||7.93p/5th/ht. 5|
|49th||Janea Grimes||8.33p/6th, ht. 5|
|Mile (Auto: 4:38.00; Prov: 4:48.00)^ 1:15 p.m.|
|12th||Katie Van Horn||5:08.33^|
|60mH Final (Auto: 8.14; Prov: 8.43) 1:50 p.m.|
|60m Final (Auto: 7.26; Prov: 7.44) 2:00 p.m.|
|N/A||Lynne Layne||Did Not Run|
|400m (Auto: 52.40, Prov: 54.40)^ 2:15 p.m.|
|18th||Amanda Alexander||58.24^!/2nd, ht. 5|
|26th||Charity Honeycutt||1:01.15^!/3rd, ht. 4|
|800m (Auto: 2:05.40, Prov: 2:09.40)^ 3:00 p.m.|
|200m (Auto: 23.20, Prov: 23.90)^ 3:35 p.m.|
|21st||Ashley Harris||25.25^!/4th, ht. 2|
|31st||Celriece Law||25.96^/2nd, ht. 4|
|35th||Amanda Alexander||26.09^!/3rd, ht. 4|
|48th||Janea Grimes||27.53^/5th, ht. 4|
|50th||Charity Honeycutt||27.63^!/5th, ht. 10|
|3000m (Auto: 9:15.00, Prov: 9:34.00)^ 4:15 p.m.|
|4x400mR (Auto: 3:33.00, Prov: 3:40.00)^ 4:50 p.m.|
|8th|| Kimarra McDonald/Phoebe Wright|
Sarah Bowman/Ellen Wortham
|15th|| Amanda Alexander/Rolanda Bell|
Ramzee Fondren/Elizabeth Altizer
|18th|| Charity Honeycutt/Kim White|
Brittany Sheffey/Chelsea Knotts