Jan. 22, 2011
By Eric Trainer
BLACKSBURG, Va. -- The Tennessee track & field teams closed out a strong weekend of development Saturday afternoon, winning three events and adding 16 more personal-record marks on the final day of the Hokie Invitational at Virginia Tech's Rector Field House.
During the course of the two-day meet, UT Director of Track & Field J.J. Clark's men's and women's squads combined to produce four event victories, 17 other top-five finishes and a total of 33 personal records against a field that included several Atlantic Coast Conference schools as well as South Carolina of the SEC.
In the women's 800 meters, junior Chanelle Price led a Big Orange parade, as six Lady Vols crossed the finish line before any other team's runner. After finishing second at this meet a season ago, Price returned in 2011 to take the title in two minutes, 7.93 seconds, which ranks second in the NCAA this year. Sophomore Nijgia Snapp carded her second 800m runner-up effort in as many weeks, covering the distance in 2:10.96. Sophomore Ramzee Fondren was third in a career-best 2:11.39, while senior Liz Costello was fourth (2:11.72) and freshmen Brittney Jackson (2:12.27) and Ty-Vonna Johnson (2:15.72) were fifth and sixth.
"It was nice to see Chanelle open up with a win in the 800 and lead it wire to wire," Clark said. "Obviously, she'll need to get some more races in, but it was a good start. Actually, today was more like a time trial than a race with us sweeping the field."
Vol senior Peter Sigilai, making his 2011 debut, gave Tennessee a monopoly of the 800 meters, winning the men's race here for the second straight season in 1:53.60. To do so, he held off 2008 U.S. Olympic 400m hurdles bronze medalist Bershawn "Batman" Jackson, who checked in at 1:54.42. Sigilai's teammate, redshirt freshman Breon Dixon, was fourth in 1:55.17. Sigilai and Dixon rank fifth and seventh in the SEC, respectively.
"It was a good start for Peter, but it looked like he could have gone a little faster," Clark said. "George Watts does a good job getting the guys ready, and we feel like there is a lot more there for Peter in the future."
Junior Joe Franklin added to UT's middle distance dominance, capturing the 1000m run in a career-best readout of 2:26.88. That mark, the fastest by a Vol since 2004, moves Franklin to No. 5 on UT's all-time performers list in that event. He currently leads the SEC in the 800 with his 1:51.61 mark from last weekend.
"Joe looked very, very good in the 1000," Clark said. "He ran one of the smartest races we've seen him run. We'll start from there and see where we can go this season."
After setting a UT freshman record and landing an NCAA automatic qualifying mark in the long jump last weekend, Vol Justin Hunter turned his attention toward the high jump at this meet. The result was a third-place finish, coming via a career-best-tying leap of 6-10 1/4. That mark, which currently ranks him sixth in the SEC, wasn't far off the UT rookie record, which is 7-0. The NCAA standard for the high jump is 7-4 1/4.
The Lady Vols had a quartet of fourth-place performances. Earning those were redshirt freshman Aslynn Halvorson with a PR and the SEC's No. 3 mark in the shot put (48-6), junior Elizabeth Tiller with a PR in the 5000m (18:46.46), the distance medley relay (11:55.36) and the 4x400m relay (3:42.40). Handling the baton for the DMR unit, which posted the NCAA's No. 8 mark this year, were junior Brittany Sheffey, senior Kim White, sophomore Elizabeth Altizer and freshman Amber Zimmerman. The 4x4 tandem included junior Ellen Wortham, sophomore Martinique Octave, Snapp and freshman Kianna Ruff.
"We are continuing to set personal records," Clark said. "The environment is tough at this meet, because it's not a big building and there isn't much room to maneuver, so it's good to come away with 33 PRs for the weekend and some good national and conference marks. That is a sign that we are moving in the right direction."
800m: 1. Peter Sigilai, 1:53.60b; 4. Breon Dixon, 1:55.17b 1000m: 1. Joe Franklin, 2:26.88b!; 18. Jake Rainey, 2:35.12b!; 20. Chris Bodary, 2:36.45b! High Jump: 3. Justin Hunter, 6-10.25/2.09m! 400m: 5. Varick Tucker, 48.22b; 6. Deaundra Dailey, 48.32b!; 15. Terry Benson, 49.51b! Dist. Medley Relay: 7. Chris Rapp / Breon Dixon / Jordan Chaney / Michael Spooner, 10:11.18b Shot Put: 7. Ben Bartholomew, 52-6/16.00m; 9. Matt Darr, 50-3.50/15.33m! 5000m: 8. Tom Gilmartin, 15:14.58b Pole Vault: 8. Tyler Porter, 16-1.75/4.92m!; 10. Chase Brannon, 16-1.75/4.92m!; NH - Robert Rasnick, F 4x400m Relay: 9. Deaundra Dailey / Terry Benson / Joe Franklin / Varick Tucker, 3:15.08b Long Jump: 27. Patrick Crum, 20-1.75/6.14m; 28. Kevin Carney, 20-1/6.12m 200m: 32. Reggie Juin, 22.57b!
800m: 1. Chanelle Price, 2:07.93b; 2. Nijgia Snapp, 2:10.96b; 3. Ramzee Fondren, 2:11.39b!; 4. Liz Costello, 2:11.72b; 5. Brittney Jackson, 2:12.27b!; 6. Ty-Vonna Johnson, 2:15.72b! Shot Put: 4. Aslynn Halvorson, 48-6/14.78m!; 17. Laquoya Kelly, 38-9.75/11.83m; 31. Ellen Wortham, 31-4.75/9.57m! Dist. Medley Relay: 4. Brittany Sheffey / Kim White / Elizabeth Altizer / Amber Zimmerman, 11:55.36b 4x400m Relay: 4. Ellen Wortham / Martinique Octave / Nijgia Snapp / Kianna Ruff, 3:42.40b; 12. Ty-Vonna Johnson / Ashley Harris / Brittney Jackson / Charity Honeycutt, 3:55.96b; 17. Kim White / Ramzee Fondren / Elizabeth Altizer / Kirstyn Sweeney, 4:00.93b 5000m: 4. Elizabeth Tiller, 18:46.46b! 400m: 6. Martinique Octave, 56.88b; 17. Charity Honeycutt, 58.75b; 22. Kirstyn Sweeney, 1:00.34b!; DQ - Ellen Wortham 200m: 13. Kia Jackson, 24.79b; 15. Ashley Harris, 24.80; 46. Bianca Blair, 27.03b Long Jump: 13. Kia Jackson, 18-0.25/5.49m; NM Jazmen Townsend, F
Mile: 1. Jackie Areson, 4:44.33b; 3. Liz Costello, 4:50.87b; 8. Brittany Sheffey, 5:00.03b; 10. Ramzee Fondren, 5:04.07b!; 22. Andrea Ferri, 5:53.18b 600m: 3. Kianna Ruff, 1:32.77b! 4x800mR: 4. Charity Honeycutt / Elizabeth Altizer / Amber Zimmerman / Kim White, 9:22.56b Weight Throw: 5. Laquoya Kelly, 55-8.25/16.97m; 7. Jessie Harrison, 54-8.25/16.67m; 15. Aslynn Halvorson, 46-10/14.27m 60mH Final: 8. Ellen Wortham, 8.71 60mH Prelims: Adv. Ellen Wortham, 8.55p!/2nd, ht. 3 (8th); 17. Bianca Blair, 8.84p/2nd, ht. 5 60m Prelims: 16. Kia Jackson, 7.62p/3rd, ht. 5; 17. Ashley Harris, 7.63p!/3rd, ht. 1; 21. Martinique Octave, 7.65p!/4th, ht. 2 Triple Jump: 19. Allison Outerbridge, 36-5.50/11.11m 300m: 24. Charity Honeycutt, 41.80b!; 31. Kim White, 42.62b!; 36. Kirstyn Sweeney, 43.52b! 3000m: DNF - Kelsey Kane
60m Final: 2. Dentarius Locke, 6.70! 60m Prelims: Adv. Dentarius Locke, 6.71p!/2nd, ht. 2 (2nd); 30. Reggie Juin, 7.13p/5th, ht. 4 300m: 4. Dentarius Locke, 33.96b!; 8. Deaundra Dailey, 34.34b!; 12. Varick Tucker, 34.64b! Weight Throw: 10. Drew Thomas, 52-5.50/15.99m 3000m: 11. Steve Fassino, 8:32.55b; 19. Chris Rapp, 8:38.68b; 23. Michael Spooner, 8:42.92b; 27. Tyler Freeman, 8:47.08b!; 31. Daniel Tobin, 8:54.85b Mile: 13. Joe Franklin, 4:20.70b!; 15. Jordan Chaney, 4:21.17b; 16. Chris Bodary, 4:21.87!; 21. Jake Rainey, 4:28.82b 600m: 18. Breon Dixon, 1:23.39b! 60mH Prelims: 18. Terry Benson, 8.28p/4th, ht. 4; 33. Kevin Carney, 8.81p!/8th,ht. 4
* - NCAA automatic qualifying mark, ! - personal record, ^ - oversized track, b - banked track, DNF - did not finish, DQ - disqualified, f - facility record, h - heat, m - meters, NM - no mark registered, NH - no height registered, p - preliminary round, sr - school record