Jan. 25, 2004
The University of Tennessee women's track & field team, ranked 11th in the latest Trackwire 25 indoor poll, lived up to that billing Sunday afternoon at the SEC Invitational, as the Lady Vols walked away from the non-scored meet with victories in seven events and bagged eight NCAA qualifying marks, six SEC-leading times and one clocking that tops the U.S. collegiate ranks. Even more impressive, is the fact the squad accomplished those feats against No. 2 Florida, No. 18 South Carolina, Auburn and Ole Miss.
Leading the parade of stars was junior Nicole Cook (Petersburg, Va.), who booked an automatic ticket to the NCAA Indoor Championships for the third-straight season, cranking out a victorious run of 2:05.60 in the 800 meters. Not only does that reading lead the Southeastern Conference, it also heads the national collegiate list as well. Freshman Leslie Treherne (Chesapeake, Va.) finished close behind in second place, making a nice debut in orange with a provisional time of 2:08.56.
Speaking of newcomers, rookie Tianna Madison (Elyria, Ohio) made her first collegiate meet one to remember, as she seized first place in two events and became the fourth-ranked
long jumper and 55m dash sprinter in UT history. Madison began the afternoon by leaping to an SEC-leading measurement of 20-1.50/6.13m in the long jump and later edged junior
teammate Toyin Olupona (Orillia, Ontario, Canada) for the 55-meter dash crown and a spot atop the SEC list with an NCAA provisional of 6.83. Olupona, who bested Madison in the
prelims, 6.85 to 6.93, could not hold off the hard-charging rookie at the line in the finals and settled for second with a provisional pace of 6.84. Junior Dee Dee Trotter (Decatur, Ga.)
made it a 1-2-3 Lady Vol sweep in the straight sprint, taking third in a career-best 6.96.
Trotter later joined the NCAA provisional list and zipped to the second-best 200m time in the SEC this season, when she beat conference leader Erica Whipple of South Carolina with a 23.72 output. Madison took fifth in a career-best 24.52, while Olupona was seventh in 24.63.
In the mile, Lindsay Hyatt (Auburn, Calif.) plated yet another NCAA provisional for Team Orange, as the former Stanford standout rolled to a career-topping 4:47.25 to claim victory. The senior's mark is the fastest in the SEC this season and ranks her as the eighth-best miler ever at UT. Four other orange-clad runners achieved personal records, including junior Elizabeth McCalley (Knoxville, Tenn.), who was third in 4:57.35; redshirt freshman Mindy Sullivan (Lubbock, Texas), who was fourth in 4:58.06; sophomore Katie Flaute (Dayton, Ohio), who was fifth in 4:59.82; and redshirt freshman Megan Cauble (Knoxville, Tenn.), who was 10th in 5:13.11.
The distance success continued in the 3000 meters, as UT monopolized the top four spots, drawing PRs from the entire quartet. Flaute (Dayton, Ohio) picked up her first career victory, finishing in 9:53.97 to move to the top of the SEC performers list. She was followed by Cauble in 9:54.60, junior Jessica Southers (Ashland, Ky.) in 10:01.03 and McCalley in 10:01.58.
Three key components of Tennessee's 2003 SEC cross country championship team also helped deliver a win in the distance medley relay. Hyatt, Sullivan and sophomore Brooke Novak (Kaukauna, Wis.) joined forces with senior Kameisha Bennett (Dayton, Ohio) to reel off an NCAA provisional and SEC-leading time of 11:25.45, a mark that happens to be the second best ever recorded by a UT DMR.
Hyatt ran the leadoff 1200m, staking Tennessee to a comfortable lead. Bennett's 400 meters widened the gap, and Sullivan and Novak finished things off in strong fashion with 800- and 1600-meter installments to give the Lady Vols their seventh and final victory of the day.
The Big Orange wrapped things up by notching the seventh NCAA provisional of the afternoon. While it wasn't the victory the coaching staff had hoped for, the UT 4x400m relay did manage to cover the distance in a provisional effort of 3:40.24. The lineup included Trotter, Cook, Olupona and junior Antoinette Gorham (Glenarden, Md.).
"It was a good start, but we still have a long season," Clark said. "It definitely showed we're moving in the right direction. We had an automatic mark and several provisionals, and we'd like to add to those numbers as the year goes on. Overall, the excitement of the team was good, and everyone competed well."
Tennessee will return to action next weekend, as the squad travels to University Park, Pa., to compete in the Penn State Invitational on Jan. 30 and 31.
|EVENT (NCAA DIV. I QUALIFYING MARKS)|
|High Jump (Auto: 1.84, Prov: 1.78) Noon|
|Wt. Throw (Auto: 19.50, Prov: 18.50) App. 12:30 p.m.|
|55m Hurd. Trials (Auto: 7.61; Prov: 7.87) 1:00 p.m.|
|55m Dash Trials (Auto: 6.79; Prov: 6.93) 1:20 p.m.|
|Qualifier||Toyin Olupona||6.85p!+/1st, ht. 1|
|Qualifier||Tianna Madison||6.93p!+/1st, ht. 2|
|Qualifier||Dee Dee Trotter||7.00p/2nd, ht. 2|
|55m Hurd. Finals (Auto: 7.61; Prov: 7.87) 2:00 p.m.|
|Long Jump (Auto: 6.40, Prov: 6.20) App. 2:00 p.m.|
|Pole Vault (Auto: 4.20, Prov: 3.95) App. 2:00 p.m.|
|55m Dash Finals (Auto: 6.79; Prov: 6.93) 2:25 p.m.|
|3rd||Dee Dee Trotter||6.96!|
|Mile (Auto: 4:39.10, Prov: 4:49.00) 2:45 p.m.|
|400m (Auto: 53.20, Prov: 54.80) 3:05 p.m.|
|800m (Auto: 2:06.05, Prov: 2:09.40) 3:40 p.m.|
|Shot Put (Auto: 16.50, Prov: 15.20) App. 4:00 p.m.|
|200m (Auto: 23.70, Prov: 24.20) 4:05 p.m.|
|1st||Dee Dee Trotter||23.72+|
|3000m (Auto: 9:16.80, Prov: 9:35.80) 4:15 p.m.|
|Triple Jump (Auto: 13.30; Prov: 12.65) App. 4:30 p.m.|
|DMR (Auto: 11:17.00, Prov: 11:38.00) 4:45 p.m.|
|1st||Lindsay Hyatt/Kameisha Bennett/Mindy Sullivan/Brooke Novak||11:25.45+|
|4x400mR (Auto: 3:35.70, Prov: 3:41.20) 5:15 p.m.|
|3rd||Dee Dee Trotter/Nicole Cook/Toyin Olupona/Antoinette Gorham||3:40.24+|
* - NCAA Automatic Qualifier, + - NCAA Provisional Qualifier, ! - Personal Record (Indoors), ^ - Oversized Track Qualifying Standard, b - Banked Track Qualifying Standard, dnf - Did Not Finish, dnq - Did Not Qualify For Finals, dnr - Did Not Run, f - Facility Record, nm - No Mark Recorded, p - Prelims, s - School Record (Indoors), u - Undersized Track Qualifying Standard