Jan. 28, 2012
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The Tennessee track & field teams collected two victories and four runner-up finishes, and they provided 21 other point-producing performances Saturday night at the Texas A&M Mondo Challenge at Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium.
The 17th-ranked Lady Vols contributed heavily to the Southeastern Conference's triumph in the women's conference showdown and scored the final three points of the evening in a sixth-place finish in the 4x400m relay. The SEC tallied 216 points to hold off the Big 12 (214) and Pac-12 (178). In the men's competition, the Big 12 prevailed with 277.25 points, followed by the Pac-12 (227.25) and SEC (164.50). Competing schools included Florida and Tennessee for the SEC, Texas A&M and Texas Tech for the Big 12 and Arizona State and Oregon for the Pac-12.
The Big Orange got a 1-2-3 finish in the men's pole vault from senior Robert Rasnick and sophomores Chase Brannon and Tyler Porter and another nation-leading mark in the 800 meters from senior Chanelle Price as its top efforts. Redshirt freshman Matthew Hoty added a runner-up toss in the men's shot put, while senior Annie Alexander was second in the women's shot, and junior Kia Jackson rustled up a silver showing in the women's long jump as well.
"We showed progress on both teams, with personal records in the distances and sprints, improvements in the relays and wins in the field events and middle distances," UT Director of Track & Field J.J. Clark said. "I can see a shift taking place, and this is the direction we are trying to go. We just need to keep forging onward and get ready for the conference meet and NCAA meet in the next few weeks.
"The atmosphere here was very conducive to performing well for both of our squads. You have teams, coaching staffs and athletes who have been a part of NCAA championships at Tennessee, Florida, Texas A&M, Arizona State and Oregon, so the caliber of competition was very high at this meet."
Price's victory came as she improved her NCAA-leading mark in the 800 to two minutes, 5.33 seconds and broke the Mondo Challenge meet record (2:05.50), holding off the 2:05.77 challenge of Oregon's Anne Kesselring in the process. UT junior Nijgia Snapp was fifth (2:08.50) and sophomore Kianna Ruff was seventh (2:10.20), as the Lady Vols scored 16 points for the SEC in the event.
"Chanelle has had a competition or two with the young lady who finished second tonight, and it was good to see her come out on top," Clark said. "She ran on our NCAA-qualifying DMR last night and then the 800 and 4x400m relay tonight, and she's showing good fitness. She's moving in the right direction."
In the men's vault, Rasnick captured the first victory of his UT career, clearing 16 feet, six inches. Teammate Brannon cleared the same height, but since he had more attempts, he settled for second place. Porter's clearance of 16-1 3/4 was good for third, giving Tennessee a 23-point splurge for the SEC.
"It is good to see Robert putting together two solid back-to-back meets, displaying consistency and getting his first win at UT," Clark said. "It's a compliment to him, his coach and the progress he has made."
Hoty and Alexander, who were each recognized for their efforts last week by the SEC, checked in second in the men's and women's shot put, respectively. Hoty produced a top throw of 59-4, while Alexander unleashed a toss of 55-2 3/4. Both have finished first or second in the shot in all three meets this season.
Jackson landed the final runner-up effort of the meet for Tennessee. Her season-best leap of 19-1 3/4 was the third-best of her career and enabled her to card the best finish of her UT tenure to date.
Elsewhere, UT merited third place in the women's 60m hurdles (8.68) from senior Bianca Blair and the women's weight throw (58-8) from junior Jessie Harrison. Team Orange also turned in fourth-place outcomes in the men's weight throw (career best 59-1 1/4) from junior Drew Thomas, the men's long jump (23-6) from junior Desmond Brown, the men's 600-yard run (1:12.59) from freshman Michael Williams, the women's 60m hurdles (8.74) from senior Ellen Wortham and the women's pole vault (12-2 1/2) from sophomore Linda Hadfield.
Tennessee returns to action next weekend in New York City, as the Vols and Lady Vols compete in the New Balance Collegiate Invitational at The Armory on Friday and Saturday.
800m: 1. Chanelle Price, 2:05.33bmr; 5. Nijgia Snapp, 2:08.50b; 7. Kianna Ruff, 2:10.20b; 9. Brittney Jackson, 2:14.06b; 10. Ty-Vonna Johnson, 2:17.37b; 11. Patavia Lowery, 2:17.92b!
Shot Put: 2. Annie Alexander, 55-2.75/16.83m; nm Aslynn Halvorson, F
Long Jump: 2. Kia Jackson, 19-1.75/5.82m
60m Hurdles Final: 3. Bianca Blair, 8.68; 4. Ellen Wortham, 8.74
Weight Throw: 3. Jessie Harrison, 58-8/17.88m; 7. Laquoya Kelly, 54-6.75/16.63m
Pole Vault: 4. Linda Hadfield, 12-2.50/3.72m; 7. Erin Champion, 11-2.50/3.42m
400m: 7. Martinique Octave, 56.65b; 12. Julia Petree, 58.19b
60m Final: 6. Kia Jackson, 7.65
Mile: 6. Brittany Sheffey, 4:47.39b; 11. Amber Zimmerman, 4:58.97b!; 12. Kelsey Kane, 5:01.24b!
4x400m: 6. Ellen Wortham / Brittany Jones / Chanelle Price / Kianna Ruff, 3:38.18; 9. Ty-Vonna Johnson / Brittney Jackson / Patavia Lowery /Ashley Harris, 3:57.02
200m: 12. Brittany Jones, 24.31b; 16. Martinique Octave, 24.55b; 18. Kia Jackson, 24.69b; 19. Ashley Harris, 24.70b; 24. Kasha McDougald, 25.39b!; 26. Julia Petree, 26.21b; 27. Bianca Blair, 26.34b
60m Hurdles Prelims: Adv. Ellen Wortham, 8.58p/2nd, ht. 1 (2nd); Adv. Bianca Blair, 8.75p/3rd, ht. 2 (6th); 11. Kasha McDougald, 9.09p/6th, ht. 1
60m Prelims: Adv. Kia Jackson, 7.66p/3rd, ht. 1 (7th); 10. Ashley Harris, 7.70p/5th, ht. 1
Pole Vault: 1. Robert Rasnick, 16-6/5.03m; 2. Chase Brannon, 16-6/5.03m; 3. Tyler Porter, 16-1.75/4.92m
Shot Put: 2. Matthew Hoty, 59-4.75/18.10m
600y: 4. Michael Williams, 1:12.59b!
Weight Throw: 4. Drew Thomas, 59-1.25/18.01m!; 10. Deon McAdoo, 50-9.50/15.48m!
Long Jump: 4. Desmond Brown, 23-6/7.16m; 5. Tyler Anderson, 22-11.75/7.00m
60m Hurdles Final: 5. Terry Benson, 8.26
400m: 5. Varick Tucker, 47.91b; 9. Deaundra Dailey, 49.92b.
4x400m: 5. Varick Tucker / Jarael Nelvis / Terry Benson / Michael Williams, 3:13.04b
200m: 7. Jarael Nelvis, 21.52b; 13. Jamol James, 22.14b!
Triple Jump: 8. Tyler Anderson, 46-7.25/14.20m
Mile: 9. Chris Bodary, 4:16.52b; 11. Daniel Tobin, 4:18.09b; 14. Alex McCandless, 4:22.33b; 15. Jack Felix, 4:30.17b
800m: 13. Garrek Thompson, 1:55.14b; 15. Nick Kaiser, 1:55.25b; 20. Scott March, 1:59.75b
3000m: 18. Tom Gilmartin, 8:31.06b!; 19. Stephen Derlath, 8:39.61b!
60m Final: nm Jamol James, fs
60m Prelims: Adv. Jamol James, 6.86p/3rd, ht. 3 (7th); 9. Desmond Brown, 6.99p/3rd, ht.1; 10. Reggie Juin, 6.99p!/3rd, ht. 2
60m Hurdles Prelims: Adv. Terry Benson, 8.27p/4th, ht. 1 (7th)
Distance Medley Relay: 5. Chris Bodary / Deaundra Dailey / Nick Kaiser / Alex McCandless, 10:11.17b
* - NCAA Automatic Mark, ! - Personal Best, ^ - Oversized Track, $ - SEC Record, a - American Record, b - Banked Track, c - Collegiate Record, dnf - Did Not Finish, dq - Disqualified, dnr - Did Not Run, F - Foul, f - Facility Record, fr - Freshman Record, fs - False Start, H - Heptathlon, h - Hand-Timed, mr - Meet Record, nm - No Mark, p - Time Run In Prelims, P - Pentathlon, sr - School Record, u - Undersized Track, w - World Record