Jan. 28, 2005
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The number-one-ranked Lady Vol track & field team got victories and NCAA provisional qualifying marks in the long jump, 60-meter dash and distance medley relay Friday at the Penn State Invitational. A pair of mishaps, however, prevented Tennessee Head Coach J.J. Clark from feeling totally satisfied about his team's opening day performance at PSU's Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track.
"We had a good first day in several areas and some unfortunate circumstances in some others," Clark said. "Overall, the team looked good and the spirits were high. I look forward to coming back on the second day and taking care of business."
There was no denying the impressive nature of sophomore Tianna Madison's performance in the long jump. The Elyria, Ohio, product logged two indoor personal-record efforts during her abbreviated series and officially captured the title with a measurement of 20-10.75/6.37m. That mark is just off the auto standard of 21-0/6.40m and ties her with Sue Walton for second on the all-time Lady Vol performers list.
Madison also logged a provisional and finished second in the 60-meter dash in 7.42, but it was freshman Cleo Tyson (Huntsville, Texas) who grabbed glory in that event. After logging a conservative 7.49 in
the prelims, the rookie speedster zoomed to victory in the final in a career-best and NCAA provisional time of 7.36. Classmate LaTonya Loche (Bastrop, La.) produced back-to-back career-best clockings of 7.45 and
7.44 to take third and chart a provisional of her own, while fellow freshman Courtney Champion (Lawrenceville, Ga.) matched Loche's NCAA safety effort but was awarded fourth by the FinishLynx camera.
Tyson's and Loche's marks move them to fifth and seventh, respectively, on the UT all-time performers list, meaning the current squad now boasts five of the top seven Lady Vol short sprinters of all-time. Senior Toyin Olupona (Orillia, Ontario, Canada), Madison and Champion rank first, third and fourth on that list. What's more astounding is that all five of Tennessee's short sprinters are now provisionally qualified for the NCAA meet.
"Tianna not only won the long jump, but she continues to display great consistency," Clark said. "The sprinters sweeping the 60 was also a big positive for us tonight."
While making the provisional cut at this point in the season is a coup in the short sprints, that objective was not what Clark had in mind for the distance medley relay. After all, that relay was the one that hit the auto mark at this meet in 2004 with a school-record-clocking of 11:03.42 that stood as the nation's best of the year. On this evening, the UT DMR, which had to replace departed 400m ace Dee Dee Trotter and 1600m anchor leg Lindsay Hyatt from its national championship lineup, won by an impressive 16 seconds and charted an NCAA provisional. That triumph, however, was little consolation to a unit that had hoped to take an auto reading back to Knoxville.
It appeared the Lady Vol quartet was on its way to that result, as senior Nicole Cook (Petersburg, Va.) ran an impressive opening leg and handed the baton to junior Patricia Hall (St. Ann, Jamaica) with a 55 to 60 meter advantage over the closest pursuer. Hall also looked exceedingly sharp on her opening trip around the banked oval and actually lapped several of the other teams' first-leg runners as she approached the end of her first 200 meters. When she approached the finish area, however, several other teams were making their baton exchanges and Hall ran squarely into the back of a runner who had walked directly into her path. The collision sent the opposing runner tumbling to the track and brought the speeding Hall to an abrupt halt, forcing her off the track and onto the infield area.
After what seemed like an eternity, the stunned Hall gathered herself, returned to the track and resumed her final lap of the 400 meters, but the momentum had clearly been altered. Sophomore Leslie Treherne (Chesapeake, Va.) and junior Brooke Novak (Kaukauna, Wis.) handled the remaining 800m and 1600m hitches, but the final count of 11:27.62, though good enough to win by a large margin, barely made the provisional cut and fell far short of the intended outcome.
In the 5000 meters, sophomore Felicia Guliford (Gallup, N.M.) also suffered misfortune, as her pace toward a strong provisional was lost when she stopped one lap short in the 5000 meters. After she was made aware of the miscue, Guliford completed the final lap and wound up third in 17:06.39. Sophomore Megan Cauble (Knoxville, Tenn.) finished behind her teammate in fourth at 17:16.20, while classmate Carly Matthews (Winston-Salem, N.C.) covered the distance in a career-best 17:23.73 to place sixth.
"Felicia stopped a lap early in a race where she was below the provisional. That is very unfortunate for her, but I know she will rebound from it. In the DMR, our 400 runner (Hall) got knocked off the track and then got back on an finished her leg as best as she could. It was just an unfortunate turn of events for our team."
Junior Caitlin Ward (Gibsonia, Pa.) and sophomore Edra Finley (Mobile, Ala.) began the day in the pentathlon, with Ward finishing third with 3,570 points and Finley winding up sixth in her first pentathlon with a tally of 3,407. Ward registered career-best marks of 8.33 in the 55m hurdles, 5-2.25/1.58m in the high jump and 18-1.50/5.52m in the long jump as well as efforts of 35-4/10.77m in the shot put, 18-1.50/5.52m in the long jump and 2:28.32 in the 800 meters. Finley's performances were 8.33 in the hurdles, a career-best 5-4.50/1.64m in the high jump, 26-4.25 in the shot, 18-2.25/5.54m in the long jump and 2:41.06 in the 800m.
In field event action, junior April Thomas (Albany, Ga.) grabbed seventh in the weight throw at 55-6.25/16.92m, while freshman Shanna Dickenson (Cincinnati, Ohio) registered a PR heave of 52-5.25/15.98m. Pole vaulters Jessica Reust (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Jessica Andrews (Knoxville, Tenn.) suffered a tough night on the runway, as they both failed to clear their opening heights.
The Lady Vols return to action at 10 a.m. on Saturday with competitors slated for different nine events.
MEET NOTES: Thursday's Lady Vol press release, relying on information provided by meet officials, referred to a great number of the women's top 25 teams attending the meet. Unfortunately, that information was inaccurate, due to an incorrect list of teams that was distributed.
|FRIDAY, JAN. 28|
|Pentathlon (Auto: 4,050, Prov: 3,700) (55mH/HJ/SP/LJ/800m) Noon|
|3rd||Caitlin Ward (8.72!/5-2.25!/35-4/18-1.50!/2:28.32)||3,570|
|6th||Edra Finley (8.33!/5-4.50!/26-4.25!/18-2.25/2:41.06!)||3,407!|
|Long Jump (Auto: 6.40, Prov: 6.10) 5:30 p.m.|
|Wt. Throw (Auto: 20.50, Prov: 18.50) 5:30 p.m.|
|Pole Vault (Auto: 4.20, Prov: 3.95) 5:30 p.m.|
|60m Prelims (Auto: 7.27; Prov: 7.44) 6:50 p.m.|
|Adv.||Courtney Champion||7.43p+/1st. ht. 5|
|Adv.||LaTonya Loche||7.45p!/1st. ht. 1|
|Adv.||Tianna Madison||7.46p/1st. ht. 4|
|Adv.||Cleo Tyson||7.49p!/1st, ht. 3|
|Seeded 5000m (Auto: 16:10, Prov: 16:45) 7:20 p.m.|
|DMR (Auto: 11:09.00; Prov: 11:28.00) 8:05 p.m.|
|1st||Nicole Cook/Patricia Hal/Leslie Treherne/Brooke Novakl||11:27.62b+|
|60m Final (Auto: 7.27; Prov: 7.44) 9:00 p.m.|
|SATURDAY, JAN. 29|
|Shot Put (Auto: 16.90, Prov: 15.40) 10 a.m.|
|Triple Jump (Auto: 13.30, Prov: 12.65) 10 a.m.|
|4x800mR (Not An NCAA Event) 10:30 a.m.|
|400m (Auto: 52.40, Prov: 54.40)b 11 a.m.|
|800m (Auto: 2:05.65, Prov: 2:09.00)b 1 p.m.|
|High Jump (Auto: 1.84, Prov: 1.78) 2 p.m.|
|Mile (Auto: 4:38.50; Prov: 4:47.00)b 2:05 p.m.|
|200m (Auto: 23.30; Prov: 23.90)b 2:45 p.m.|
|3000m (Auto: 9:16.00; Prov: 9:35.00)b 3:35 p.m.|
|4x400mR (Auto: 3:33.50; Prov: 3:40.00)b 4:20 p.m.|
KEY 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), u - Undersized Track Qualifying Standard, * - NCAA Automatic Qualifier, + - NCAA Provisional Qualifier, ! - Personal Record (Indoors), ^ - Oversized Track Qualifying Standard