Jan. 31, 2004
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.
University of Tennessee junior Dee Dee Trotter rocketed to victory in the 200-meter dash with the world's fastest time in 2004, breaking the school record and earning an automatic NCAA qualifying time Saturday afternoon, as the eighth-ranked Lady Volunteers closed out the Penn State National Open in very impressive fashion.
Trotter, who already owned the UT outdoor mark in the 400 meters at 50.66, unleashed a scintillating 200 to out-duel Nike's Rachelle Boone and Penn State All-American Connie Moore with a world-leading time of 23.19. That mark, which bested Boone's 23.35 and Moore's automatic 23.43, enabled the Decatur, Ga., product to unseat previous global-leader Veronica Campbell of Arkansas, who ran a 23.28 on Jan. 23 to also pace the U.S. collegiate ranks.
Trotter's handiwork erases Sue Walton's 23.23 Lady Vol standard from the 1995 NCAA Championship meet in Indianapolis, Ind. It also wiped out Boone's previous record at PSU's Ashenfelter Indoor Track, which the former Indiana standout plated in 2002. Furthermore, it overshadowed career-best outings from her teammates, junior Toyin Olupona (Orillia, Ontario, Canada) and freshman Tianna Madison (Elyria, Ohio), who placed fourth and seventh, respectively, in 24.02 and 24.24.
"Dee Dee is obviously ahead of where she was last year, and that's very encouraging for her development," Head Coach J.J. Clark said. "The time doesn't surprise me, because her short sprints have been going well. When those go well, it usually indicates you are capable of running a fast 200 time.
"She's a very talented, very gifted young lady. We are trying to develop her to be as good as she can be. In turn, that will help our team develop as well."
In the final event of the day, the squad from Rocky Top put a capper on a phenomenal meet with a provisional reading of 3:38.34 to capture the 4x400m relay crown in a photo finish with Pittsburgh. Tennessee improved its national ranking to fourth in that event and its SEC stature to third without Trotter, who rested while junior Antoinette Gorham (Glenarden, Md.), freshman Leslie Treherne (Chesapeake, Va.), junior Nicole Cook (Petersburg, Va.) and senior Kameisha Bennett (Dayton, Ohio) carried the stick to victory. The time, which was read to 1/1000th of a second to determine the winner, was an improvement over UT's previous season best of 3:39.04c at last weekend's SEC Invitational.
"It was nice to cap off the meet with a win in the 4x4," Clark said. "To run that fast of a time without Dee Dee demonstrates the potential for exciting times later in the season when we add her back into the mix. It should give us a very competitive relay, nationally."
In the 800-meter run, the Big Orange monopolized the proceedings with a one-two-three finish and came oh-so-close to landing three provisional clockings. Senior Lindsay Hyatt (Auburn, Calif.), who ran a stellar anchor leg on UT's school-record-setting distance medley relay on Friday night, returned to action on Saturday and edged teammate Mindy Sullivan for the win in 2:09.16, just missing the 2:09.00 'B' cut. Sullivan, a redshirt freshman from Lubbock, Texas, was nearly identical at 2:09.17 in finishing second, while Bennett followed closely in third at 2:09.27 and presented evidence that she is returning to form after sitting out the 2003 campaign. Those marks represent the fourth, fifth and sixth-fastest times in the SEC this season, ranking behind teammates Cook (2:05.20c) and Treherne (2:08.16c) as well as Florida's Kamille Bratton (2:08.46c).
Other Lady Vol finishers in the 800 meters on Saturday include Gorham, who was 12th in a career-best 2:14.22; Treherne, who was 13th in 2:14.30, and junior Elizabeth McCalley (Knoxville, Tenn.), who was 37th in 2:19.33.
Later in the afternoon, sophomore Brooke Novak was equally as close to checking in with a provisional during her victorious effort in the mile run. The Kaukauna, Wis., native covered the distance in a PR 4:48.98, coming up just short of the 4:48.40 provisional standard. Senior Jessica Southers (Ashland, Ky.) followed suit with the best time of her career in the mile, navigating the banked oval in 4:53.01 to place fifth.
In the day's first running event, sophomore Katie Flaute (Dayton, Ohio) and redshirt freshman Megan Cauble (Knoxville, Tenn.) each logged personal bests en route to top-five finishes in the 3000 meters. Flaute took fourth in 9:50.14, while Cauble followed her across the line in fifth at 9:52.96.
In other noteworthy accomplishments, sophomore Jessica Reust (Knoxville, Tenn.) came through with a career-topping effort of 12 feet, six inches (3.81m) to finish sixth and move to number five on the UT all-performers list and fourth on this year's SEC performers list. Additionally, freshman Edra Finley (Mobile, Ala.) took fifth with a personal-record leap of 38 feet, nine inches (11.81m) in the triple jump and continues to rank fourth on the conference list.
"Overall, it was a very good meet for us," Clark said. "In addition to Dee Dee, we had some individual winners in Brooke, Lindsay and Tianna and numerous personal records again this weekend. We moved closer to qualifying more people for the NCAA meet and continue preparing them for the SEC Championships. "
The Lady Volunteers, who are slated to return to Knoxville on Sunday, will take next weekend off from competition before resuming action at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., on Feb. 13-14.
AMERICAN RECORD FOR JMC: Jearl Miles-Clark, the wife of J.J. Clark, set the crowd at the Penn State National Open a buzz with a sensational race in the 500 meters, charting an American record en route to victory in 1:08.71. Her mark, coming as she continues her training for the 2004 Olympic Games, topped the previous U.S. women's mark of 1:08.82, which belonged to Miles-Clark's sister-in-law and former Lady Vol, Joetta Clark-Diggs.