Feb. 6, 2010
By Eric Trainer, Associate Director of Media Relations
NEW YORK -- The University of Tennessee women's and men's track & field teams recorded a pair of victories and runner-up finishes on Saturday at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational, as the Lady Vols wrapped up their stay at the meet and the men concluded the morning and afternoon sessions. The Vols still have six events left on the late afternoon schedule.
For the Lady Vols, sophomore Ellen Wortham started the day in fine fashion with a victory in the Eastern College division of the high jump. The Maryville High School graduate cleared the bar at five feet, five inches and won the competition in a jump-off versus runner-up Shantel Thompson of Arkansas.
Wortham also played a role for UT's 4x200m relay unit, which earned runner-up distinction by 4/100ths of a second and posted the third-best readout in school history at 1:38.68. Following Wortham in carrying the baton were freshmen Kia Jackson, Nyosha Bryant and Martinique Octave. BYU, on the strength of a blazing anchor leg by Mindy McClurkin, won in 1:38.64.
After aiding the distance medley relay to an automatic qualifying mark on Friday evening, sophomore Brittany Sheffey got some individual work in on Saturday. The local product from Bellport, N.Y., turned in a fourth-place effort of two minutes, 11.92 seconds in the college division of the 800m. Sophomore Charity Honeycutt continued to lower her time in the event, finishing with a career best of 2:18.53, while junior Kim White was 60th in 2:21.59.
The championship division of the weight throw saw sophomore Laquoya Kelly enjoying her best day of the season. The Lady Vol unleashed a career-best toss of 58-2 to finish second and move to No. 6 on UT's all-time top performers list. Rookie teammate Jessie Harrison was 19th at 53-7 3/4.
In the only other action involving the UT women, Michele Levy was 29th in the college mile in a career-best 5:11.67, while Jackson (career-best 24.68) and Bryant (25.58) placed 30th and 55th in the championship division of the 200 meters.
Leading the way for the UT men was freshman Terrance Livingston, who has plenty of experience running at The Armory from his prep career at New York's Great Neck South High School. The rookie delivered his local fans and the Big Orange a victory in the college division of the 800 meters, covering the distance in an indoor career-best time of one minute, 52.45 seconds to move to No. 7 on this year's SEC top performers list.
Senior Evander Wells, who entered the meet ranked No. 4 in the nation in the 200 meters, came through with a runner-up effort for Team Orange. His 21.15 trip around the oval left him second behind Texas A&M's Curtis Mitchell, the national leader who triumphed in 20.99. Running only in the preliminary round, Kyle Stevenson and Samdi Fraser, placed 19th and 31st with marks of 21.93 and 22.29. Wells's prelim time was 21.31.
In the field events, sophomore Julius Tate flew to a career best in the college division of the triple jump with a measurement of 48 feet, 7 1/4 inches. It also was a 2 1/2-foot improvement over his previous best this season.
In the championship division of the 3000 meters, junior Michael Spooner churned out a 10th-place finish in 8:22.95. That mark was a 21-second improvement over an earlier 2010 3K race. In the college division 3000m, two Vols reported in among the top 10 finishers. Charting career-best times were freshman Leoule Degfae in seventh at 8:29.82 and junior Chris Kane in eighth at 8:30.37.
Elsewhere, in the college division of the mile, senior Mike Brodsky reported in 15th at 4:14.87.
Tennessee returns to action next weekend. The bulk of the men's and women's teams head to College Station, Texas, next Friday and Saturday to take part in the Texas A&M Challenge, a scored meet pitting the Big 12, SEC and Conference USA versus each other. Schools representing those leagues include Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech; Alabama, Ole Miss and Tennessee; and Houston, Rice and UTEP, respectively. UT also will have a small number of distance athletes traveling to Seattle for the University of Washington's Husky Invitational on Saturday.
SATURDAY WOMEN'S RESULTS AT THE NEW BALANCE COLLEGIATE INVITATIONAL
Mile (College): 29. Michele Levy, 5:11.67!
High Jump (Eastern College): 1. Ellen Wortham, 5-5/1.65m
SATURDAY MEN'S RESULTS AT THE NEW BALANCE COLLEGIATE INVITATIONAL
3000m (College): 7. Leoule Degfae, 8:29.82!; 8. Chris Kane, 8:30.37!
Mile (College): 15. Mike Brodsky, 4:14.87
200m Finals (Championship): 2. Evander Wells, 21.15+
200m Prelims (Championship): Adv. Evander Wells (21.31p); 19. Kyle Stevenson, 21.93p; 31. Samdi Fraser, 22.29!
800m (College): 1. Terrance Livingston, 1:52.45!
3000m (Championship): 10. Michael Spooner, 8:22.95
Triple Jump (College): 4. Julius Tate, 48-7.25/14.81m!
* NCAA automatic qualifier, + - NCAA provisional qualifier, ! - Personal best, Adv. - Advanced to next round, DNF - Chris Kane, F - Foul, FS - False start, m - meters, mr - Meet record, NM - No mark, p - Prelims, sr - School record
Many events had both championship (top entered competitors) and college (open) sections