Feb. 14, 2003

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Senior Sharon Dickie was fourth in the 5000 meters and sophomore Dee Dee Trotter advanced to the finals of the 200m dash to pace the University of Tennessee women's track & field team Friday evening at the Armory Collegiate Invitational. Dickie, from Grand Blanc, Mich., ran with a lead pack of seven runners throughout the entire race at the Armory Track & Field Center, finishing with an NCAA provisional reading of 16:44.47. Jamie Kryzminski of Michigan State took top honors, covering the distance in an automatic pace of 16:17.30.

Entering the evening, Dickie stood at 12th nationally on the NCAA's provisional qualifying list at 16:42.11, which she posted at the Penn State National Meet on Jan. 31. Her next chance to improve that status will come at the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships on March 1-2 in Fayetteville, Ark. In the 200m dash, Trotter moved on to the finals with a season-best reading of 24.09, which was the fastest in section one. The Decatur, Ga., native's mark was one of three Lady Vol improvements in the 200 on Saturday night and was just shy of the NCAA provisional qualifying standard. The UT standout was only outshone in the prelims by a pair of South Carolina and LSU speedsters, including the Tigers' sensational Muna Lee and 2000 Olympian Miki Barber of USC.



Also posting their top showings of 2003 were Tennessee sophomore Toyin Olupona (Orillia, Canada), who was second in heat two with a career-topping time of 24.34; and freshman Caitlin Ward (Gibsonia, Pa.), who was fourth in heat three with a personal-best 25.92. Olupona just missed making the cut for the finals, finishing one spot out of a berth.

Head Coach J.J. Clark had two entries in the 400m prelims, but neither advanced to the finals. Sophomore Antoinette Gorham (Glenarden, Md.) and Ward did, however, crank out their best times of the campaign, finishing fourth and fifth in their heat in 57.52 and 58.05, respectively. For Ward, it was also her second PR of the day. Elsewhere, junior Kelli Flowers (Westerville, Ohio) took part in the high jump and finished in a tie for 13th place with a clearance of 5-3/1.60m. That matches her season best.

In addition to Trotter moving on to the finals, the Lady Vols will be looking for improved NCAA qualifying marks Saturday from sophomore Nicole Cook (Petersburg, Va.) in the championship 800m finals, senior Christie Elwin (Adelaide, Australia) in the championship pole vault finals and Olupona in the championship 60m dash prelims and finals. Cook, Elwin and Olupona rank seventh, 23rd and 19th nationally with marks of 2:07.54, 12-9.50/3.90m and 7.41, respectively.

Redshirt freshman Brooke Novak (Kaukauna, Wis.), who is undefeated in individual races in 2003, will take her second crack at the mile this season, running in the championship final of the mile. The Track & Field News prep All-American has twice been victorious in the 3000m thus far and won her section of the mile at the Penn State National Meet on Feb. 1. She will be eyeing a time warranting NCAA consideration. Other UT women in action on Saturday are junior Erin Anderson (Kent, Ohio) in the university mile, freshman Katie Flaute (Dayton, Ohio) and junior Jessica Southers in the championship 3000m, Flowers in the championship long jump, sophomores Lauren McNeil (Easton, Pa.) and Kendra Rhyne (Andersonville, Tenn.) in the championship pole vault, and Gorham and Ward in the championship 400m. Gorham will also join Cook, Olupona and Trotter in the 4x400m relay.



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