Feb. 26, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky, -- The Vols and Lady Vols each snared three final-day top-three finishes, including yet another victory in the women's distance medley relay Sunday, to close out their stay at the SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships at the University of Kentucky's Nutter Field House.
The eighth-ranked Lady Vols accumulated 68 points for the three-day competition to net a fourth-place finish in the women's team race, while the Vols tallied 40.50 to wind up seventh in the men's field. Florida claimed the women's title with 132 points, followed by LSU in second with 109 and Arkansas in third with 99. In the men's race, Arkansas scored 151 to hold off the 137 produced by runner-up Florida.
The Lady Vol distance medley relay team continued what has become an SEC tradition by winning its sixth-straight championship and eighth in the past nine seasons. The combination of senior Chanelle Price, freshman Julia Petree, junior Nijgia Snapp and senior Brittany Sheffey held off Arkansas by nearly a second and a half in a time of 11 minutes,12.23 seconds, snapping the 2004 facility record of 11:16.61 set by the UT tandem that started this spree of success.
Price also led a two-three-six run in the women's 800 meters that added up to 17 points for the Big Orange. Despite a valiant effort to overtake LSU's Charlene Lipsey, Price was unable to successfully defend her 2011 indoor crown. She did, however, generate eight points with a 2:06.45 runner-up effort. Snapp grabbed third in 2:07.18, while sophomore Kianna Ruff was sixth at 2:08.35 after they had placed fifth and sixth, respectively in 2011.
The Vols generated 10 1/2 points in the men's pole vault in their first event of the day to set a positive tone. Sophomore Chase Brannon cleared the bar at 17 feet, 3 3/4 inches to snare third-place honors, and senior Robert Rasnick sailed over 17-0 to forge a tie for fourth place. A year ago, Brannon tied for eighth and Rasnick was seventh.
Redshirt freshman Matthew Hoty followed suit with a third-place performance, doing so by bettering his previous UT rookie record of 60-0 1/4 on his first three attempts. After opening with a blast of 61-4, he added a toss of 61-7 and then his latest record-breaker, a 62-3 1/4 measurement. That effort moved him to No. 6 on UT's all-time indoor list and into 14th place on the NCAA list.
While Hoty was in the shot put ring, senior Terry Benson was busy shattering the pre-meet form chart in the men's 60-meter hurdles, ripping off a huge personal-best race of 7.95 to snare third-place honors for the Big Orange. Entering the weekend ranked eighth in the conference at 8.10, Benson ran 8.04 in the prelims and then dipped below eight seconds for the first time in his career.
Like Hoty did in the shot, Jamol James became the top-finishing freshman in the men's 60m dash, matching his career best with a readout of 6.72 seconds. It's a pretty remarkable accomplishment for someone who had no fall training and didn't enroll in school until January. It also marks the second straight season a Vol was the top freshman sprinter in the 60.
The Lady Vol 4x400m relay unit delivered its finest performance of the season, and that four-second improvement to 3:34.76 resulted in a fourth-place finish and a time that should get them into the NCAA Indoor Championship meet. The tandem of seniors Ellen Wortham and Brittany Jones, sophomore Kianna Ruff and junior Martinique Octave collaborated on the eighth-fastest indoor 4x4 ever run by the Tennessee women despite running in the second heat of a three-heat final.
Junior Jessie Harrison and junior Laquoya Kelly got the Lady Vols on the board at the start of the day, finishing fifth and eighth, respectively, with marks of 62-8 1/2 and 59-0 3/4 in the women's weight throw. Harrison, who carded a personal best, was sixth at this meet the past two seasons, while Kelly was a first-time scorer in the event. She was sixth in the hammer at 2009 SEC Outdoors.
The Vols rustled up fifth- and sixth-place finishes in the 5000 meters and 4x400m relay, respectively, to aid the cause. Junior Chris Bodary, who placed eighth in the 3000 meters on Saturday, came back strong on Sunday and kicked hard for a 14:25.97 readout and the second SEC individual scoring performance of his career. Placing sixth originally, he ended up taking fifth after another runner was disqualified. The 4x4 came in sixth, with senior Varick Tucker, sophomore Jarael Nelvis, Benson and freshman Michael Williams putting together a season-best offering of 3:11.29.
Saturday's long jump runner-up, Wortham matched her PR of 8.34 and added a seventh-place outcome in the women's 60m hurdles on the final day, while Sheffey followed her fourth-place effort in the 3K on Saturday night with a seventh-place effort of 4:46.48 in the mile on Sunday.
UT added eighth-place finishes in the 200 meters from a pair of first-time individual league scorers. Jones picked up a point for her 23.96 effort in the women's race, while Nelvis contributed a point with a 21.49 readout.
"I think on both sides we competed, but, obviously, I'd like to win and get up the ladder," UT Director of Track & Field J.J. Clark said. "We lost a lot of key players last year in the men's sprints and distances. Joe Berry's 10 points (pole vault) are missed, too, so having Matthew Hoty, Terry Benson, Chase Brannon and Robert Rasnick come up and score some big points and getting some points from Chris Bodary in the 5K as well as contributions in the 60, 200 and 4x4, we just kind of kept fighting with what we had.
"It is my goal within a couple of years to make sure we are fighting for titles here. I believe this is a great transition point, because we are only going to get better from this point on with our good recruiting format. With what we lost last year and with who's not here, to almost move into sixth is a positive.
"On the women's side, Ellen came through in the hurdles, we had a lot of points in the 800 and the weight throw was critical, with Jessie having a PR and Laquoya scoring for the first time in that event. "The DMR came back and provided good electricity for our team by winning as we were closing out, and the 4x4 got a time that should get us to the NCAA meet. That was a good close and a very strong performance by that group."
Those who qualify will next compete on March 9-10 at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Nampa, Idaho.
Pole Vault: 3. Chase Brannon, 17-3.75/5.28m; T4. Robert Rasnick, 17-0/5.18m; nm - Tyler Porter
60m Hurdles: 3. Terry Benson, 7.95!
Shot Put: 3. Matthew Hoty, 62-3.25/18.98m!fr
60m Dash: 5. Jamol James, 6.72!
5000m: 5. Chris Bodary, 14:25.97^; 12. Stephen Derlath, 15:01.27^!; 13. Tom Gilmartin, 15:08.99^
4x400m Relay: 6. Varick Tucker / Jarael Nelvis / Terry Benson / Michael Williams, 3:11.29^
200m Dash: 8. Jarael Nelvis, 21.49^
Distance Medley Relay: 10. Alex McCandless / Deaundra Dailey / Nick Kaiser / Daniel Tobin, 10:09.78^
Triple Jump: 12. Tyler Anderson, 47-10.50/14.59m!
Weight Throw Final: 6. Drew Thomas, 59-4.25/18.09m!
Long Jump Final: 7. Desmond Brown, 24-3/7.39m; 15. Tyler Anderson, 23-0.50/7.02m
3000m Final: 8. Chris Bodary, 8:20.77^
60m Hurdles Prelims: adv. Terry Benson, 8.04p!/3rd, ht. 1 (5th)
60m Dash Prelims: adv. Jamol James, 6.73p/2nd, ht. 2 (5th); dna - Devrin Young, 6.91p!/6th, ht. 3 (18th); dna - Reggie Juin, 6.98p/8th, ht. 1 (22nd); dna - Rajion Neal, 7.00p!/8th, ht. 2 (23rd); dna - Arnez Hardnick, 7.05p/8th, ht. 3 (24th)
200m Prelims: adv. Jarael Nelvis, 21.34^p/3rd, ht. 2 (8th); dna - Jamol James, 21.58^p!/1st, ht. 7 (13th); dna - Reggie Juin, 22.04^p!/2nd, ht. 6 (22nd); dna - Arnez Hardnick, 22.40^p/4th, ht. 8 (29th); dna - Rajion Neal, 22.55^p!/2nd, ht. 5 (30th)
400m Prelims: dna - Varick Tucker, 47.46^p!/2nd, ht. 1 (10th); dna - Michael Williams, 49.12^p!/2nd, ht. 8 (23rd)
Mile Prelims: dna - Daniel Tobin, 4:15.61^p/4th, ht. 2 (11th)
800m Prelims: dna - Nick Kaiser, 1:53.17^p/5th, ht. 1 (13th)
No Vols Competing In Heptathlon
Distance Medley Relay: 1. Chanelle Price / Julia Petree / Nijgia Snapp / Brittany Sheffey, 11:12.23^f
800m: 2. Chanelle Price, 2:06.45^; 3. Nijgia Snapp, 2:07.18^; 6. Kianna Ruff, 2:08.35^
4x400m Relay: 4. Ellen Wortham / Brittany Jones / Kianna Ruff / Martinique Octave, 3:34.76^
Weight Throw: 5. Jessie Harrison, 62-8.50/19.11m!; 8. Laquoya Kelly, 59-0.75/18.00m; 13. Aslynn Halvorson, 53-3/16.23m!; 15. Annie Alexander, 53-1/16.18m
60m Hurdles: 7. Ellen Wortham, 8.34!
Mile: 7. Brittany Sheffey, 4:46.48^
200m Dash: 8. Brittany Jones, 23.96^
Triple Jump: 19. Allison Outerbridge, 38-11/11.86m
Shot Put Final: 1. Annie Alexander, 55-11.75/17.06m; 6. Aslynn Halvorson, 49-7.25/15.12m!
Long Jump Final: 2. Ellen Wortham, 20-5/6.22m!; 13. Kia Jackson, 19-1.50/5.83m
3000m Final: 4. Brittany Sheffey, 9:31.85^
Pole Vault Final: 11. Linda Hadfield, 11-11.75/3.65m; nm - Erin Champion
60m Hurdles Prelims: adv. Ellen Wortham, 8.34p!/1st, ht. 2 (2nd); dna - Bianca Blair, 8.49p!/5th, ht. 1 (12th); dna - Kasha McDougald, 8.80p!/7th, ht. 1 (19th)
800m Prelims: adv. Chanelle Price, 2:06.62^p/1st, ht. 2 (2nd); adv. - Nigjia Snapp, 2:06.98^p/2nd, ht. 2 (3rd); adv. Kianna Ruff, 2:08.14^p/3rd, ht. 1 (5th); dna - Brittney Jackson, 2:12.19^p/4th, ht. 3 (13th); dna - Ty-Vonna Johnson, 2:15.13^p/5th, ht. 3 (15th)
Mile Prelims: adv. Brittany Sheffey, 4:43.55^p/2nd, ht. 1 (2nd); dna - Kelsey Kane, 4:57.36^p!/7th, ht. 1 (17th); dna - Amber Zimmerman, 4:57.59^p!/8th, ht. 1 (18th); dna - Elizabeth Altizer, 5:05.58^p/8th, ht. 3 (27th)
200m Prelims: adv. Brittany Jones, 23.91^p!/3rd, ht. 4 (7th); dna - Ashley Harris, 24.27^p!/3rd, ht. 5 (15th); dna - Julia Petree, 25.19^p!/4th, ht. 6 (26th)
60m Dash Prelims: dna Kia Jackson, 7.48p/4th, ht. 2 (11th)
400m Prelims: dna - Julia Petree, 56.29^p!/2nd, ht. 9 (29th)
Pentathlon: W/D (14th) - Ellen Wortham, 1,560 pts. (60mH: 1st, 8.35!, 1050 pts.; High Jump: nm [5-2.25/1.58m]; Shot Put: 11th, 31-10.25/9.71m, 510 pts.; Long Jump: n/a 800m: n/a
* - NCAA Automatic Mark, ! - Personal Best, ^ - Oversized Track, $ - SEC Record, a - American Record, adv. - Advanced to next round, b - Banked Track, c - Collegiate Record, dna - Did Not Advance, 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