March 24, 2005
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Junior Ariel Brooks became the University of Tennessee's first NCAA regional qualifier of the 2005 outdoor track & field campaign Thursday afternoon, uncorking a school-record heave in the hammer throw at the 62nd-annual Coca-Cola Florida Relays at Percy Beard Track.
Brooks, a product of Miami's Northwestern High School and a transfer from Barton County (Kan.) Community College, returned to her home state and charted a throw of 180 feet, two inches (54.91 meters) to place seventh in a stacked field. Her measurement, though, was the focus, as that performance merited a ticket to the NCAA Mideast Regional meet in Bloomington, Ind., on May 27-28, and she became UT's new standard-bearer in the event.
After her first two attempts went wide of the sector, Brooks collected herself on her third try and unleashed the best hammer effort in Lady Vol history. Her mark surpassed the 175-9/53.57m fling of Janine Tessarzik on April 27, 2003. She also managed to stretch the tape to 174-7/53.22m and 170-10/52.08 on tries four and six, which are the third- and eighth-best throws ever by a Lady Vol. Freshman Shanna Dickenson (Cincinnati, Ohio) and junior April Thomas (Albany, Ga.) also competed, with Dickenson placing 15th at 155-10/47.51m and Thomas failing to register a measurable mark.
The Big Orange also had three athletes in action in the 5000 meters on Thursday night. Junior Katie Flaute (Dayton, Ohio) was the first Tennessee harrier to cross the finish line, covering the
distance in 17:17.17 to place fourth in a field of 42. Sophomores Carly Matthews (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and Megan Cauble (Knoxville, Tenn.) also competed, taking seventh and 13th, respectively,
in 17:34.72 and 18:01.74.
Treniere Clement, who trains with UT Head Coach J.J. Clark, won the 5K in 16:49.37. Former Lady Vol and Clark pupil Sharon Dickie Thompson grabbed third in the 1500 meters in 4:23.98.
Action on Friday in Gainesville is set to start at 9 a.m. For live results, please click on the Lady Vol Web site's link to the meet at www.utladyvols.com.