March 25, 2011
By Eric Trainer, Associate Director of Media Relations
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The University of Tennessee track & field teams opened the 2011 outdoor campaign Friday at the University of Central Florida Invitational in Orlando, netting eight personal bests in 15 competitive opportunities on a light day of activity at the UCF Track & Field Complex.
Senior Holly Kane picked up a victory for the Lady Vols in the women's javelin, while junior Desmond Brown of Memphis chalked up a win in the long jump for the Vols. Kane, a product of Knoxville's Karns High School, let loose a career-best toss of 143 feet, one inch to card her third career victory. Freshman teammate Katherine Dresch snagged third with a PR fling of 120-11. Brown, meanwhile, picked up his second collegiate win outdoors with a leap of 24-1 3/4.
The UT men added three runner-up showings on the day, with all three of them coming via career-best efforts. In the hammer throw, it was sophomore Drew Thomas uncorking a toss of 182-4, while redshirt freshman Daniel Tobin raced to a 9:40.05 readout in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Redshirt freshman Chase Brannon kicked in a second-place outing in the pole vault, clearing 15-3. True freshman Tyler Porter also sailed over 15-3, but he settled for fourth based on his number of attempts.
Other noteworthy performances came from freshman Blake Hamilton of Halls, who notched a throw of 179-11 to place third in the men's javelin, junior Ellen Wortham of Maryville, who placed fourth in the women's long jump at 19-4, and junior Laquoya Kelly, who took fourth in the women's hammer throw at 182-4. All of those marks were career bests, with Kelly's measurement moving her to No. 4 on UT's all-time performers list in that event.
Five athletes from UT are slated for action late Friday night on the West Coast at the Stanford Invitational. Lady Vols Brittany Sheffey and Liz Costello are scheduled to run the 5000m and 10,000m, respectively, while Vols Peter Sigilai (1500m), Chris Bodary (10,000m) and Michael Spooner (10,000m) are also entered.
Hammer Throw: 4. Laquoya Kelly, 176-2/53.71m!
Long Jump: 1. Desmond Brown, 24-1.75/7.36m (w: 1.4)
3000m Steeplechase: 2. Daniel Tobin, 9:40.05!
Pole Vault:2. Chase Brannon, 15-3/4.65m!; 4. Tyler Porter, 15-3/4.65m; NH - Robert Rasnick
Hammer Throw: 2. Drew Thomas, 182-4/55.58m!
Javelin Throw: 3. Blake Hamilton, 179-11/54.85m!; 5. Les Gilbert, 168-11/51.49m
! - personal record, DNF - did not finish, DQ - disqualified, F - foul, fr - facility record, FS - false start, h - heat, m - meters, mr - meet record, NH - no height registered, NM - no mark registered, nwi - No win index, p - preliminary round, sr - school record, w - wind-aided