Alexander, Wortham, Costello Star For UT

March 26, 2011


By Eric Trainer, Associate Director of Media Relations

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee won three events and carved out runner-up finishes in six others Saturday to close out its stay at the University of Central Florida Invitational at the UCF Track & Field Complex in Orlando.

After redshirting indoors this season and outdoors in 2010, Lady Vol Annie Alexander made a triumphant return to competition, sweeping victories in the women's discus throw and shot put. The junior opened the day with a toss of 180 feet, eight inches to seize the discus crown and came back later in the afternoon to win the shot with a blast of 54-7 1/4. She has tallied 15 career wins in the discus and six outdoor titles in the shot during her college career.

"It's good to have Annie back from her redshirt year and start the season out with a couple of wins," UT Director of Track & Field J.J. Clark said. "She had a solid day in the discus and is getting her rhythm back in the shot. John Frazier (throws coach) will continue working with her and have her ready to go come SEC and NCAA time."

Junior Ellen Wortham cruised to Tennessee's third victory of the day, winning the 400-meter hurdles. The 2010 SEC runner-up and USA Championships eighth-place finisher in the event, Wortham opened her 2011 campaign with a time of 58.32 to cross the line first. She also played a role in a runner-up effort for UT's 4x400m relay, aiding the unit to a 3:40.66 readout while handling the third leg. Joining her were freshman Kianna Ruff, who also delivered a runner-up showing in the 800m at 2:09.75, junior Ashley Harris and Martinique Octave. Wortham also added a PR effort of 14.07 in the 100m hurdles and had a PR in the long jump at 19-4 on Friday night.

"Ellen continues to develop and get better and better from meet to meet," Clark said. "It was a good weekend for her with a couple of PRs, a win in the 400m hurdles and a good effort on the relay. She just gets it done, and we look forward to seeing what she can do as the season goes on."

The Vols produced four second-place performances, including individual results in the men's 400 and 1500 meters and relay tallies in the men's 4x100m and 4x400m events. They also had a third-place finish in the 400 and a fourth-place outcome in the 1500m.

In the men's 400, junior Deaundra Dailey delivered the fastest time by a collegian in that race, punching out a career-best 47.74 mark that was second only to the 47.42 readout of Reggie Witherspoon of adidas/Wexp. Classmate Varick Tucker was third, crossing the line in 47.92 for the Big Orange.

Redshirt freshman Jordan Chaney led a UT parade of four personal-record marks in the 1500, grabbing second in 3:54.67. Freshman Jake Rainey was fourth in 3:57.70, followed by junior Steve Fassino in sixth at 4:01.23 and freshman Ford Bell in ninth at 4:05.34.

The Vol baton corps carded the other silver finishes. First, it was the 4x100m combination of redshirt freshmen Reggie Juin and Dentarius Locke, true freshman Jarael Nelvis and senior Nathan Grace taking second in 40.32 and notching the fastest readout by a college quartet. The 4x400m unit also posted the top time by a collegiate quartet, with Dailey, Grace, junior Joe Franklin and Tucker checking in second in 3:11.49.

"It's nice to see Deaundra, Jordan and the other guys run PRs in the outdoor opener," Clark said. "As a coach, you hope they can do that, but it doesn't always happen. I like what Jordan did toward the end of the indoor season, and he continues to come along really well for our team."

Elsewhere, junior Minor Bowens was fourth in the men's discus at 148-5, sophomore Matt Bergquist ran a fifth-place time of 56.27 in the men's 400m hurdles in his return home, junior Terry Benson checked in fifth with a career-best 14.31 in the men's 100m hurdles, Eric Ryan made his Vol debut in fifth in the 800m at 1:55.87, and the Lady Vol 4x100m relay tandem also took fifth, running 46.11. Carrying the stick for UT were Harris, sophomore Kia Jackson, Octave and junior Brittany Jones.

"It was a good meet for us on both sides," Clark said. "We definitely have room for improvement, but we're off to a good start even though we really haven't unleashed our full roster on both sides."

Costello Runs To School Record in 10,000 Meters

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Late Friday night at the Stanford Invitational, Liz Costello snapped a 26-year-old school record in the women's 10,000 meters to set the tone for Tennessee in the premier distance meet of the outdoor season. And she did it in her very first race at that distance.

Costello's 33:25.66 effort was good for seventh place in the fast section and snapped Alison Quelch's UT mark of 34:08.0, which had stood since 1985. Brittany Sheffey added a personal best and 10th-place effort of 16:14.89 in the fast section of the 5,000m at the Cardinal's Cobb Track and Angell Field.

"Liz absolutely crushed the school 10K record that had stood since 1985," UT Director of Track & Field J.J. Clark said. "That's really a great feat, because we have had some great athletes come through here. Patty Wiegand, Sharon Dickie, on down the line. Now Liz Costello's name is attached to that record.

"Brittany had a nice PR in the 5K, too, as she continues to develop. She consistently has demonstrated her versatility up and down the ladder from 800 to 5K."

The Vols had three men in action at Stanford, and all three were running in the second-fastest sections. Senior Peter Sigilai had the best finish, placing fifth in the men's 1500m in 3:51.16. In the men's 10,000m, senior Michael Spooner was 12th in 29:45.61, while sophomore Chris Bodary registered a 49-second personal best to place 22nd in 30:00.33.

"Chris ran a good PR and is showing some progress," Clark said. "We know Peter is a 3:43 guy in the 1500m, and he'll do well as the season goes on. Overall, it was a productive meet for everyone who made the trip."


Lady Volunteers

Discus Throw: 1. Annie Alexander, 180-8/55.06m; 15. Jessie Harrison, 127-9/38.93m

Shot Put: 1. Annie Alexander, 54-7.25/16.64m; 10. Laquoya Kelly, 42-5.50/12.94m

400m Hurdles: 1. Ellen Wortham, 58.32; 12. Bianca Blair, 1:03.80; 21. Kirstyn Sweeney, 1:04.98!; 23. Jená Murphy, 1:05.98

800m: 2. Kianna Ruff, 2:09.75; 6. Ramzee Fondren, 2:13.23; 15. Ty-Vonna Johnson, 2:18.00; 22. Kim White, 2:20.56; 28. Chelsea Knotts, 2:29.24

4x400m Relay: 2. Kianna Ruff / Ashley Harris / Ellen Wortham / Martinique Octave, 3:40.66; 10. Brittney Jackson / Ty-Vonna Johnson / Kim White / Ramzee Fondren, 3:56.09

4x100m Relay: 5. Ashley Harris / Kia Jackson / Martinique Octave / Brittany Jones, 46.11

1500m: 7. Amber Zimmerman, 4:42.66!; 15. Kelsey Kane, 4:50.42; 19. Brittney Jackson, 4:54.38!; 30. Andrea Ferri, 5:06.85

100m: 8. Kia Jackson, 11.93 (w: -0.9); 11. Ashley Harris, 11.99 (w: 0.1); 15. Martinique Octave, 12.09! (w: -0.4); 22. Brittany Jones, 12.21 (w: -0.9); 36. Jazmen Townsend, 12.92 (w: -0.4)

100m Hurdles: 8. Ellen Wortham, 14.07! (w: 1.2); 11. Bianca Blair, 14.20 (w: 1.2); 19. Jená Murphy, 14.67! (w: 1.3); 26. Kirstyn Sweeney, 15.59 (w: 1.1)

200m: 10. Kia Jackson, 24.21 (w: 1.5); 12. Ashley Harris, 24.37 (w: 0.2); 25. Brittany Jones, 25.02 (w: 0.7), 34. Martinique Octave, 25.60 (w: 0.2)

400m: 16. Martinique Octave, 57.17

Triple Jump: NM - Allison Outerbridge, F


400m: 2. Deaundra Dailey, 47.74!; 3. Varick Tucker, 47.92

4x100m Relay: 2. Reggie Juin / Dentarius Locke / Jarael Nelvis / Nathan Grace, 40.32

1500m: 2. Jordan Chaney, 3:54.67!; 4. Jordan Rainey, 3:57.70!; 6. Steve Fassino, 4:01.23!; 9. Ford Bell, 4:05.34!; 11. Chris Rapp, 4:05.50; 13. Joe Franklin, 4:10.06

4x400m Relay: 2. Deaundra Dailey / Nathan Grace / Joe Franklin / Varick Tucker, 3:11.49

Discus Throw: 4. Minor Bowens, 148-5/45.23m

110m Hurdles: 5. Terry Benson, 14.31! (w: 1.3)

800m: 5. Eric Ryan, 1:55.87

400m Hurdles: 5. Matt Bergquist, 56.27

100m: 6. Reggie Juin, 10.99 (w: 1.8); 9. Joachim De Bock, 11.17w (w: 3.3); 12. Corey Alexander, 11.26 (w: 1.8)

200m: 17. Reggie Juin, 22.31 (w: 1.1); 24. Desmond Brown, 22.72w (w: 2.8); 25. Joachim De Bock, 22.74 (w: 1.1); 28. Corey Alexander, 22.85 (w: 1.8)


Lady Volunteers

10,000m (Section 1): 7. Liz Costello, 33:25.66!sr

5000m (Section 1): 10. Brittany Sheffey, 16:14.89!


1500m (Section 2): 5. Peter Sigilai, 3:51.16

10000m (Section 2): 12. Michael Spooner, 29:45.61; 22. Chris Bodary, 30:00.33!


Lady Volunteers

Javelin Throw: 1. Holly Kane, 143-1/43.62m!; 3. Katherine Dresch, 120-11/36.85m!

Long Jump: 4. Ellen Wortham, 19-4/5.89m! (w:-0.9); 14. Kia Jackson, 17-5.25/5.31m (nwi); 20. Jazmen Townsend, 16-10.50/5.14 (nwi); 22. Allison Outerbridge, 15-8.75/4.79m (nwi)

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





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