Brooke Novak and the Lady Vols 4x800m relay team were the top team at the Raleigh Relays.
March 27, 2004
For the second-consecutive day, the University of Tennessee women's track & field team claimed a relay title at the adidas Raleigh Relays. After watching the sprint medley win a crown on Friday evening, Head Coach J.J. Clark's 4x800m relay unit grabbed a championship of its own on Saturday. That triumph, coupled with NCAA regional qualifying marks from the 4x400m relay as well as pole vaulters Jessica Reust and Kendra Rhyne put a capper on a solid opening weekend of the outdoor campaign for the Lady Volunteers.
The victorious 4x800m combination of junior Antoinette Gorham (Glenarden, Md.), senior Lindsay Hyatt (Auburn, Calif.), sophomore Brooke Novak (Kaukauna, Wis.) and senior Kameisha Bennett (Dayton, Ohio) covered the distance in 8:37.99, just missing the meet record of 8:37.41. That performance was even more impressive, considering UT was not pushed in the least by second-place Virginia Elite (8:55.39) or third-place Wake Forest (8:55.81).
While the 4x8 is not an NCAA event, the 4x400m relay is, and Tennessee rustled up a Mideast Regional invititation via a 3:41.31 count from junior Toyin Olupona (Orillia, Ontario,
Canada), Gorham, Bennett and freshman Tianna Madison (Elyria, Ohio). The Big Orange quartet, which had never run together before Saturday, managed to challenge Seton Hall and
George Mason before crossing the line behind SHU (3:39.23) and GMU (3:40.81).
The performances in those baton events mirrored the success Clark's charges enjoyed on Friday, when the sprint medley unit took first and the 4x1500m lineup finished third.
Individually, Reust (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Rhyne (Andersonville, Tenn.) had afternoons to remember, as the sophomore vaulters each cleared a career-best height of 12-3.50/3.75m to earn positions at the NCAA Mideast Regional, which will be held May 28-29 in Baton Rouge, La. Rhyne, by virtue of fewer misses, wound up fourth overall in the competition, while Reust, though clearing the same height, had to settle for 10th. Classmate Jessica Andrews (Rockford, Tenn.) also competed, clearing 10-10/3.30m and finishing 26th.
Clark entered four athletes in the 1500 meters, and all of them recorded career-topping runs. Senior Jessica Southers (Ashland, Ky.) led the way with a 4:36.97 effort, which was good for 23rd, while sophomore Felicia Guliford (Gallup, N.M.) was 27th at 4:37.70, junior Elizabeth McCalley (Knoxville, Tenn.) was 33rd in 4:40.35 and sophomore Katie Flaute (Dayton, Ohio) was 48th at 4:52.03.
Elsewhere, junior Sara Vigil (Tucson, Ariz.) took 19th in the hammer throw with a heave of 151-4/46.13m, and UT's 'B' 4x400m relay of sophomore Caitlin Ward (Gibsonia, Pa.), Novak, Hyatt and McCalley finished 28th at 3:59.39. Sprinters Olupona, Madison and Dee Dee Trotter (Decatur, Ga.) qualified for the 100-meter dash finals in the prelims the day before but did not run in the finals, as the coaching staff elected to focus on the relay area.
"As a whole, it was a good meet to start the outdoor season," Clark said. "We came away with regional qualifying marks in the long jump, pole vault, 5000 meters and 4x4, and we won a pair of relays, so we definitely kept the ball rolling from the indoor season. There were also a number of PRs and a lot of good efforts. We look forward to keeping things going at the Sea Ray Relays."
The Lady Volunteers will spend the next week-and-a-half training before making their 2004 home debut at those very Sea Ray Relays at UT's Tom Black Track on April 7-10. The competition gets underway on Wednesday and Thursday, with multi-event competition in the afternoon, and kicks into high gear with full days of action on Friday and Saturday. Admission is free.
|FRIDAY, MARCH 26|
|EVENT (NCAA DIV. I QUALIFYING MARKS)|
|Shot Put (Regional: 46-8.75/14.24m) 10 a.m.|
|High Jump (Regional: 5-8/1.73m) 11 a.m.|
|Long Jump (Regional: 19-5.50/5.93m) Noon|
|2nd||Tianna Madison||19-9.50/6.03m# (0.2)|
|6th||Dee Dee Trotter||19-2.50/5.85m (1.4)|
|100m Hurdles (Regional: 13.95) 12:30 p.m.|
|59th||Edra Finley||15.56p (0.4)/ht. 4|
|87th||Catherine Wright||17.64p (1.4)/ht. 9|
|91st||Caitlin Ward||18.25p (0.7)/ht. 8|
|100m Prelims (Regional: 11.78) 1:30 p.m.|
|Adv.||Tianna Madison||11.79p (-0.5)/3rd, ht. 1|
|Adv.||Toyin Olupona||11.80p (-0.5)/4th, ht. 1|
|Adv.||Dee Dee Trotter||11.86p (-0.5)/5th, ht. 1|
|Discus (Regional: 152-10/46.58m) 2 p.m.|
|4x1500m Relay (Not An NCAA Event) 4:35 p.m.|
|3rd||Jessica Southers/Lindsay Hyatt/Elizabeth McCalley/Brooke Novak||18:04.15|
|Sprint Medley Relay (Not An NCAA Event) 5:20 p.m.|
|1st||Toyin Olupona/Dee Dee Trotter/Antoinette Gorham/Kameisha Bennett||3:50.85|
|5000m (Regional: 16:56.43) 6:55 p.m.|
|SATURDAY, MARCH 27|
|Pole Vault (Regional: 12-3.50/3.75m) 11 a.m.|
|100m Finals (Regional: 11.78) 12:15 p.m.|
|dnr||Dee Dee Trotter|
|1500m (Regional: 4:29.12) 12:45 p.m.|
|Hammer Throw (Regional: 173-4/52.84m) 1 p.m.|
|Triple Jump (Regional: 40-2.75/12.26m) 2 p.m.|
|4x800m Relay (Not An NCAA Event) 3:05 p.m.|
|1st||Antoinette Gorham/Lindsay Hyatt/Brooke Novak/Kameisha Bennett||8:37.99|
|4x400m Relay (Regional: 3:43.03) 4:50 p.m.|
|3rd||Toyin Olupona/Antoinette Gorham/Kameisha Bennett/Tianna Madison||3:41.31#|
|28th||Caitlin Ward/Brooke Novak/Lindsay Hyatt/Elizabeth McCalley||3:59.39|