March 28, 2003
With NCAA Division I track and field going to a regional qualifying format in 2003, University of Tennessee sophomore Dee Dee Trotter wasted little time in earning a ticket to the Mideast Regional Meet. The Lady Vol sprint standout recorded a 53.99 reading in the 400 meters Friday to place second at the Adidas Raleigh Relays and more importantly book a trip to the May 30-31 competition in Columbus, Ohio.
Trotter, a national qualifier in the 200 meters indoors, picked up where she left off just a couple of weeks ago, posting an NCAA regional qualifying mark with a runner-up finish to Libia Rodriquez of St. Augustine's (53.59). With the regional meet now serving as the method in which athletes earn their way into the NCAA Outdoor Championships meet, the Decatur, Ga., native can continue to sharpen her skills in the 400 and could qualify in the 200 meters as well.
In a large meet featuring 110 teams and over 3,000 athletes, UT's other noteworthy accomplishments included redshirt freshman
Brooke Novak (Kaukauna, Wis.) taking 19th in the 5000 meters at 17:12.59; and junior Janine Tessarzik (Altamont, N.Y.) placing 15th in
the discus at 140-4/42.77m and 19th in the shot put at 42-11.50/13.09m.
Elsewhere, junior Christina Billings (Madison, Wis.) was 35th in the 400m hurdles at 65.05; junior Jessica Southers (Ashland, Ky.) was 49th in the 5000m at 17:49.72; sophomore Antoinette Gorham (Glenarden, Md.) was 59th in the 400m in 59.73; and freshman Caitlin Ward (Gibsonia, Pa.) was 75th in the 400m at 60.67 and 95th in the 100m hurdles in 17.01 (w: -0.3). Tennessee is back in action on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m.