March 29, 2003

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Tennessee's Christie Elwin placed fourth and met the NCAA regional qualifying standard in the pole vault, and teammate Sharon Dickie just missed the regional mark in her ninth-place effort in the 1500 meters Saturday afternoon at the Adidas Raleigh Relays at North Carolina State's Paul Derr Track.

Elwin, a senior from Adelaide, Australia, cleared 12-0/3.66m to tie North Carolina's Rebecca Post for fourth place. Joana Costa of Clemson and unattached competitor Jen Swanson each sailed over 12-4/3.76m, but Costa took the title by virtue of fewer misses. For Elwin, though, the mark earned her a spot in the NCAA Mideast Regional Meet on May 30-31 in Columbus, Ohio.

While not running in her specialty event, Dickie nearly earned a regional ticket of her own in the 1500 meters, placing ninth in 4:33.07. That time was just over two seconds off the 4:31.00 pace needed to join the regional field. It was also a career best for the senior from Grand Blanc, Mich., besting her previous PR of 4:38.39 set at the 2002 Stanford Invitational.

The Lady Volunteers also had a pair of relays in action. The 4x1500m combination of Erin Anderson (Kent, Ohio), Elizabeth McCalley (Knoxville, Tenn.), Christy Baird (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Katie Flaute (Dayton, Ohio) placed 14th in 19:35.86, while the 4x200m unit consisting of Dee Dee Trotter (Decatur, Ga.), Antoinette Gorham (Glenarden, Md.), Caitlin Ward (Gibsonia, Pa.) and Christina Billings (Madison, Wis.) took 15th in 1:41.36.



Other individuals in action on the final day in Raleigh included Janine Tessarzik (Altamont, N.Y.), who was unable to land a fair throw in the hammer; Kendra Rhyne (Andersonville, Tenn.), who was 21st in the pole vault at 11-0.25/3.36m; Jessica Reust (Knoxville, Tenn.), who was 27th in the pole vault at 10-6.25/3.21m; and Jessica Andrews (Rockford, Tenn.), who was unable to clear a height in the pole vault.

UT Head Coach J.J. Clark believes his team accomplished what it set out to this weekend.

"We got a lot of good work in this weekend from a training standpoint and some people doubled," Clark said. "Dee Dee Trotter got a regional mark on Friday, and Christie Elwin was able to get qualified in the vault today, so I am very happy with the progress we made."

Clark's squad will be back in action next Saturday, as the Lady Vols travel to Columbia, S.C., for the SEC Challenge. Tennessee will face Florida, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and host South Carolina in the scored meet at USC's Weems Baskins Track. Field events get underway at 10:30 a.m., while running events commence at 2 p.m.



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