April 8, 2004
University of Tennessee sophomore Caitlin Ward finished the day with an 800-meter run victory in the Sea Ray Relays Heptathlon, but it was South Carolina's Chelsea Hammond who claimed the overall title, tallying 5,405 points Thursday to hand the Gamecocks their second win in Knoxville in the past three years.
Hammond, the winner of the Tony Wilson Memorial Award for field events in 2003 with a long jump triumph at Sea Rays, met the NCAA provisional standard en route to victory in the heptathlon this time around and echoed the first-place effort of Tacita Bass in 2002. Speaking of Bass, the former USC standout settled for runner-up accolades with 5,365 points.
Hammond's event results on day two included second in the long jump at 19-9.75/6.04m (862 pts.), seventh in the javelin throw at 84-9/25.84m (398 pts.) and fifth in the 800-meter run at 2:24.17 (768 pts.).
Ward, competing in her second career heptathlon, charted her highest point total to date, taking ninth place with 4,567 points and improving from her 12th-place SEC tally of 4,340 in 2003. Over the past two days, the Gibsonia, Pa., native registered career heptathlon bests in five of the seven events.
The second-year performer began the day with an 11th-place finish in the long jump, where she collected 634 points for a leap of 17-3.50/5.27m with a legal wind of 1.8 meters per second. Next, she landed a best heave of 70-6/21.49m in the javelin throw to garner 317 points and place 10th. She closed the competition with a personal-record time of 2:19.98 in the 800-meter run to finish first and round up 824 points. Her time eclipsed her previous outdoor PR of 2:31.04.
Edra Finley, meanwhile, finished in 14th place overall after suffering a no height in the high jump on Wednesday. The Mobile, Ala., product started the second day of her first
collegiate heptathlon with a fourth-place result of 18-7.25/5.67m in the long jump. The mark, though wind-aided by a 2.1 mps gust, was good for 750 points. Finley then
placed 12th and obtained 283 points in the javelin throw with a mark of 64-7/19.68m. To wrap things up, the rookie scooped up 644 points for a ninth-place result of 2:33.93
in the 800m.
Friday's competition will begin at 8:45 a.m. with the open and invitational women's hammer throws, followed by the women's discus at 12:15 p.m. and the open women's 5000 meters at 12:20 p.m. to send day three into full swing. The final women's event is the 10,000 meters at 7:45 p.m., while the last men's contest is the 9:20 p.m. invitational hammer throw.
Saturday's slate opens at 9:15 a.m. with the men's open hammer, but the first women's event doesn't take place until the shuttle hurdle relay at 12:40 p.m. The final day wraps up at 5:25 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. with the women's and men's 4x400m relays, respectively.