April 8, 2005


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- University of Tennessee junior Ariel Brooks broke her own school record in the hammer throw Friday night, notching the top Lady Vol performance on the first day of the Gatorade Classic at UT's Tom Black Track. It was not enough, however, to keep the Big Ten Conference from taking a 54.50 to 23.50 day-one lead over the Southeastern Conference in the league vs. league scored competition.

Buoyed by 25 points in the hammer and 29.50 in the javelin, the Big Ten will head into Saturday's action with a head start. Second-day action is slated to get underway at 1:30 p.m. with the women's long jump, where NCAA champion Tianna Madison of Tennessee is a late addition to the list of competitors. Running events begin at 2 p.m., and the final event of the meet is the men's 4x400m relay, set for 6 p.m.

Brooks' toss of 182 feet, 10 inches (55.72m), toppled her two-week-old UT hammer mark of 180-2, which had already guaranteed the Miami, Fla., native a spot in the NCAA Mideast Regional meet in Bloomington, Ind., on May 27-28. It was good enough for third-place overall at the Big Orange's first home meet of the outdoor season. Freshman Shanna Dickenson (Cincinnati, Ohio) registered a career-best throw of 159-2/48.51m to take 10th, while junior April Thomas (Albany, Ga.) was 12th at 150-5/45.85m.

In the final event of Friday's festivities, freshman Amara McKell (Nashville, Tenn.) grabbed sixth in the javelin throw with a fling of 121-3/36.96m, while junior Caitlin Ward (Gibsonia, Pa.) was 10th at 83-6/25.45m. Ruby Radocaj of Minnesota claimed first place with a meet-record heave of 149-3/45.50m, toppling the 2002 mark of 149-1/45.45m by former Lady Vol Denita Miller.





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