April 9, 2004

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University of Tennessee freshman Tianna Madison rocketed to victory in the open 100-meter dash and led a group of seven Lady Vols who charted NCAA regional qualifying marks Friday on the third day of the 38th-annual Sea Ray Relays at UT's Tom Black Track.

Tianna Madison wins the 100m dash

Madison, from Elyria, Ohio, dropped her lifetime best over 2/10ths of a second and clocked in at 11.50 to become the first Lady Vol victor in that event at the meet since Kelli White in 1999. In addition to becoming the sixth Tennessee winner ever in the Sea Rays 100m, Madison more importantly earned a trip to the NCAA Mideast Regional in Baton Rouge, La., on May 28-29. Joining Madison in qualifying was junior Toyin Olupona (Orillia, Ontario, Canada), who took fourth in a career-best 11.64. Running in heat one, both athletes competed with a legal wind of 0.4 meters per second.

Madison's victory didn't come without drama, though, as she had to lean at the line to hold off South Carolina's Khalilah Carpenter, a fellow Ohioan whose time of 11.51 was just 1/100th of a second behind Madison's on the video timing board. Felica Fant of North Carolina State was third in 11.56.

The Tennessee success continued in the pole vault, where sophomore Jessica Reust sailed over the second-best height in school history to snare second place overall, first among collegians, at 12-11.50/3.95m. Reust, from Knoxville, improved her NCAA regional qualifying status from a 12-3.50/3.75m effort two weekends ago and possesses the number-two vault in UT annals behind record-holder Christie Elwin (13-2.25/4.02m, 5/30/03).

Ebbie Metzinger of Indiana Invaders cleared the same height as Reust but won the title by virtue of fewer missed attempts. In addition to Reust, Lady Vol sophomores Kendra Rhyne (Andersonville, Tenn.) and Jessica Andrews (Rockford, Tenn.) notched personal records as well. Rhyne matched her career-topper, tying for ninth with a clearance of 12-3.50/3.75m. Andrews, meanwhile, tied for 12th at 11-5.75/3.50m.

In the 800 meters, Tennessee added two more to the regional meet travel list, as freshman Leslie Treherne (Chesapeake, Va.) and senior Lindsay Hyatt (Auburn, Calif.) made the cut. Treherne overtook Hyatt and Kentucky's Beth Heimann down the stretch to finish first in heat one and third overall in a career-best 2:07.65. Hyatt, meanwhile, wound up second in the heat and fourth overall in 2:08.10. Unattached competitors Leontine Tsiba and Mishael Bertrand, running in heat two, posted the day's fastest times at 2:06.09 and 2:06.41, respectively.

"Our two freshmen won their individual races today, with Tianna taking the long jump and Leslie winning her heat of the 800 as well as being the top collegiate finisher," UT Coach J.J. Clark said. "Jessica Reust also did a great job in the pole vault, getting a PR and clearing over 12-11 today."

Senior Kameisha Bennett added another regional qualifier, racing to a career-best time of 53.51 to place fourth in the 400-meter run. Bennett's previous best in the outdoor 400m was a 55.4 hand time from her prep days at Meadowdale High School in Dayton, Ohio.

"Overall it was a good day, and we performed in fine fashion," Clark said. "The idea is to continue qualifying for the NCAA regional and getting people ready for the SEC Championships. This is certainly a great meet to help get people where they need to be at the end of the year."

In the 3000 meters, sophomores Brooke Novak (Kaukauna, Wis.) and Felicia Guliford (Gallup, N.M.) looked sharp earlier in the day in their initial races at that distance outdoors. Novak finished second in 9:35.86, crossing the line behind Catherine Berry of Asics, who won her fourth-straight Sea Rays 3K crown in 9:21.35. Guliford took third in 9:38.06, and redshirt freshman Carly Matthews (Winston-Salem, N.C.) covered the distance in 10:12.37 to place 15th.

The distance brigade worked in unison in the team's final event of the day, the 4x1500-meter relay. The quartet of Bennett, Guliford, sophomore Katie Flaute (Dayton, Ohio) and Matthews navigated the Tom Black Track oval in 18:59.30 to finish fifth in that race's debut for the women at Sea Rays. The mark ranks as the fourth-best in UT history, while Michigan goes down as the inaugural winner with a time of 18:05.32.

"Kameisha has never run further than 800 meters in competition," Clark said. "She ran a good 400 early today and then came back and ran a fine leg on the 4x1500."

Elsewhere, junior Sara Vigil (Tucson, Ariz.) was 14th in the open hammer throw at 140-7/42.85m; Flaute (Dayton, Ohio) and redshirt freshman Mindy Sullivan (Lubbock, Texas) were 28th and 33rd, respectively, in the 1500 meters in career-best times of 4:40.54 and 4:43.13; sophomore Catherine Wright (Knoxville, Tenn.) was 34th in the 100-meter hurdles in a PR 16.35; and junior Antoinette Gorham (Glenarden, Md.) was 40th in the 800 meters at 2:16.29.

Saturday's slate opens at 9:15 a.m. ET 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.

Sea Ray Notes: Amber Campbell of Coastal Carolina set the Tom Black Track collegiate record with a throw of 218-02/66.49m in the hammer throw...old mark was 217-10/66.41m by Candice Scott of Florida, 5/16/03...Melissa Morrison of Speed Elite seized her third-straight Sea Ray Relays 100m hurdles victory and her fifth overall in 12.93 (w: -0.8), which is the second-fastest time in the world this season and the best by an American thus far...Ebony Foster of N.C. State, who was second to Morrison in 13.08, ran the fastest collegiate time in the 100m hurdles this season, the fourth fastest in the world this year and the second-best by an American in 2004...Colleen Scott, competing unattached, charted a Sea Ray Relays record in the triple jump, winning with a leap of 45-3.75/13.81m (w: 1.2) to topple the old mark of 44-8.25/13.62m, set by Trecia Smith of Pittsburgh, 4/15/00...Catherine Berry of Asics (formerly of ETSU) claimed her fourth-straight Sea Ray Relays 3000m title (9:21.35)...Marina Muncan of Villanova won her second-straight 1500m title at Sea Ray Relays, clocking in at 4:17.27.





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