April 9, 2005
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Sophomore Tianna Madison began the second day of the 2005 Gatorade Classic with a bang. The University of Tennessee long jumper unleashed a world-leading mark of 22 feet, four-and-one-half inches on her initial attempt of Saturday's first event, igniting a very productive day for the top-ranked women's track & field team in the nation.
Under sunny skies at UT's Tom Black Track, Madison set the tone early, also establishing school and meet records in the long jump and ringing the bell as the first of eight Lady Volunteers to meet NCAA regional qualifying standards and of five to claim victory on the afternoon. Those efforts, combined with Ariel Brooks' school-record hammer throw result on Friday night, helped propel the Southeastern Conference female conglomeration of UT, South Carolina and Kentucky to a head-to-head victory in the team competition over women's Big Ten schools Minnesota, Penn State and Wisconsin, 379-310.
"The team's objective was to continue qualifying people for the regional meet and start moving the pieces into place for where we want to be," UT Head Coach J.J. Clark said. "It was a good meet, overall, but we want to keep pressing forward in pursuit of our goals.
"In terms of the outcome of the team competition, the SEC is the best conference in the country. I expected us to come together as a league and do well, and that is what we did. The Big Ten entered today with a nice lead (54.50-23.50) and extended it with some good field event performances, but the SEC really showed its strength today in the sprints and jumps and had a solid meet in the distance races."
Madison, who last week was named Sports Illustrated On Campus's Indoor Track Athlete of the Year for her NCAA and SEC Indoor titles in the long jump, overtook former Lady Vol Dedra Davis (22-0.75) for the UT mark and blazed past Daphnie Saunders of LSU (21-5.50) for the meet record. She came back later in the day to finish third in the 100-meter dash with a regional-qualifying and career-best output of 11.41.
Junior Brooke Novak (Kaukauna, Wis.) was the next Lady Vol to claim victory, as she began the outdoor season by cruising to glory in the 1500 meters in 4:26.82 and charting a regional qualifying mark of her own. Indoor collegiate 800-meter record-holder Nicole Cook (Petersburg, Va.), who strained a hamstring muscle just prior to the NCAA Indoor Championship meet, appears to be on her way back into top form, as the senior crossed the line fourth in the 1500m in 4:31.24. Junior Felicia Guliford (Gallup, N.M.), the SEC Indoor 3K and 5K champ, was sixth behind her teammates in a career-best 4:32.77.
In the shot put, junior April Thomas (Albany, Ga.) charted the best throw by a Lady Vol since 2000, improving her NCAA regional qualifying mark to 50-9.50/15.48m to claim victory. She now stands fifth on UT's all-time performers list in that event. In the discus, meanwhile, freshman Shanna Dickenson (Cincinnati, Ohio) led the way, managing a fling of 150-11/45.99m to take seventh, while Thomas was ninth at 143-1/43.61m.
Senior Antoinette Gorham (Glenarden, Md.) and junior Jessica Reust (Knoxville, Tenn.) also delivered first-place finishes, doing so in the 800 meters and pole vault, respectively, with marks that earned them tickets to the regional meet in Bloomington, Ind., on May 27-28. Gorham covered the half-mile distance in 2:09.12, while Reust sailed over 12-11.50/3.85m to earn her victory. Junior Patricia Hall (St. Ann, Jamaica) nearly delivered another regional mark in the 800m, concluding her first collegiate race at that distance in 2:11.54.
In the 200 meters, Madison's sprint corps pals Cleo Tyson (Huntsville, Texas) and Toyin Olupona (Orillia, Ontario, Canada) earned themselves tickets to the regional meet. Tyson, a freshman who was an All-American indoors, turned in a 23.24 half-lapper to finish second, while Olupona, a senior, took sixth in 23.68. Both of those times would have been career bests if not for a slightly gusty 2.7 meters-per-second wind reading.
Sophomore Edra Finley (Mobile, Ala.) added her name to the travel itinerary for Bloomington, when she soared to a personal-record measurement of 40-9.75/12.44m to take third in the triple jump. That leap moves her to third on UT's all-time performers list in that event. She was also ninth in the 100-meter hurdles in a career-best 14.32.
Closing out the Saturday roll call of regional qualifiers for Tennessee was the 4x400-meter relay unit of Hall, Tyson, Gorham and Olupona. The quartet circled the oval in 3:35.18 to easily meet the regional standard and collect second-place honors. UT's "B" group of junior Caitlin Ward (Gibsonia, Pa.), sophomore Leslie Treherne (Chesapeake, Va.), sophomore Mindy Sullivan (Lubbock, Texas) and Novak also met the regional plateau, taking third in 3:37.22.
In other action, involving a non-NCAA event, the Tennessee trio of juniors Carly Matthews (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and Katie Flaute (Dayton, Ohio), and sophomore Megan Cauble (Knoxville, Tenn.) came up with career-best efforts in the 3000 meters. Matthews was seventh in 10:02.30, Flaute was ninth in 10:12.12, while Cauble was 13th in 10:32.17.
"Nicole (Cook) came back and looked good, our 4x4 was pretty sharp even without key people, and Tianna jumped well," Clark said. "Ariel (Brooks) and April (Thomas) came through in the throws, and it was good seeing Brooke Novak get back to form in the 1500 meters. I expected Antoinette (Gorham) to run well, but there were some surprises, such as Patricia Hall looking solid running wire to wire in the 800m. Overall, it was a good meet for us."
The majority of the Lady Vols will also be home next weekend, as the UT women and men host the annual Sea Ray Relays. Additionally, Clark is scheduled to take a small group of distance runners to the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. Both meets run Wednesday through Saturday.
|FRIDAY, APRlL 8 AT THE GATORADE CLASSIC|
(WOMEN'S EVENTS/LADY VOL ENTRIES)
|EVENT (NCAA DIV. I QUALIFYING MARKS)|
|Hammer Throw (Regional: 177-8/54.15m) 5:30 p.m.|
|Javelin (Regional: 141-7/43.15m) 8:00 p.m.|
|SATURDAY, APRlL 9 AT THE GATORADE CLASSIC|
(WOMEN'S EVENTS/LADY VOL ENTRIES)
|EVENT (NCAA DIV. I QUALIFYING MARKS)|
|Long Jump (Regional: 19-6.25/5.95m) 1:30 p.m.|
|1st||Tianna Madison||22-4.50/6.82m#!sm (w: 0.0)|
|7th||Edra Finley||18-7/5.66m (w: 1.3)|
|10th||Caitlin Ward||17-8.25/5.39m (w: 0.0)|
|Discus (Regional: 155-2/47.30m) 2:00 p.m.|
|High Jump (Regional: 5-8.75/1.75m) 2:00 p.m.|
|No Mark||Caitlin Ward|
|1500m (Regional: 4:27.80) 2:45 p.m.|
|100m Hurdles (Regional: 13.95) 3:10 p.m.|
|9th||Edra Finley||14.32! (w: 0.1)|
|17th||Caitlin Ward||15.89 (nwi)|
|18th||Catherine Wright||16.28 (nwi)|
|Triple Jump (Regional: 40-2.75/12.26m) 3:15 p.m.|
|3rd||Edra Finley||40-9.75/12.44m#! (w: 1.5)|
|Pole Vault (Regional: 12-5.50/3.80m) 3:15 p.m.|
|No Mark||Jessica Andrews|
|Shot Put (Regional: 46-11/14.30m) 3:15 p.m.|
|100m (Regional: 11.75) 4:00 p.m.|
|3rd||Tianna Madison||11.41#! (w: 0.1)|
|800m (Regional: 2:09.80) 4:20 p.m.|
|200m (Regional: 23.96) 5:05 p.m.|
|2nd||Cleo Tyson||23.24# (w: 2.7)|
|6th||Toyin Olupona||23.68# (w: 2.7)|
|3000m (Not An NCAA Event) 5:25 p.m.|
|4x400mR (Regional: 3:42.00) 5:55 p.m.|
|2nd|| Patricia Hall/Cleo Tyson |
Antoinette Gorham/Toyin Olupona
|3rd|| Caitlin Ward/Leslie Treherne |
Mindy Sullivan/Brooke Novak