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STRONG CLOSE PROPELS UT'S WARD TO FIFTH IN SEA RAY RELAYS HEPTATHLON
Caitlin Ward

Caitlin Ward

April 14, 2005

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- University of Tennessee junior Caitlin Ward closed out the Sea Ray Relays heptathlon in strong fashion with a victory in the 800-meter run and earned the best overall finish and final score of her collegiate career Thursday afternoon at Tom Black Track.


Sea Ray Relays

Ward, from Gibsonia, Pa., racked up a personal-record 4,792 points in the seven-event, two-day competition to place fifth, easily recording the finest finish of her career. The performance supplanted her 4,692 output at the 2004 SEC Outdoor Championships and trumped her ninth-place outing at last year's Sea Ray Relays.

With the weather in stark contrast to Wednesday's cold and rainy scenario, Jessica Stockard of Georgia took this year's title under warm sunshine and a cloudless sky, surging to an NCAA provisional point total of 5,369 to give the Bulldogs their first-ever Sea Ray Relays heptathlon champion. Also registering NCAA safety marks were runner-up Bridgette Ingram (unattached) at 5,147 and third-place finisher and day-one leader Tamara McGill of Pittsburgh at 5,137.

As for Ward, the third-year performer closed out a consistent effort at the meet with her third-consecutive heptathlon 800-meter run triumph, following up wins at last year's Sea Ray and SEC meets. Ward ran a conservative first lap but kicked it into high gear on the final 400 meters, running away from the rest of the field for a victory in 2:19.19 and a haul of 835 points in the event.

"It was a good meet for Caitlin, Lady Vol Head Coach J.J. Clark said. "I am proud of the way she is putting things together. There is always room to improve, but she was very strong in the 800m, solid in the hurdles and had a decent long jump result.

"Overall, it was a good start for her outdoors. It is definitely better than the indoor season began. She'll come back tomorrow and do a couple more open events, and we'll try to keep her moving in the right direction."

To start the day, Ward came up with 680 points in the long jump, leaping 17-9.75/5.43m with a legal wind of 1.8 meters per second at her back. Her fifth-place finish and point total moved her to fifth overall in the standings with 3,575 points.

She dropped back to seventh overall with 3,957 points after tallying 382 for a 13th-place throw of 81-11/24.96m in the javelin. Then, however, she closed strong in the 800 meters to wind up fifth overall and begin her season in very positive fashion.

Day three action kicks into gear at 8:45 a.m. Friday, as the women's hammer throw features an open division to start the morning, followed by an invitational section at 10:45 a.m. Lady Vol record-holder Ariel Brooks is slated to take part in the latter event.

Running events commence with the men's open 3000m steeplechase at 12:40 p.m., and the day concludes at 9:20 p.m. with the men's invitational hammer throw

Live results from the 2005 Sea Ray Relays may be found at www.utladyvols.com.

THURSDAY, APRlL 14 AT THE SEA RAY RELAYS
EVENT (NCAA DIV. I QUALIFYING MARKS)
Heptathlon (Auto: 5,500; Prov: 5,000) 4:00 p.m.
5th Caitlin Ward 4,792!/Final Score
long jump: 5th, 17-9.75/5.43m (w: 1.8) 680 pts/3,575/5th
javelin throw: 13th, 81-11/24.96m, 382 pts./3,957/7th
800m: 1st, 2:19.19 835 pts/4,792!/5th
WEDNESDAY, APRlL 13 AT THE SEA RAY RELAYS
EVENT (NCAA DIV. I QUALIFYING MARKS)
Heptathlon (Auto: 5,500; Prov: 5,000) 4:00 p.m.
6th Caitlin Ward 2,895!/Day One Score
100m hurdles: 12th, 15.08! (w: 0.4) 831 pts./831/12th
high jump: 14th, 4-10.25/1.48m 599 pts./1,430/14th
shot put: 5th, 35-8.75/10.89m 588 pts./2,018/11th
200 meters: 2nd, 25.11 (w: 0.2) 877 pts./2,895/6th

 

 

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