April 14, 2007
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Thunderstorms brought the 41st-annual Sea Ray Relays to a premature close Saturday afternoon at UT's Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium, but not before the host Lady Volunteers claimed a victory and an NCAA regional mark in the 4x100m relay.
With 12 events in the books on the final day and four more underway at the time, lightning forced meet officials to clear the stadium at 2:22 p.m. Eastern Time. About 24 minutes later, at 2:46 p.m., the meet was officially ended due to a line of thunderstorms that was expected to continue moving through the area for the remainder of the day and night. A total of 13 events were left uncontested.
The Tennessee women were fortunate enough, though, to make their 2007 debut in the 4x1 before the heavy weather set in. The UT quartet cruised to the program's first Sea Ray Relays victory in that event since 1999 with a readout of 44.05 seconds. That mark, which qualified the Big Orange for the NCAA Mideast Regional in late May, ranks fourth-fastest in the collegiate ranks this season. Handling the stick for the Lady Vols were freshman Nia Ali (Philadelphia, Pa.), junior Courtney Champion (Lawrenceville, Ga.), freshman Lynne Layne (New Rochelle, N.Y.) and junior LaTonya Loche (Bastrop, La.).
After winning the invitational hammer with a school-record pop of 198 feet, three inches on Friday, junior Shanna Dickenson (Cincinnati, Ohio) came back to take third in the invitational discus on Saturday with a fling of 162-6. Classmate Amara McKell (Nashville, Tenn.) tied her career best with a toss of 153-10 to take fifth. Norway's Grete Etholm Snyder won her second straight Sea Rays title with a measurement of 169-6.
Dickenson's performances garnered her the distinction of being named the Tony Wilson Award Winner for Female Field Events. She, along with 2005 winner Tianna Madison, are the only Lady Vols to win that award for field events since it was first given in 1993. Penn State's Shana Cox, winner of the 400 meters on Friday in a time (51.81) that ranked No. 2 in the NCAA ranks and fifth in the world this season, was the recipient of the award for female running events.
Tennessee secured a fourth-place finish in the distance medley relay. The combination of sophomore Sarah Bowman (Warrenton, Va.), senior Leslie Treherne (Chesapeake, Va.), sophomore Rolanda Bell (Laurelton, N.Y.) and freshman Rose-Anne Galligan (County Kildare, Ireland) covered the distance in 11:17.96. It was the final home appearance of her career for Treherne, who was joined by classmates Katie Flaute (Dayton, Ohio), Felicia Guliford (Gallup, N.M.) and Carly Matthews in Senior Day recognitions on the track before the day's races began.
UT sophomores Pavi'Elle "Tiki" James (Miami, Fla.) and Celriece Law (Denver, Colo.) were competing in the long jump when action was stopped. James had the second-best leap at 18-3, while Law was third at 17-11 3/4.
"Obviously, it was very good to get a qualifying mark in the 4x100m relay before the meet was suspended," UT Head Coach J.J. Clark said. "We are disappointed that it came to that (meet ending early), but that's the way things happen some times.
"We were fortunate to get in the qualifying performances we did over the past four days. There were still some marks we had hoped to achieve today, so we need to figure out where to go in the coming weeks to get those."
The Lady Vols resume action next weekend, as they are expected to travel to Baton Rouge, La., to compete in the Alumni Gold meet at LSU on Saturday.
|FRIDAY, APRIL 13|
|Inv. Hammer (Regional: 177-8/54.15m) 10:45 a.m.|
|High Jump (Regional: 5-8.75/1.75m) 1:00 p.m.|
|Leigh Ann Burton|
|Pole Vault (Regional: 12-5.50/3.80m) 1:00 p.m.|
|100mH (Regional: 13.92) 2:30 p.m.|
|5th||Celriece Law||13.75# (w: -1.2)|
|6th||Pavi'Elle "Tiki" James||13.99 (w: -1.2)|
|44th||Leigh Ann Burton||16.52 (w: -1.2)|
|Open 100m (Regional: 11.75) 3:15 p.m.|
|1st||Lynne Layne||11.62!# (w: 0.8)|
|400m (Regional: 54.61) 4:05 p.m.|
|800m (Regional: 2:09.80) 6:10 p.m.|
|Javelin (Regional: 142-6/43.45m) 7:00 p.m.|
|1500m (Regional: 4:27.80) 7:00 p.m.|
|SATURDAY, APRIL 14|
|Inv. Discus (Regional: 155-2/47.30m) 12:45 p.m.|
|Distance Medley Relay (Not An NCAA Event) 1:20 p.m.|
|4th||Sarah Bowman/Leslie Treherne|
Rolanda Bell/Rose-Anne Galligan
|Long Jump (Regional: 19-8.25/6.00m) 1:30 p.m.|
|2nd||Pavi'Elle "Tiki" James||18-3/5.56m|
|Nia Ali||no jumps made|
|Leigh Ann Burton||no jumps made|
|4x100m Relay (Regional: 45.70) 2:00 pm.|
|1st|| Nia Ali/Courtney Champion|
Lynne Layne/LaTonya Loche
|Shot Put (Regional: 16.90m) 2:30 p.m.|
|Nia Ali||no throws made|
# - NCAA Regional Qualifier, * - NCAA Automatic Qualifier, + - NCAA Provisional Qualifier, ! - Personal Record (Outdoors), dnf - Did Not Finish, dnq -Did Not Qualify, dnr - Did Not Run, dns - Did Not Start, dq - Disqualified, f - Facility Record, fs - False Start, h - Hand Times, nm - No Mark, p - Prelims, s - School Record (Outdoors).