April 16, 2011
By Eric Trainer, Associate Director of Media Relations
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee track & field teams got some good work in on the final day of the 45th-annual Sea Ray Relays. The Big Orange also came away with seven victories Saturday, as relay events were the prime focus on a cold and blustery day at Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium.
The Lady Vols crossed the finish line first in the shuttle hurdle relay, distance medley relay and 4x100m relay events and closed the day with a triumph in the 4x400m relay. The Vols, who managed multiple second and third-place outcomes on the afternoon, also closed the meet by racing to victory in the 4x4.
Individually, junior Annie Alexander was a double winner, seizing her third meet title in the women's discus and taking the shot put crown as well. She and classmate Ellen Wortham, who won the 400m hurdles on Friday and contributed to three relay victories on Saturday, were chosen the female winners of the Tony Wilson Awards for field events and running events, respectively. Andrew Riley, who won the 110m hurdles and was on the first-place 4x200m relay team for Illinois, was the male running event winner, while Kentucky's Keenan Hall took the field event award after winning the triple jump and taking second in the long jump.
"The conditions last night and today were not optimal, but I think we demonstrated a lot of great promise in many different areas this weekend," UT Director of Track & Field J.J. Clark said. "I saw some promising individual accomplishments from Annie Alexander and Ellen Wortham, who were recognized for their achievements. We also did some good things in the relays today and had promise all across the board in the sprints, distance and field events.
"Our teams got some work in here that prepares them for the Penn Relays in a couple of weeks and for the SEC Championships a little further down the line. We definitely come out of this meet having made some progress toward the way we'll compete the rest of the season."
In the women's shuttle hurdle relay, Tennessee won for the first time since the inaugural women's SHR race in 1994. The quartet of junior Ellen Wortham, senior Jená Murphy, junior Bianca Blair and sophomore Kirstyn Sweeney moved up and down the straightaway and over the barriers in 58.63 to hold off runner-up Eastern Kentucky (58.71). UT's mark is the sixth best in school history.
The Lady Vols picked up their fourth meet win in the 4x100m relay in the past five seasons and their ninth overall at this meet. The collaboration of junior Ashley Harris, Wortham, sophomore Martinique Octave and sophomore Kia Jackson moved the stick around the oval in 45.15 to collect its second win in three outings this season.
The Big Orange women added a first-place finish in the distance medley relay, the program's third win in that event. Junior Chanelle Price, freshman Kianna Ruff, senior Liz Costello and junior Brittany Sheffey took care of business with an 11:47.10 result in an event Tennessee is known for on a national scale.
The Lady Vols and Vols closed the day with first-place efforts in the 4x4. The quartet of Ruff, Harris, Wortham and Octave finished the day with a 3:47.31 readout to edge South Florida (3:47.78) for the program's eighth women's win at this meet in that event. The UT men, meanwhile, broke through for their first win on the final day. They earned a nearly two-second victory via a 3:12.48 count registered by senior Nathan Grace, junior Deaundra Dailey, sophomore Matt Bergquist and junior Varick Tucker. It was the Vols' fifth 4x4 title at this meet.
As for Alexander, her mark of 178-7 was good enough to win by nearly three feet and gave her Sea Rays discus title number three of her career. She also won as a freshman in 2008 and was victorious last season while competing unattached. Alexander is undefeated in three meets this season in the discus and has 17 career victories in that event.
She came back later to add the shot put championship to her resume'. It didn't come easy for Alexander, as she had to unleash a toss of 54-1 on her final attempt to hold off Louisville's Khadija Abdallah, who was primed for the upset. She now has eight outdoor shot victories to her credit.
The Vols cranked out a trio of runner-up relay performances, taking second in the 4x200m, 4x800m and distance medley relays. In the 4x2, the combination of redshirt freshman Reggie Juin, Grace, Dailey and freshman Keith Thomas came up just shy of Illinois, recording a 1:27.94 reading to the 1:27.16 effort of the Illini.
It was Illinois once again holding off the Big Orange in the 4x8, winning by a little under two seconds. Redshirt freshman Jordan Chaney, junior Joe Franklin, senior Eric Ryan and senior Peter Sigilai finished in 7:45.10.
In the distance medley relay, Ryan, junior Terry Benson, sophomore Breon Dixon and senior Chris Rapp clocked in at 10:18.27, which left them in second behind Eastern Kentucky (10:14.93). Chaney, Bergquist, Franklin and freshman Jake Rainey were right behind them at 10:19.60.
The Tennessee men had three more third-place finishes. Individually, Fassino cranked out a 9:20.55 readout in the 3000m steeplechase and Desmond Brown stretched the tape to 24-3 3/4 in the long jump. The third effort came from the 4x1500m relay unit, with the tandem of Rapp, Fassino, redshirt freshman Daniel Tobin and junior David Clabo covering the distance in 16:42.54.
Prior to the day's first running event, 12 Tennessee seniors were honored. Vols recognized included Alan Bachman, Minor Bowens, Grace, Rapp, Ryan, Sigilai and Spooner. Lady Vol seniors include Liz Costello, Holly Kane, Jená Murphy, Brittany Napoli and Kim White.
Tennessee will return to action next week at two different meets. The throwers will head to LaJolla, Calif., to compete in the UCSD Triton Invitational. Other members of the squad will head over to Nashville to take part in the Vanderbilt Invitational. Both meets run Friday and Saturday.
Invitational Discus Throw: 1. Annie Alexander, 178-7/54.43m
Shot Put: 1. Annie Alexander, 54-1/16.48m; 14. Laquoya Kelly, 39-5.25/12.02m
Shuttle Hurdle Relay: 1. Ellen Wortham / Bianca Blair / Jená Murphy / Kirstyn Sweeney, 58.63
Distance Medley Relay: 1. Chanelle Price / Kianna Ruff / Liz Costello / Brittany Sheffey, 11:47.10; 3. Ramzee Fondren / Brittney Jackson / Elizabeth Altizer / Amber Zimmerman, 12:04.59
4x100m Relay: 1. Ashley Harris / Ellen Wortham / Martinique Octave / Kia Jackson, 45.15
4x400m Relay: 1. Kianna Ruff / Ashley Harris / Ellen Wortham / Martinique Octave, 3:47.31; DNF - Jená Murphy / Chanelle Price / Ty-Vonna Johnson / Brittney Jackson
4x800m Relay: 3. Ramzee Fondren / Ty-Vonna Johnson / Elizabeth Altizer / Kim White, 9:24.50; 11. Kelsey Kane / Chelsea Knotts / Andrea Ferri / Elizabeth Tiller, 10:19.88
4x200m Relay: 4. Kia Jackson / Ashley Harris / Martinique Octave / Brittany Jones, 1:39.58
Javelin: 6. Holly Kane, 134-3/40.92m; 11. Katherine Dresch, 120-6/36.73m
Long Jump: NM - Kia Jackson, F; NM - Jazmen Townsend, F
4x400m Relay: 1. Nathan Grace / Deaundra Dailey / Matt Bergquist / Varick Tucker, 3:12.48
4x200m Relay: 2. Reggie Juin / Nathan Grace / Deaundra Dailey / Keith Thomas, 1:27.94
Distance Medley Relay: 2. Eric Ryan / Terry Benson / Breon Dixon / Chris Rapp, 10:18.27; 3. Jordan Chaney / Matt Bergquist / Joe Franklin / Jake Rainey, 10:19.60
4x800m Relay: 2. Jordan Chaney / Joe Franklin / Eric Ryan / Peter Sigilai, 7:45.10
3000m Steeplechase: 3. Steve Fassino, 9:20.55; 4. Michael Spooner, 9:25.24; 5. Daniel Tobin, 9:30.04; 8. Tom Gilmartin, 9:39.40; 13. Alex McCandless, 9:57.84!
Long Jump: 3. Desmond Brown, 24-3.75/7.41w (w: 3.8)
4x1500m Relay: 3. Chris Rapp / Steve Fassino / Daniel Tobin / David Clabo, 16:42.54; 4. Jake Rainey / Tyler Freeman / Michael Spooner / Chris Bodary, 16:57.90; DNF - Scott March / Tom Gilmartin / Alex McCandless / Eric Ryan
Invitational Pole Vault: 5. Joe Berry, 16-6.75/5.05m; NM - Robert Rasnick, F
Hammer Throw: 8. Drew Thomas, 170-7/52.00m
Javelin Throw: 12. Les Gilbert, 150-7/45.89m; 13. Blake Hamilton, 149-4/45.52m
400m Hurdles: 1. Ellen Wortham, 57.48; 5. Bianca Blair, 1:01.60; 9. Jená Murphy, 1:02.04!; 16. Kirstyn Sweeney, 1:03.56!
Invitational 800m: 1. Chanelle Price, 2:06.90; 5. Kianna Ruff, 2:10.44; 6. Ramzee Fondren, 2:10.94; 9. Brittney Jackson, 2:12.29; 23. Ty-Vonna Johnson, 2:18.77; 26. Kim White, 2:20.23
5000m: 1. Liz Costello, 16:12.30!; 8. Elizabeth Tiller, 19:25.14
Open Discus: 2. Jessie Harrison, 153-0/46.64m!
1500m: 3. Brittany Sheffey, 4:23.47; 12. Amber Zimmerman, 4:41.92!; 15. Elizabeth Altizer, 4:44.81!; 19. Kelsey Kane, 4:54.21; 23. Nijgia Snapp, 5:12.06
400m Dash: 4. Martinique Octave, 54.54!
100m Hurdles: 5. Ellen Wortham, 13.76!/1st, ht. 2 (w: 0.7); 8. Bianca Blair, 14.28/1st, ht. 3 (w: -0.8); 15. Jená Murphy, 14.67!/1st, ht. 4 (w: 0.3); 27. 15.49/5th, ht. 4 (w: 0.3)
200m Dash: 6. Martinique Octave, 24.01! (w: 0.4); 7. Kia Jackson, 24.02! (w: 0.3); 10. Brittany Jones, 24.18 (w: 0.4); 15. Ashley Harris, 24.34 (w: 1.1); 54. Jasmen Townsend, 25.95 (w: -0.5)
100m Dash: 7. Kia Jackson, 11.83 (w: 0.8); 15. Ashley Harris, 12.05 (w: -0.5); 17. Brittany Jones, 12.07 (w: -0.6)
Pole Vault: 12. Linda Hadfield, 11-5.75/3.50m
Triple Jump: 8. Allison Outerbridge, 38-3.50/11.67m (w: 0.0); NM -
Unseeded 800m: 5. Chelsea Knotts, 2:24.25
Unseeded 1500m: 7. Andrea Ferri, 5:07.01
1500m: 1. Peter Sigilai, 3:50.77; 5. Jordan Chaney, 3:54.10!; 7. Eric Ryan, 3:55.17; 11. Chris Bodary, 3:56.90!; 14. Chris Rapp, 3:58.85; 22. David Clabo, 4:10.10; 23. Scott March, 4:10.50; DNF - Michael Spooner
Open Pole Vault: 2. Chase Brannon, 16-6.75/5.05m!; 3. Tyler Porter, 16-0.75/4.90m
400m Dash: 3. Varick Tucker, 47.37!; 5. Dentarius Locke, 47.61!; 6. Deaundra Dailey, 48.36
100m Dash: 5. Jarael Nelvis, 10.68 (w: 1.7); 30. Reggie Juin, 11.25 (w: 0.3); 36. Keith Thomas, 11.34! (w: -0.1); 40. Joachim De Bock,11.56 (w: 0.3)
5000m: 6. Jake Rainey, 14:51.66; 10. Tyler Freeman, 15:07.60
Open Discus: 6. Minor Bowens, 144-7/44.07m
110m Hurdles: 7. Terry Benson, 14.28! (w: 1.2)
400m Hurdles: 8. Terry Benson, 52.54; 22. Matt Bergquist, 55.30
200m Dash: 10. Nathan Grace, 21.81 (w: 1.3); 18. Deaundra Dailey, 22.03 (w: 0.3); 22. Reggie Juin, 22.22 (w: 1.3); 30. Keith Thomas, 22.78! (w: 0.2); 31. Joachim De Bock, 22.78 (w: -0.2)
Invitational 800m: 21. Ford Bell, 1:56.03; 22. Breon Dixon, 1:56.27
! - personal record, DNF - did not finish, DQ - disqualified, F - foul, fr - facility record, FS - false start, h - heat, m - meters, mr - meet record, NM - no mark registered, NH - no height registered, p - preliminary round, sr - school record, w - wind-aided