UT Women Impressive at Volunteer Track Classic

April 18, 2009

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Sophomore Annie Alexander's national-leading throw in the discus was the crown jewel of a star-studded performance Saturday by the sixth-ranked University of Tennessee women at the Volunteer Track Classic. The Big Orange women put on a dominating display in their first year of competition at this meet, winning 10 of 13 events on the final day of the 46th-annual meet at UT's Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium.

In all, the Lady Vols collected victories in the all three sprints, both middle distance races, one hurdle event, two field events and a pair of relays on Saturday and posted 13 wins out of 20 events on the weekend. In addition to Alexander's NCAA topper on the final day, the Big Orange added new regional marks in the 4x100m relay and long jump, as well as eight personal bests.

"It was a good day," UT Head Coach J.J. Clark said. "All I was looking for this week is to keep getting sharp for next week (Penn Relays) and put some more regional marks on the board. There were many marks in many areas that were improvements, from the field events, to the throws, to the distance, to the sprints, to the relays. They all did something good today. It was just a good, solid, fun meet where we could stay home and get some good work done."

Alexander, who entered the weekend with a season best of 174 feet, two inches in the discus, unleashed a bomb of 187-10 on her final throw of the competition to move to the top of the NCAA list this season. Her win was the 11th out of 16 discus competitions during her brief UT career. Freshman Akeela Bravo was third at 140-0, while fellow rookie Christine Coppola was fourth at 135-1.

"Coach Frazier does a great job with the throws group, and you know Annie is very talented," Clark said. "I am not going to say I am surprised that she is throwing well, but it is certainly good to see that. We look forward to bigger marks as the year comes to a close."

Junior Lynne Layne also had an impressive showing at Tom Black Track for the second consecutive meet. Named the Tony Wilson Award winner as the most valuable performer in the running events last weekend, she came back and had a hand in four victories this weekend.

First, Layne helped Tennessee in the 4x100m relay and raised some hope for later this season. Despite a less-than-ideal exchange between the second and third legs, the Lady Vol quartet of senior Celriece Law, freshman Ashley Harris, freshman Ellen Wortham and Layne carried the baton to victory with their initial NCAA regional qualifying mark of the season. Layne's sizzling anchor leg was instrumental in UT posting a 45.55 readout that ranks them fifth in the SEC.

Layne added her second regional qualifier and victory of the afternoon in the long jump. She won the competition by nearly a foot by leaping to a career-best-tying 19 feet, 11 1/2 inches.

The third victory of the meet for Layne came in the 100-meter dash, where she raced to a time of 11.56. Harris was fourth at 12.10, while Chardae Hancock was fifth in a career-best 12.24.

The product of New Rochelle, N.Y., closed her strong day by winning the 200m dash in a season-best 23.49 clocking with a gust of 3.1 meters per second at her back. Law was third at 24.37, followed by Harris in fourth at 24.54 and junior Chardae Hancock in 10th at 26.53.

Law, meanwhile, also collected a victory in the 100m hurdles, out-dueling SEC rival Kim Laing of Alabama. Law, the SEC Indoor champ and NCAA runner-up in the 60-meter hurdles, didn't get out well, but she closed strong and posted a 13.35 clocking. Laing was second in 13.48. UT's Hancock was seventh in a personal-best 14.51.

Senior Sarah Bowman led a one-two finish in the 800 meters with a victorious 2:04.81 result. That mark, just shy of her 2:04.48 career best, moved her to No. 2 in the SEC this season and to fifth nationally. Classmate Rolanda Bell was second at 2:11.26. Other UT finishers included sophomore Kim White in fifth at 2:20.05 and freshmen Charity Honeycutt and Chelsea Knotts in sixth and eighth places, respectively, at 2:21.11 and 2:23.27.

Tennessee also went one-two in the 400 meters. For the second straight weekend, junior Phoebe Wright zipped around the track in a personal best readout, this time at 54.36, to win. That mark improves her to No. 4 in the SEC this season. Freshman Chanelle Price, meanwhile, was second in 55.12.

Junior Jackie Areson was unchallenged in running away with the 1500 meters. Her 4:30.21 readout was nearly 14 seconds faster than the second-place and career-best time of 4:44.11 of freshman teammate Ramzee Fondren.

The last event of the weekend came in the 4x400m relay, where the quartet of Wortham, Price, Wright and senior Amanda Alexander came home in 3:42.63. UT's "B" lineup of Fondren, Bowman, Bell and Areson was third in 3:59.77.

In the 400m hurdles, the first collegiate running event of the day, Wortham was second in 1:01.98, while Alexander finished fourth in a career-best 1:03.02. Alabama's Owens took first in 1:01.44. Wortham also competed in the high jump, taking third with a leap of 5-3. Alabama's Chealsea Taylor took the high jump at 5-8 3/4.

In the javelin throw, sophomore Holly Kane took fourth with a fling of 129-10, while redshirt freshman Brittany Napoli was seventh at 102-0.

Clark was pleased with the team's first appearance at the meet, saying, "it's definitely something I'd like to do again. I believe you can make it work with some adjustments through the meet. I've heard a lot of the coaches say today that they thought it adds a little spice to the meet. We'll talk it out with the meet director and probably keep doing it in the future."

Tennessee will depart Wednesday for Philadelphia, where the Lady Vols will compete Thursday to Saturday in the 115th running of the Penn Relays at the University of Pennsylvania's Franklin Field.

Hammer Throw (Regional: 177-8/54.15m) Noon
3rd Laquoya Kelly 157-1/47.89m!
6th Holly Kane 142-2/43.33m
7th Akeela Bravo 141-3/43.05m
9th Christine Coppola 135-8/41.35m!
Shot Put (Regional: 46-11/14.30m) 5:00 p.m.
1st Annie Alexander 52-10.75/16.12m#
3rd Laquoya Kelly 43-8/13.31m
6th Akeela Bravo 38-2/11.63m
Pole Vault (Regional: 12-7.50/3.85m) 5:00 p.m.
1st Alicia Essex 12-11.50/3.95m#
4x800m Relay (Not An NCAA Event) 6:25 p.m.
1st Chanelle Price/Rolanda Bell 8:52.79
Sarah Bowman/Phoebe Wright
2nd Ramzee Fondren/Kim White 9:34.80
Charity Honeycutt/Chelsea Knotts
3000m (Not An NCAA Event) 9:10 p.m.
6th Michele Levy 10:46.86!
8th Elizabeth Tiller 11:29.72!
400mH (Regional: 1:00.82) 10:30 a.m.
2nd Ellen Wortham 1:01.98
4th Amanda Alexander 1:03.02!
100mH (Regional: 13.92) Noon
1st Celriece Law 13.35# (w: 1.2)
7th Chardae Hancock 14.51! (w: 1.2)
4x100m Relay (Regional: 45.70) 12:30 p.m.
1st Celriece Law/Ashley Harris 45.55#
Ellen Wortham/Lynne Layne
Discus (Regional: 155-2/47.30m) 12:30 p.m.
1st Annie Alexander 187-10/57.26m#
3rd Akeela Bravo 140-0/42.68m!
4th Christine Coppola 135-1/41.18m
High Jump (Regional: 5-8.75/1.75m) 12:30 p.m.
3rd Ellen Wortham 5-3/1.60m
1500m (Regional: 4:27.80) 1:05 p.m.
1st Jackie Areson 4:30.21
2nd Ramzee Fondren 4:44.11!
Long Jump (Regional: 19-8.25/6.00m) 2:00 p.m.
1st Lynne Layne 19-11.50/6.08m!# (w: 1.1)
100m (Regional: 11.75) 2:15 p.m.
1st Lynne Layne 11.56# (w: 0.5)
4th Ashley Harris 12.10 (w: 0.5)
5th Chardae Hancock 12.24! (w: 1.6)
Javelin (Regional: 142-6/43.45m) 2:15 p.m.
4th Holly Kane 129-10/39.58m
7th Brittany Napoli 102-0/31.08m
400m (Regional: 54.61) 2:35 p.m.
1st Phoebe Wright 54.36!#
2nd Chanelle Price 55.12
800m (Regional: 2:09.80) 2:50 p.m.
1st Sarah Bowman 2:04.81#
2nd Rolanda Bell 2:11.26
5th Kim White 2:20.05!
6th Charity Honeycutt 2:21.11
8th Chelsea Knotts 2:23.27!
200m (Regional: 23.96) 3:40 p.m.
1st Lynne Layne 23.49w# (w: 3.1)
3rd Celriece Law 24.37w (w: 3.1)
4th Ashley Harris 24.54w (w: 3.1)
7th Chardae Hancock 26.53w (w: 3.1)
4x400m Relay (Regional: 3:42.00) 4:35 p.m.
1st Ellen Wortham/Chanelle Price 3:42.63
Phoebe Wright/Amanda Alexander
3rd Ramzee Fondren/Sarah Bowman 3:59.77
Rolanda Bell/Jackie Areson
# - 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).





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