April 20, 2007
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A trio of University of Tennessee freshmen went three-for-three Friday night at the Vanderbilt Invitational in regional qualifying opportunities. Lady Vols Jackie Areson, Kelly Parrish and Phoebe Wright all earned tickets to the NCAA Mideast Regional Track & Field Championships in Columbia, Mo., on May 25-26.
Areson, from Delray Beach, Fla., was a little more than five seconds shy of breaking the school record in the 3000-meet steeplechase, as she won that event in her first try as a Lady Vol. Her 10:32.53 effort was the best in the field this evening and ranks her second in UT history (behind Elizabeth McCalley's 10:27.65 mark in 2005) and third in the Southeastern Conference this season. Teammate Kelly Parrish (Ocala, Fla.) wasn't far behind, taking third and qualifying in 10:41.54. Her career debut readout is third in UT annals and fourth in the league in 2007.
Areson and Parrish were previously scheduled to run at the Sea Ray Relays last Saturday, but that opportunity did not come when thunderstorms brought a premature end to the competition on the meet's final day.
Phoebe Wright, a freshman from Signal Mountain, Tenn. (Red Bank H.S.) rolled to a 15-second career-best improvement in the 1500m run to punch her ticket to the regional meet as well. Her 4:27:09 performance also was the best of the night. She is the fourth Lady Vol to qualify for regionals in that event, joining sophomores Sarah Bowman and Rolanda Bell and freshman Rose-Anne Galligan.
"That's three good qualifiers tonight," UT Head Coach J.J. Clark said. "Phoebe ran a 15-second personal best from the Wake Forest meet, Jackie was close to the school record in her first race, and Kelly made the regional meet with nine seconds to spare.
"It's very exciting. They are talented, so it's not necessarily a surprise to see them all do this tonight, but I am happy to see that talent come through."
UT will be back in action in three events tomorrow at Vandy, while another group will be in Baton Rouge, La., competing in the Alumni Gold meet on Saturday.
|FRIDAY, APRIL 20 AT VANDERBILT INVITATIONAL|
|1500m (Regional: 4:27.80) 7:00 p.m. CT|
|Inv. 3000mSC (Regional: 10:50.25) 7:55 p.m. CT|
|SATURDAY, APRIL 21 AT VANDERBILT INVITATIONAL|
|Pole Vault (Regional: 12-5.50/3.80m) Noon CT|
|800m (Regional: 2:09.80) 1:15 p.m. CT|
|400m (Regional: 54.61) 2:25 p.m. CT|
|SATURDAY, APRIL 21 AT ALUMNI GOLD|
|Long Jump (Regional: 19-8.25/6.00m) 11:30 a.m. CT|
|Pavi'Elle "Tiki" James|
|Hammer (Regional: 177-8/54.15m) 11:30 a.m. CT|
|Discus (Regional: 155-2/47.30m) 2:00 p.m. CT|
|4x100m Relay (Regional: 45.70) 2:30 pm. CT|
|High Jump (Regional: 5-8.75/1.75m) 2:30 p.m. CT|
|100mH (Regional: 13.92) 3:20 p.m. CT|
|Pavi'Elle "Tiki" James|
|Leigh Ann Burton|
|400m (Regional: 54.61) 3:50 p.m. CT|
|Javelin (Regional: 142-6/43.45m) 4:00 p.m. CT|
|100m (Regional: 11.75) 4:20 p.m. CT|
|Shot Put (Regional: 16.90m) 5:30 p.m. CT|
|200m (Regional: 23.96) 5:40 p.m. CT|