April 30, 2005
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- After winning three Penn Relays Championships of America a year ago, the University of Tennessee women's track & field team unfortunately left Franklin Field empty-handed in 2005. The Lady Vols were unable to capitalize in their final attempt on a rain-soaked Saturday afternoon, as they closed out their stay in front of an estimated crowd of over 40,000 with a sixth-place finish in the 4x800-meter relay.
With indoor 800m collegiate record-holder Nicole Cook out with an injury for this meet, Tennessee attempted to defend its 2004 relay title with three newcomers and junior holdover Brooke Novak (Kaukauna, Wis.). It was not to be, however, as the combination of senior Antoinette Gorham (Glenarden, Md.), Novak, junior Patricia Hall (St. Ann, Jamaica) and sophomore Mindy Sullivan (Lubbock, Texas) navigated the race in 8:40.24. Stanford claimed victory in 8:32.02, holding off runner-up North Carolina (8:32.40) down the homestretch.
"We ran the same exact lineup at the Sea Ray Relays earlier this season, and today that group ran 19 seconds faster," UT Head Coach J.J. Clark said. "We put our best foot forward, ran the best we could and came out healthy. We look forward to moving forward to the SEC Championships in two weeks."
The Lady Vols also learned on Saturday that their second-place finish in the
sprint medley relay on Friday night had been thrown out. The squad was disqualified
for two different violations. Those included a baton pass outside the zone on
the second leg and a break to the inside two strides early on the third leg.
UT's lineup in that 3:47.97 SMR effort, which would have been the fifth-best time in school history, was sophomore Tianna Madison (Elyria, Ohio), freshman Cleo Tyson (Huntsville, Texas), Hall and Gorham.
"We have to be very careful," Clark said. "We are fortunate that there wasn't a Championship of America at stake in this case. We have to make sure to address these mistakes so it doesn't happen in the future."
Clark was the recipient of some good news on Saturday before departing Franklin Field. The third-year Lady Vol skipper was publicly recognized for being chosen as the honorary college women's referee for the meet. Tennessee will return to Knoxville Saturday night and begin focusing on next Friday's Knoxville Twilight meet at Tom Black Track. That meet will be the final tuneup prior to the SEC Outdoor Championships, which will be held in Nashville on May 12-15.
|THURSDAY, APRlL 28 AT THE PENN RELAYS|
|Hammer Throw (Regional: 177-8/54.15m) 11:15 a.m.|
|No Mark||Shanna Dickenson|
|4x100m Relay Prelims (Regional: 45.80) 12:50 p.m.|
|Adv.||Tianna Madison/Courtney Champion|
Toyin Olupona/Cleo Tyson
|44.68p#/1st, ht. 5|
|Discus (Regional: 155-2/47.30m) 3:00 p.m.|
|Distance Medley Relay Champ. (Not An NCAA Event) 4:50 p.m.|
|7th||Brooke Novak/Antoinette Gorham|
Patricia Hall/Felicia Guliford
|Championship 5000m (Regional: 16:52.00) 8:25 p.m.|
|FRIDAY, APRlL 29 AT THE PENN RELAYS|
|Triple Jump (Regional: 40-2.75/12.26m) 11:00 a.m.|
|4x100m Relay Champ. (Regional: 45.80) 1:00 p.m.|
|2nd||Tianna Madison/Courtney Champion|
Toyin Olupona/Cleo Tyson
|Sprint Medley Relay Champ. (Not An NCAA Event) 6:20 p.m.|
|DQ||Tianna Madison/Cleo Tyson|
Patricia Hall/Antoinette Gorham
|SATURDAY, APRlL 30 AT THE PENN RELAYS|
|4x800mR Champ. (Not An NCAA Event) 1:40 p.m.|
|6th|| Antoinette Gorham/Brooke Novak|
Patricia Hall/Mindy Sullivan