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TYSON ROCKETS TO LADY VOLS' FIRST SEC 100-METER DASH TITLE IN 21 YEARS
Cleo Tyson

Cleo Tyson

May 15, 2005

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Freshman Cleo Tyson roared to victory in the 100-meter dash, seized second in the 200-meter dash and anchored the 4x100-meter relay to runner-up honors Sunday night, and junior Felicia Guliford captured the 5000-meter run title, as the University of Tennessee women finished strong to grab third place at the Southeastern Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Vanderbilt University.

South Carolina claimed its third outdoor league title, adding to trophies in 1999 and 2002, with 145.20 points. As it did indoors, Arkansas grabbed second place, accumulating 124.20 points. Following USC and UA were the Lady Vols with 108.33 points, the highest tally since 1994 and with the best placing since 1995. The rest of the women's team finishes included Georgia (106.20), Auburn (81.50), LSU (78), Alabama (54), Florida (32.16), Kentucky (31), Mississippi (26.40) and Vanderbilt and Mississippi State (12).

"It was a super last day,"UT Head Coach J.J. Clark said. "These youngsters have been competing all year, and they showed me their true character tonight. You have to remember Nicole Cook wasn't able to run in the 800 meters or 4x4, Courtney Champion was not her usual self, Edra Finley had an injury that prevented her from competing and Leslie Treherne was back in Knoxville instead of here. To still come here and perform at this level is a good accomplishment.

 

 

"We have three SEC individual champions, which is the most Tennessee has had since 1991. We also had five runner-up performances. And Cleo Tyson had a banner meet."Tyson exploded quickly out of the blocks and never trailed en route to a surprisingly fleet 11.25 clocking on a cool May evening in the Music City. Favorite Shalonda Solomon of South Carolina followed Tyson across the line in second in 11.29, while Lady Vol senior Toyin Olupona (Orillia, Ontario, Canada) settled for fifth in 11.48 to help UT round up 14 points in the straight sprint.

The victory by the Huntsville, Texas, native is the first time an orange-clad woman has claimed an SEC Outdoor 100m dash title since 1984 (Mary Bolden). Tyson is only the third UT female to win the race at this meet, joining Bolden, Benita Fitzgerald (1981, 1983) and Sharrieffa Barksdale (1982) in that company. The latter two went on to Olympic careers.

The mark by Tyson vaults her into fourth on the NCAA national list and ranks her as the No. 3 American woman and No. 8 female sprinter, period, in the world at this point in the season. It also rates her second on UT's all-time performers list with the third-best clocking in Big Orange annals.

"For Cleo Tyson to come into this meet and win as a freshman shows she is a very talented sprinter,"Clark said. "Shalonda Solomon is just a great competitor. Coach (Caryl Smith) Gilbert had her ready, and Cleo executed very well."Solomon turned the tables later in the evening in the 200 meters, as the USC sprinter rolled to a 22.74 clocking to hold off runner-up Tyson (22.88). The UT speedster once again got out well, but Solomon overcame the Lady Vol's advantage over the final 75 meters to seize top honors. Still, the Lady Vol charted a personal best that ranks her second on UT's all-time performers list with the sixth-quickest clocking. It also moved her to seventh on the U.S. list and ninth on the world list in 2005.

UT's 4x100m relay unit, ranked third nationally, began the evening with a 43.98 result to finish second behind South Carolina and collect eight points. The quartet of sophomore Tianna Madison (Elyria, Ohio), freshman Courtney Champion (Lawrenceville, Ga.), Olupona and Tyson charted its second fastest reading of the season and the eighth-best effort in school history. The outcome was also the best by a UT women's 4x1 since a 1998 foursome took second in Gainesville, Fla.

Tennessee's 4x4, meanwhile, closed the evening in impressive fashion, getting the stick home second in 3:34.02. Tyson, who was the runner-up (with 22 points to 26 for Alabama's Beth Mallory) for the Commissioner's Trophy that goes to the meet's highest scoring individual, also had a hand in that relay. She ran second, joining freshman LaTonya Loche (Bastrop, La.), junior Patricia Hall (St. Ann, Jamaica) and senior Antoinette Gorham (Glenarden, Md.) in that season-best showing.

Guliford, meanwhile, began her finishing kick with 200 meters to go and overtook Auburn's Angela Homan to sweep both the SEC Indoor and Outdoor 5000-meter titles in 2005. The Gallup, N.M., product fashioned her best-ever outdoor 5K time, cruising to a 16:21.27 clip that ranks as the sixth-fastest ever at UT. Guliford's victory in that event is the sixth by a Tennessee harrier and the Lady Vol' second in the past three seasons.

Also running the 5K but not scoring were senior Elizabeth McCalley (Knoxville, Tenn.) in 11th at 17:07.60, sophomore Carly Matthews (Winston-Salem, N.C.) in 14th at 17:19.46 and junior Katie Flaute (Dayton, Ohio) in 18th at 17:35.32.

Junior Patricia Hall (St. Ann, Jamaica) also recorded a runner-up performance and contributed eight points into the hopper in the 400-meter dash. The first-year UT standout challenged South Carolina's Natasha Hastings before taking second in a career-topping 52.24 to Hasting's victorious 51.94. That moves Hall to number four on the NCAA national list and to sixth on UT's all-time performers list.

Hall returned later in the evening to snag sixth-place points in the 400-meter hurdles. She did so with a 61.88 readout in only her second race in that event this season. Her debut came on Friday night in the prelims.

While senior Nicole Cook (Petersburg, Va.) was held out of the 800-meter run final to rest her injured lower right leg, classmate Antoinette Gorham (Glenarden, Md.) turned in the performance of her life. After running a career-best 2:07.72 in Friday's prelims, Gorham came back Sunday night to chart a 2:05.39 count and snag third-place acclaim. It is the first time she has scored in the 800m at SEC Outdoors and the initial occasion she has placed at the meet individually since taking fifth in the 400m as a freshman in 2002.

Junior April Thomas (Albany, Ga.) kicked in six more points to the cause, as she landed a personal-record and third-place heave of 51 feet, 9 3/4 inches (15.79m). Classmate Ariel Brooks (Miami, Fla.) just missed the scoring cut, taking ninth with a PR throw of 45-1.75/13.76m, while freshman Shanna Dickenson was 13th (43-6.50/13.27) and freshman Amara McKell (Nashville, Tenn.) was 14th (42-3.25/12.88m). McKell also took 14th in the javelin throw earlier in the day at 99-2/30.24m.

The Lady Vols added five more points in the 1500 meters, as junior Brooke Novak (Kaukauna, Wis.) and sophomore Mindy Sullivan (Lubbock, Texas) grabbed sixth and seventh positions, respectively, in 4:29.80 and 4:30.51. Novak scored for the third time at SEC Outdoors after taking fifth as a freshman and third as a sophomore, while Sullivan was a point-producer outdoors for the initial time.

Junior Kendra Rhyne (Andersonville, Tenn.) accounted for the rest of the scoring, as she tossed in .33 of a point for an eighth-place tying height of 11-11.75/3.65m. Senior Jessica Andrews (Knoxville, Tenn.) and junior Jessica Reust (Knoxville, Tenn.), the defending SEC champion and school record-holder, both suffered unfortunate no-heights.

"April Thomas fought and came out third in the shot, which is just another of the many examples of how we pulled it together on the last day. It was truly a collective effort, coming from the throws, the sprints, the middle distance, the distance and the vault. Considering our slow start at this meet, I am proud of what the team accomplished here."Tennessee will now begin preparations for the NCAA Mideast Regional meet in Bloomington, Ind., on May 27-28.

THURSDAY, MAY 12 AT THE SEC OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
EVENT (NCAA DIV. I QUALIFYING MARKS)
Heptathlon (Auto: 5,500, Prov: 5,000) 4 p.m. CT
5th Caitlin Ward
(100mH: 9th/15.02!/w: -0.5/839; HJ: 9th/5-4.25/1.63m/771; SP: 4th/37-10/11.53m/630; 200m: 3rd/24.56/w: 0.4/928)
3168!/First Day Score
FRIDAY, MAY 13 AT THE SEC OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
Hammer Throw (Regional: 177-8/54.15m) 1 p.m. CT
8th (1 pt.) Ariel Brooks 183-9/56.01m#
17th April Thomas 167-1/50.94m!
21st Shanna Dickenson 149-3/45.50m
Heptathlon (Auto: 5,500, Prov: 5,000) 4 p.m. CT
4th (5 pts.) Caitlin Ward
(LJ: 10th/17-4.25/5.29m/w: 0.4/640; JT: 9th/93-8!/28.54m/449; 800m: 1st/2:18.01!/851)
5108!+/Final Score
800m Pre. (Regional: 2:09.80) 7:15 p.m. CT
Adv. Nicole Cook 2:06.34p#/2nd, ht. 3
Adv. Antoinette Gorham 2:07.72p!#/2nd, ht. 4
18th Robin Mortel 2:12.19p
20th Mindy Sullivan 2:12.74p
23rd Brooke Novak 2:15.34p
200m Pre. (Regional: 23.96) 7:50 p.m. CT
Adv. Cleo Tyson 23.31p!#/1st, ht. 4 (w:0.4)
  Tianna Madison 23.68p#/2nd, ht. 1 (w:0.9)
  Courtney Champion 24.10/3rd, ht. 1 (w:0.9)
  LaTonya Loche 24.16/3rd., ht. 4 (w:0.4)
400mH Pre. (Regional: 60.82) 8:35 p.m. CT
Adv. Patricia Hall 61.17p/3rd, ht. 2
  Caitlin Ward 67.47p!/4th, ht. 2
10,000m Fin. (Auto: 34:10.00, Prov: 35:15.00) 9:30 p.m. CT
3rd (6 pts.) Felicia Guliford 34:44.97!+
10th Katie Flaute 37:01.17
SATURDAY, MAY 14 AT THE SEC OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
Long Jump (Regional: 19-6.25/5.95m) 1 p.m. CT
1st (10 pts.)Tianna Madison22-8.50/6.92m#
Discus (Regional: 155-2/47.30m) 5 p.m. CT
7th (2 pts.)Ariel Brooks154-2/46.98m
11thShanna Dickenson148-8/45.31m
13thApril Thomas142-9/43.52m
17thAmara McKell135-5/41.28m!
1500m Pre. (Regional: 4:27.80) 7:15 p.m. CT
Adv.Brooke Novak4:27.74p#/1st, ht. 3
Adv.Mindy Sullivan4:35.48p/2nd, ht. 1
400m Pre. (Regional: 54.61) 8:20 p.m. CT
Adv.Patricia Hall53.81p#
10thLaTonya Loche54.57p!#
100m Pre. (Regional: 11.75) 8:55 p.m. CT
Adv.Cleo Tyson11.38p!# (w: 0.0)
Adv.Toyin Olupona11.51p# (w: 0.0)
9thTianna Madison11.63p# (w: 0.0)
15thCourtney Champion11.82p (w: 0.0)
3000mSC Fin. (Regional: 10:52.10) 9:30 p.m. CT
2nd (8 pts.)Elizabeth McCalley10:27.65!#s
10thCarly Matthews11:12.29
SUNDAY, MAY 15 AT THE SEC OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
EVENT (NCAA DIV. I QUALIFYING MARKS)
Javelin (Regional: 141-7/43.15m) 3 p.m. CT
14thAmara McKell99-2/30.24m
Pole Vault (Regional: 12-5.50/3.80m) 5 p.m. CT
t8th (.33 pt)Kendra Rhyne11-11.75/3.65m
nmJessica Reust(Missed at 12-5.50/3.80m)
nmJessica Andrews(Missed at 11-11.75/3.65m)
4x100m Relay (Regional: 45.80) 6:10 p.m. CT
2nd (8 pts.)Tianna Madison/Courtney Champion
Toyin Olupona/Cleo Tyson
43.98#
1500m Fin. (Regional: 4:27.80) 6:30 p.m. CT
6th (3 pts.)Brooke Novak4:29.80
7th (2 pts.)Mindy Sullivan4:30.51
Shot Put (Regional: 46-11/14.30m) 7 p.m. CT
3rd (6 pts.)April Thomas51-9.75/15.79m!#
9thAriel Brooks45-1.75/13.76m!
13thShanna Dickenson43-6.50/13.27m
14thAmara McKell42-3.25/12.88m
400m Fin. (Regional: 54.61) 7:10 p.m. CT
2nd (8 pts.)Patricia Hall52.24!#
100m Fin. (Regional: 11.75) 7:30 p.m. CT
1st (10 pts.)Cleo Tyson11.25!# (w: 0.6)
5th (4 pts.)Toyin Olupona11.48# (w: 0.6)
800m Fin.(Regional: 2:09.80) 7:50 p.m. CT
3rd (6 pts.)Antoinette Gorham2:05.39!#
dnrNicole Cook
400mH Fin. (Regional: 60.82) 8:15 p.m. CT
6thPatricia Hall61.88
200m Fin. (Regional: 23.96) 8:35 p.m. CT
2nd (8 pts.)Cleo Tyson22.88!# (w: 1.0)
5000m Fin. (Regional: 16:52.00)) 9:05 p.m. CT
1st (10 pts.)Felicia Guliford16:21.27!#f
11thElizabeth McCalley17:07.60
14thCarly Matthews17:19.46
18thKatie Flaute17:35.32
27thBrooke Novak18:11.63
4x400mR (Regional: 3:42.00) 9:35 p.m. CT
2nd (8 pts.)LaTonya Loche/Cleo Tyson
Patricia Hall/Antoinette Gorham
3:34.02#
KEY
# - NCAA Regional Qualifier, * - NCAA Automatic Qualifier, + - NCAA Provisional Qualifier, ! - Personal Record (Outdoors), cr - Collegiate Record, 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, m - Meet Record, nm - No Mark, p - Prelims, s - School Record (Outdoors), w - Wind-Aided
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