May 25, 2007
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The University of Tennessee women advanced 10 athletes to the finals at the NCAA Mideast Regional on Friday, setting up a last day with Lady Vols vying for berths in 10 different events for the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Head Coach J.J. Clark's squad moved athletes along in the 4x100-meter relay, 1500m, 100m hurdles, 100m dash, 400m dash and 200 meters at the University of Missouri's Walton Stadium.
"We had some good people advance, and it was all along the line in different events," Clark said. "We're just trying to continue getting them to nationals. This is only half the battle - getting them to the final. We'll have to wait until tomorrow to finalize what we've done today, and that's advancing to the NCAA meet."
The Lady Vols started the day by charting the fastest qualifying time in the 4x100-meter relay and advancing to Saturday's finals. The quartet of junior Courtney Champion (Lawrenceville, Ga.), freshman Lynne Layne (New Rochelle, N.Y.) and juniors LaTonya Loche (Bastrop, La.) and Cleo Tyson (Huntsville, Texas) won heat three with a time of 44.11 seconds. That marks the fastest qualifying round production of the season by the UT 4x1.
Sophomore Sarah Bowman (Warrenton, Va.) followed up that result in the next women's event by winning heat two and posting the fastest qualifying readout in the 1500m run. Her 4:18.43 handiwork was just shy of the season-best 4:18.10 output she charted to take second two weekends ago at the SEC Championships. Bowman will be joined in Saturday's final by sophomores Rose-Anne Galligan (County Kildare, Ireland) and Rolanda Bell (Laurelton, N.Y.), who placed second and third, respectively, in heat one in 4:23.18 and 4:23.20. Galligan and Bell, who registered a PR today, move on with the eighth and ninth-best readouts of the prelims.
Tennessee's run of good fortune hit a snag in the 100m hurdle prelims. Only one of three regional qualifiers advanced to the money round. Sophomore Celriece Law (Denver, Colo.) was the sole survivor, moving along with a 13.50 showing that was good for third in heat one and the eighth and final lane available on Saturday. Sophomore Tiki James (Miami, Fla.) took second in heat four, but her 13.73 effort left her 11th and out of the hunt. Freshman Nia Ali (Philadelphia, Pa.), meanwhile, never made it to the blocks. The SEC heptathlon champ and third-place 100m hurdles finisher suffered a mild hamstring strain in her right leg during practice on Thursday and will not compete this weekend.
"We were looking forward to having Nia in the hurdles and contemplating doing the heptathlon at NCAAs, but she got hurt," Clark said. "It's part of the sport. You have to understand that.
"It's not a career-ending injury or anything like that. It's just the coaches being careful and the young lady saying she can't go. You respect that. She'll be back, and hopefully, it will be sooner than we think."
In the 100m dash qualifying round, two clad in orange moved along, and one did not. Champion zoomed to a season-best 11.56 to win heat one and automatically advance, while Layne was an at-large qualifier by virtue of her second-place, 11.74 burst in heat four. Tyson wasn't able to extend her action in the straight sprint, taking third in heat three at 11.77 and winding up 10th overall.
Loche gave the Lady Vols another competitor on Saturday, as she churned out a season-best time of 53.04 in the 400m dash to place third in heat five. She owns the eighth-best reading of the qualifiers.
Layne and Champion did the same in the 200-meter dash to close the first day. Layne clicked off a 23.49 reading to place second in heat one and sixth fastest of the qualifiers. Champion was the eighth qualifier via her third-place mark of 23.68 in heat two.
In the 800m run, Tennessee went zero for two on qualifying. Senior Leslie Treherne (Chesapeake, Va.), an All-American with an eighth-place NCAA finish last season in that event, struggled to sixth in heat two and 17th place overall in 2:11.00. Freshman Phoebe Wright (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) was three spots ahead of her in 14th after finishing fourth in the same heat in 2:09.88.
In Tennessee's only final of day one, Law wound up 11th in the long jump at 18-10 3/4.
On Saturday, UT returns to the track for its first event at 11 a.m. Central Time, as junior Shanna Dickenson (Cincinnati, Ohio) competes in the hammer throw. She will enter the ring for the discus throw at 3:30 p.m., followed by Lady Vols in previously mentioned finals as well as the 3000m steeplechase and 4x400m relay on the final day of competition.
|FRIDAY, MAY 25|
|4x100m Relay Pre. (Regional: 45.70) 3:15 p.m. CT|
|Adv.||Courtney Champion / Lynne Layne / LaTonya Loche / Cleo Tyson||44.11p#/1st, ht. 3|
|1500m Pre. (Regional: 4:27.80) 3:50 p.m. CT|
|Adv.||Sarah Bowman||4:18.43#/1st, ht. 2 (1st)|
|Adv.||Rose-Anne Galligan||4:23.18#/2nd, ht. 1 (8th)|
|Adv.||Rolanda Bell||4:23.20!#/3rd, ht. 1 (9th)|
|100mH Pre. (Regional: 13.92) 4:30 p.m. CT|
|Adv.||Celriece Law||13.50p# (w: -1.2)/3rd, ht. 1 (8th)|
|11th||Tiki James||13.73p# (w: 0.4)/2nd, ht. 4|
|Long Jump Fin. (Regional: 19-8.25/6.00m) 4:45 p.m. CT|
|11th||Celriece Law||18-10.75/5.76m (w: -1.3)|
|100m Pre. (Regional: 11.75) 5:10 p.m. CT|
|Adv.||Courtney Champion||11.56p# (w: 0.4)/1st, ht. 1 (3rd)|
|Adv.||Lynne Layne||11.74p# (w: -1.0)/2nd, ht. 4 (8th)|
|10th||Cleo Tyson||11.77p (w: -1.3) /3rd, ht. 3|
|400m Pre. (Regional: 54.61) 5:50 p.m. CT|
|Adv.||LaTonya Loche||53.04p#/3rd, ht. 5 (8th)|
|800m Pre. (Regional: 2:09.80) 6:30 p.m. CT|
|14th||Phoebe Wright||2:09.88p/4th, ht. 2|
|17th||Leslie Treherne||2:11.00p/6th, ht. 2|
|200m Pre. (Regional: 23.96) 8:10 p.m. CT|
|Adv.||Lynne Layne||23.49p# (w: -1.0)/2nd, ht. 1 (6th)|
|Adv.||Courtney Champion||23.68p# (w: -0.8)/3rd, ht. 2 (8th)|
|SATURDAY, MAY 26|
|Hammer Fin. (Regional: 177-8/54.15m) 11:00 a.m. CT|
|Discus Fin. (Regional: 155-2/47.30m) 3:30 p.m. CT|
|4x100m Relay Fin. (Regional: 45.70) 4:10 p.m. CT|
|Courtney Champion / Lynne Layne / LaTonya Loche / Cleo Tyson|
|1500m Fin. (Regional: 4:27.80) 4:30 p.m. CT|
|100mH Fin. (Regional: 13.92) 4:55 p.m. CT|
|100m Fin. (Regional: 11.75) 5:10 p.m. CT|
|400m Fin. (Regional: 54.61) 5:20 p.m. CT|
|200m Fin. (Regional: 23.96) 6:05 p.m. CT|
|3000mSC Fin. (Regional: 10:50.25) 6:40 p.m. CT|
|4x400m Relay Fin. (Regional: 3:42.00) 7:20 p.m. CT|
|Courtney Champion / Cleo Tyson / Leslie Treherne / LaTonya Loche|