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UT'S BENNETT, 4x400m RELAY ADVANCE TO FINALS AT NCAA TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Kameisha Bennett advanced to the finals in the 800m today.

Kameisha Bennett advanced to the finals in the 800m today.

June 10, 2004

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AUSTIN, Texas

It was a mixed bag of results for the sixth-ranked University of Tennessee women on Thursday evening at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Mike A. Myers Stadium. On the bright side, the Lady Vols' 4x400m relay and 800m runner Kameisha Bennett advanced to the finals. On the other end of the spectrum, there was disappointing news, as 2004 NCAA Indoor 800m champ Nicole Cook and national indoor long jump fifth-place finisher Tianna Madison failed to make the finals in their respective events.

In the 800 meters, Bennett looked very sharp, charting a 60.27 opening quarter and leading wire to wire in heat one en route to a 2:03.83 output. That time was the fastest of the preliminaries and ranks as the best qualifying round mark in the Dayton, Ohio, product's career. LSU's Neisha Bernard-Thomas posted the number-two time, winning heat three in 2:04.21. Bennett will compete in her first-ever individual NCAA championship race on Saturday at 8:35 p.m. Central Time.

"We had a good effort in the 800 meters by Kameisha Bennett," UT Head Coach J.J. Clark said. "She did her job and advanced to the finals, as we expected her to do."

Cook, the 2004 indoor champ, finished second in the fourth and final heat of the 800m trials to North Carolina's Alice Schmidt (2:06.03), but her time of 2:07.01 was not among the top nine finishers. Therefore, the junior from Petersburg, Va., wound up 14th overall and did not qualify for Saturday's final.

Cook led for most of the first lap before Schmidt moved to the front just shy of the 400-meter mark, recording a 61.14 first lap split. Cook stayed on Schmidtâ€TMs heels, but the Big Orange standout was unable to turn the tables down the home stretch and missed advancing by five spots. Freshman Leslie Treherne (Chesapeake, Va.) also came up short of qualifying, placing sixth in heat three and taking 21st overall in 2:08.88.

 

 

UT's 4x400m relay gave the coaching staff an early scare, but the unit came to life just in time to earn a ticket to the finals by finishing second in heat two of the trials and automatically advancing. The quartet of junior Antoinette Gorham (Glenarden, Md.), Bennett, Cook and junior Dee Dee Trotter (Decatur, Ga.) collaborated on a 3:30.05 performance, which ranked as the fourth-best time of the prelims. Running in fifth place after two legs, Cook and Trotter rose to the challenge and brought the Big Orange back into contention for a spot in the championship race. Host Texas at 3:25.58; South Carolina at 3:28.85; and UCLA at 3:27.57 all posted faster times than Tennessee. In the long jump, Madison was unable to duplicate her fifth-place indoor outcome. The freshman plated a best jump of 20-8.50/6.31m in the prelims, but that mark was not long enough to get her into the finals. She wound up placing 10th and gained All-America status by virtue of finishing among the top-eight athletes from the United States. SEC champion Hyleas Fountain of Georgia claimed victory, leaping to a measurement of 21-8.25.

In the prelims of the 1500 meters, sophomore Brooke Novak (Kaukauna, Wis.) saw her season come to a close, as she checked in 10th in heat two and 22nd overall in 4:31.68. Senior Lindsay Hyatt (Auburn, Calif.), meanwhile, ended her brief career at Tennessee without running Thursday night. The transfer from Stanford had been struggling with injuries in both of her feet and was simply unable to compete, according to Clark.

In the 100-meter dash prelims, Madison clocked her best time ever to earn fifth in heat one with a gust of 3.5 meters per second at her back. The Elyria, Ohio, productâ€TMs wind-aided 11.35 effort, however, was not fast enough to earn a ticket to Friday night's finals. She finished 12th overall in a field of 30, missing the nine-runner cut for the championship race. Junior Toyin Olupona (Orillia, Ontario, Canada) also participated in heat one, crossing the line sixth in that section and placing 21st overall in 11.56.

"Other than Kameisha advancing, it was a horrible day for us," Clark said. "Nicole Cook did not perform up to her capabilities in the 800m, Tianna Madison got edged out of points in the long jump and we didn't advance anyone in the other individual events. We will have to step it up tomorrow in the pole vault and 400 meters and on Saturday in the 800m and 4x4. Antoinette Gorham will have to run a more effective opening leg if we're going to be a factor in the 4x4."

On Friday, the Lady Vols will be in action in a pair of events. At 6:30 p.m. CT, sophomore Jessica Reust (Knoxville, Tenn.) gets her second crack at the pole vault after Wednesday's action was curtailed by severe weather. The competition will be re-started from the beginning. Additionally, junior Dee Dee Trotter (Decatur, Ga.), the 2004 NCAA Mideast Regional 400-meter champ and the 2003 NCAA Outdoor runner-up, will lace up her spikes for the prelims of her signature event at 8:20 p.m. CT.

WEDNESDAY EVENTS
* Nearly All Events Were Postponed Due To Inclement Weather
THURSDAY, JUNE 10
100m Prelims 5:20 p.m. CT
12th2nd, ht. 2/4th overallTianna Madison11.35pw/5th, ht. 1 (w: 3.5)
21st2nd, ht. 2/4th overallToyin Olupona11.56pw/6th, ht. 1 (w: 3.5
Long Jump Finals 6:30 p.m. CT
10th2nd, ht. 2/4th overallTianna Madison20-8.50/6.31m (w: 3.2)
800m Prelims 6:45 p.m. CT
Adv.2nd, ht. 2/4th overallKameisha Bennett2:03.83p/1st, ht. 1
14th2nd, ht. 2/4th overallNicole Cook2:07.01p/2nd, ht. 4
21st2nd, ht. 2/4th overallLeslie Treherne2:08.88p/6th, ht. 3
1500m Prelims 7:55 p.m. CT
22nd2nd, ht. 2/4th overallBrooke Novak4:31.68p/10th, ht. 2
DNS2nd, ht. 2/4th overallLindsay Hyattinjured, unable to run
4x400mR Prelims 8:30 p.m. CT
Adv.2nd, ht. 2/4th overallAntoinette Gorham/Bennett/
Cook/Trotter
3:30.05p
FRIDAY, JUNE 11
Pole Vault Finals 6:30 p.m. CT
Jessica Reust
400m Prelims 8:20 p.m. CT
Dee Dee Trotter
SATURDAY, JUNE 12
400m Finals 6:30 p.m. CT
Dee Dee Trotter?
800m Finals 8:35 p.m. CT
Kameisha Bennett
4x400mR Finals 9:35 p.m. CT
Antoinette Gorham/Kameisha Bennett/Nicole Cook/Dee Dee Trotter

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 - Meters, mr - Meet Record, nm - No Mark, p - Prelims, s - School Record (Outdoors), w - Wind-Aided

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